|California Fungi—Ganoderma applanatum
(Photo: © Nathan Wilson)
Soc. Mycol. France Bull. 5: 67. 1889.
Fruiting body perennial,woody, typically sessile, 6-60 cm broad, 5-10 cm thick, fan-shaped to slightly convex, rarely hoof-like, usually solitary; margin rounded early, becoming narrowed at maturity; surface a hard crust, dull grey, grey-brown to brown, irregular, often furrowed, nodulose and zonate, frequently dusted with brown spores. Flesh up to 6.0 cm thick, brown, tough, corky, blackening in KOH.
Pores 4-6 per mm, white, quickly bruising brown when injured, fading to pale yellowish-buff when dried; tubes multi-seried, 4-13 mm long, brown, each layer separated by a thin layer of tissue; tubes and pores blackening in KOH.
Spores 6-9.5 x 5.7 µm, broadly elliptical, blunt at the distal end, thick-walled, ornamented with minute spines; spores brown in deposit.
Solitary or in small groups on downed logs of both hardwood and conifers, also on living trees; especially common on
Our best known shelf fungus,
is distinguished from other woody polypores by a dull grey-brown, bumpy, usually zonate cap, often powdered brown from released spores, and a white pore surface which instantly darkens when injured. The latter feature makes it a favorite of artists which use the smooth white surface as a canvas. Like a number of perennial woody conks, the age of a fruiting body can be roughly determined by sectioning and counting the tube layers. Related fungi include
, uncommon in our area, with a shiny red/brown to mahogany brown cap and pores that do not bruise and Fomitopsis pinicola with a reddish-brown cap margin and pores that bruise slowly pale yellowish-buff. One other
that occurs in California is
. According to Gilbertson & Ryvarden, it is similar to
but differs in having larger spores and a yellow pore surface.
(2005). Polyporaceae s.l. (Fungi Europaei). Edizioni Candusso: Alassio, Italy. 807 p.
Breitenbach, J. & Kränzlin, F.
(1986). Fungi of Switzerland. Volume 2: Non-Gilled Fungi. Verlag Mykologia: Luzern, Switzerland. 412 p.
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A.
(2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
Ellis, M.B. & Ellis, J.P.
(1990). Fungi without Gills (Hymenomycetes and Gasteromycetes). Chapman and Hall: London, England. 329 p.
Gilbertson, R.L. & Ryvarden, L.
(1986). North American Polypores, vol. 1. Fungiflora: Oslo, Norway. 433 p.
(2017). Polypores of British Columbia (Fungi: Basidiomycota). Province of British Columbia: Victoria, BC. 260 p.
Lindsey, J.P. & Gilbertson, R.L.
(1978). Basidiomycetes that Decay Aspen in North America. J. Cramer: Vaduz. 406 p.
(1953). The Polyporaceae of the United States, Alaska, and Canada. University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor, MN. 466 p.
Other Descriptions and Photos
(D=Description; I=Illustration; P=Photo; CP=Color Photo)
The Fungi of California
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