Wu et al Antrodia camphorata in TaiwanBot. Bull. Acad. Sin. (1997) 38: 273275
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
(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 contami-
nating 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.
4Corresponding author. Fax: +886-4-325-8684; E-mail:
Many polypores are used for medicinal purposes in Tai-
wan. One of the most valued is Antrodia camphorata, es-
pecially 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 mush-
room. 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 lit-
erature 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 ge-
neric 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
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
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
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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 µm.
Chang, T.T. and W.N. Chou. 1995. Antrodia cinnamomea sp.
nov. on Cinnamomum kanehirai in Taiwan. Mycol. Res. 99:
Zang, M. and C.H. Su. 1990. Ganoderma comphoratum, a new
taxon in genus Ganoderma from Taiwan, China. Acta Bot.
Yunnanica 12: 395396.
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Wu et al Antrodia camphorata in Taiwan
A. cinnamomea Ganoderma comphoratum
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