This huge bracket forms broad, semicircular shelves, building new layers each year. A reddish earthy-brown colour, with pale a cream rim. A dense brown dusting of spores usually cover the top and surrounding area. It can grow up to 60cm wide.
This bracket lives for many years. It grows at the base of deciduous living trees like oak, beech or lime, where it is parasitic, causing white heart rot of the tree, becoming saprotrophic (obtaining nutrients from the dead organic matter) as the tree dies. It can be seen all year round, and is very common and widespread.
Photograph of Southern Bracket (Ganoderma australe) taken August 2010, Studley, Warwickshire. © Pete Hillman 2010. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.