Turkey Tail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

  • Photos
  • Video
  • Overview
  • Description and Ecology
  • Chemistry
  • Edibility, (Medicinal Information-“Extensive”)
  • Uses
  • Look Alikes
  • References

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Amazing, Incredible, “VERSI-COLORS”!!!

Videos and Even Cancer-Cured Testimonials:


Trametes versicolor – also known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor – is a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world. Meaning ‘of several colours’, versicolor reliably describes this fungus that displays different colors. For example, because its shape and multiple colors are similar to those of a wild turkey, T. versicolor is commonly called turkey tail. Turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor) is a tough shelf fungus growing year round on old tree trunks or downed logs in moist forests. Turkey tail is related to reishi and artist’s conk mushrooms (Ganoderma) and has similar immune stimulating properties.

Description and ecology:

The top surface of the cap shows typical concentric zones of different colours. The flesh is 1–3 mm thick and has leathery texture. Older specimens, such as the one pictured, can have zones with green algae growing on them, thus appearing green. It commonly grows in tiled layers. The cap is rust-brown or darker brown, sometimes with blackish zones. The cap is flat, up to 8 x 5 x 0.5–1 cm in area. It is often triangular or round, with zones of fine hairs. The pore surface is whitish to light brown, pores round and with age twisted and labyrinthine. 2-5 pores per millimeter.

It may be eaten by caterpillars of the fungus moth Nemaxera betulinella and by maggots of the Platypezid fly Polyporivora pictaand the fungus gnat Mycetophila luctuosa.


T. versicolor contains polysaccharides under basic research, including the protein-bound PSP and B-1,3 and B-1,4 glucans. The lipid fraction contains the lanostane-type tetracyclic triterpenoid sterol ergosta-7,22,dien-3B-ol as well as fungisterol and B-sitosterol.


Trametes versicolor is a powerful antiviral, anti-candida, as well as immunomodulating mushroom. Its also getting profound notoriety from Bastyr University’s research with cancer treatment, specifically with breast cancer. Yet, there are a few mushrooms that look somewhat similar to the untrained eye.

Research and uses:

When used in combination with certain chemotherapy regimens, PSK may benefit patients following surgical removal of stomach and colorectal cancers, but clinical trials in patients with breast cancer, leukemias, and liver cancer remain inconclusive as of 2016.

PSK is possibly useful as an adjuvant in the treatment of gastric, esophageal, colorectal, breast and lung cancers. PSK adjuvants are under study for their potential to affect cancer recurrence.

Look Alikes?

Yes most definitely, but absolutely no worries, as the very similar look alike mushroom is Stereum ostrea, the false turkey tail, and it is also very medicinal! Unlike some mushrooms, the shelf fungi have no deadly look-alikes, although they might be confused with similar but less active species. Turkey tail has small pores on the underside while the bottoms of the medicinally inactive false turkey tail (Stereum ostrea) are smooth.