Bot. Bull. Acad. Sin. (1997) 38: 273_275

Wu et al Antrodia camphorata in Taiwan

Antrodia camphorata ("niu-chang-chih"), new combination of a medicinal fungus in Taiwan

Sheng-Hua Wu1, Leif Ryvarden2 and Tun-Tschu Chang3

1Division of Botany, National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China

2Department of Botany, Institute of Biology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1045, N-0316 Oslo, Norway

3Division of Forest Protection, Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, 53 Nan-hai Road, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

(Received February 5, 1997; Accepted May 2, 1997)

Abstract. A new combination, Antrodia camphorata (M. Zang & C.H. Su) Sheng H. Wu, Ryvarden & T.T. Chang, is proposed for Ganoderma comphoratum M. Zang & C.H. Su, a name originally based on a polypore with contaminating Ganoderma spores. Antrodia cinnamomea T.T. Chang & W.N. Chou is reduced to a taxonomic synonym of A. camphorata. The species is famous and highly valued in Taiwan as a medicine, and is restricted to a Taiwanese endemic tree species, Cinnamomum kanehirai.

Keywords: Antrodia camphorata; A. cinnamomea; Ganoderma comphoratum; Polypore; Taiwan.

Many polypores are used for medicinal purposes in Taiwan. One of the most valued is Antrodia camphorata, especially since it is said to have several medicinal uses including a curative effect on cancer. The species is known only from Taiwan and is restricted to Cinnamomum kanehirai Hay (Lauraceae), also endemic to Taiwan. The species is known in Taiwan as "niu-chang-chih"; "niu-chang" is the Chinese common name for C. kanehirai and "chih" means Ganoderma-like fungus. Many Taiwanese also call it "niu-chang-ku"; "ku" in Chinese means mushroom. It is also known simply as "chang-chih" or "chang-ku." In Taiwan, the wood of C. kanehirai has traditionally been regarded as high quality for manufacturing furniture. Nowadays this endemic tree species is becoming rare and has now been protected by the government. Consequently, it is also becoming difficult to find "niu-chang-chih" in the forest. "Niu-chang-chih" is very expensive in Taiwan. In recent years, basidiomes of good quality have sold for about US $ 15,000 per kg., a result of host specificity and rarity in nature, and the failure of artificial cultivation.

This species was first published by Zang and Su (1990). Dr. Su, a resident chemist, knew "niu-chang-chih" very well from his chemical studies of various medicinal fungi. However, he could not find any available name in the literature for this striking species. Thus, he sent a specimen of "niu-chang-chih" to Prof. Zang, a specialist in Chinese higher fungi. Later they jointly published the species as Ganoderma comphoratum M. Zang & C.H. Su. The generic name, however, was based on a mistake as the type

(HKAS 22294, examined by us) was contaminated by spores of a Ganoderma species. After publication, Dr. Su told one of us (S.H. Wu) that the type specimen had been put in a bag together with a specimen of Ganoderma, the source of the foreign spores. In the original description, the host was also incorrectly given as Cinnamomum comphora (L.) Presl. (correct spelling: C. camphora), which explains the spelling of the specific epithet of the fungus.

Chang and Chou (1995) later described the species as Antrodia cinnamomea T.T. Chang & W.N. Chou (type = TFRI 119, examined by us). The specific epithet alludes to the host tree. They properly placed their species in Antrodia because of its dimitic hyphal system with clamped generative hyphae and brown rot causing ability.

After studying the types of both Ganoderma comphoratum and Antrodia cinnamomea, these fungi were found to be conspecific. Therefore a new combination is necessary, while A. cinnamomea is reduced to a taxonomic synonym.

Antrodia camphorata (M. Zang & C.H. Su) Sheng H. Wu, Ryvarden & T.T. Chang, comb. nov. (Figure 1)

Basionym: Ganoderma comphoratum M. Zang & C.H. Su, Acta Bot. Yunnanica 12: 395. 1990. Syn. nov.: Antrodia cinnamomea T.T. Chang & W.N. Chou, Mycol. Res. 99: 756. 1995.

Acknowledgments. The authors are indebted to Prof. Mu Zang for the loan of the holotype of Ganoderma comphoratum for this study.

4Corresponding author. Fax: +886-4-325-8684; E-mail:

Botanical Bulletin of Academia Sinica, Vol. 38, 1997

Figure 1. Antrodia camphorata (holotype). A, Contextual generative hyphae; B, Contextual skeletal hyphae; C, Cystidioles; D, Basidia; E, Basidiospores. Scale bars = 10 m.

Literature Cited

Chang, T.T. and W.N. Chou. 1995. Antrodia cinnamomea sp. nov. on Cinnamomum kanehirai in Taiwan. Mycol. Res. 99: 756_758.

Zang, M. and C.H. Su. 1990. Ganoderma comphoratum, a new taxon in genus Ganoderma from Taiwan, China. Acta Bot. Yunnanica 12: 395_396.

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