Oak Mazegill

Daedalea quercina

Oak Mazegill (Daedalea quercina)

This has a semicircular or fan-shaped fruit body which is quite woody with a maze of gill-like ridges on the underside. This bracket is broadly attached to the substrate, and sometimes has a defined umbo. The upper surface is lumpy and warty, these often formed in concentric ridges with shades of grey, brown and buff, with paler margins. Fruit body 10 to 20cm across, 1 to 10cm thick.

Oak Mazegill (Daedalea quercina)

Seen from spring onwards. Found on the dead wood of oaks, which causes a brown rot which attacks the heartwood. Common and widespread.

Photographs of Oak Mazegill (Daedalea quercina) taken October 2011, local wood, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

Lumpy Bracket

Trametes gibbosa

Lumpy Bracket (Trametes gibbosa)

A whitish-grey, semicircular bracket with a hump, which is often found covered in green algae. It has rounded to irregular, maze-like pores which are pale cream to buff coloured. Fruit body 5 to 12cm across.

Lumpy Bracket (Trametes gibbosa)

Seen all year round on dead deciduous trees, especially Beech. Widespread and common.

Lumpy Bracket (Trametes gibbosa)

Photographs of Lumpy Bracket (Trametes gibbosa) taken October 2011, country park, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

Birch Polypore

Piptoporus betulinus

Birch Polypore – Piptoporus betulinus

This is a fairly large bracket fungi which I have seen singularly on Birch tree trunks or in tiers going quite high up the tree.

Sometimes called the ‘Razorstrop Fungus’ (so named for in the past it has been used as a strap to sharpen razors), it has a smooth leathery upper surface which is pale brown, whilst the rounded margin and underside is white. The underside is soft and spongy, and full of minute spores. Fruit body up to 25cm across.

Birch Polypore – Piptoporus betulinus

Seen all year round in birch woods, and is the cause of death of many of these trees. Common and widespread.

Birch Polypore – Piptoporus betulinus

Photographs of Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus) taken October 2011, local wood, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

White-rot Fungus

Trametes ochracea

White-rot Fungus (Trametes ochracea)

Also known as ‘The Ochre Bracket’, this is a smallish bracket fungus with a greyish white or cream colour, concentrically ringed brown, ochre, orange or rust tones. Finely downy to begin, then becoming smooth. Similar to Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor), except White-rot Fungus is smaller, thicker, paler, and lacks the blues and purples. Fruit body 5cm across.

White-rot Fungus (Trametes ochracea)

Found all year round on the dead wood of deciduous trees. Widespread but uncommon.

White-rot Fungus (Trametes ochracea)

Photographs of White-rot Fungus (Trametes ochracea) taken February 2012, local hedgerow on willow, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.


Southern Bracket

Ganoderma australe

Southern Bracket (Ganoderma australe)

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.

On Dead Wood

Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum)

I come across this bracket fungus quite often in my local woods growing on dead tree trunks or branches. Touching it, it feels quite hard and resilient, a bit like tough hide. I believe it’s called Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum), named because it has a hairy, almost velvet like appearance. It can appear in many colour forms.

Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum)

Photograph of Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum), taken September 2016, local wood, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Hairy Curtain Crust

Stereum hirsutum

Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum)

Also called ‘Hairy Stereum’, this is a variable coloured, fan-shaped bracket fungus with pale margins, the upper surface being distinctly hairy. It is often seen with bands of green algae. Fruit body up to 7cm wide.

Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum)

It fruits summer to autumn, and grows on old stumps of deciduous trees, especially those of oak, beech and birch, forming tiers upon tiers. Also found on fallen branches and logs. Common and widespread.

Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum)

Photographs of Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum) taken August 2007, local wood, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2007. Camera used Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1.

Willow Bracket

Phellinus igniarius

Willow Bracket (Phellinus igniarius)

I came across this fairly large bracket fungi growing on a large willow tree. This hoof-shaped perennial bracket can persist for years. It is rusty-brown in colour when young, later turning to grey, and finally becoming black and fissured. The margins are rusty-brown and velvety. The fruiting body can grow up to 40cm across.

Willow Bracket (Phellinus igniarius)

It can be seen all year round. Parasitic on living willow, and occasionally other deciduous trees. Causes extreme white rot. It is widespread but occasional.

Photographs of Willow Bracket (Phellinus igniarius) taken December 2011, by local river, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

Chicken of The Woods

Laetiporus sulphureus

Chicken of The Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)

Also called ‘Sulphur Shelf’, this is a bright yellowy-orange bracket fungus which is usually found on the trunks of standing trees. They are irregularly shaped or fan-shaped, overlapping one another, and have a lumpy texture, somewhat akin to cooked chicken. The pores are white or a pale yellow. Underneath the bracket there are tiny round or oval tubes. Fruit body 10 to 40cm across, 3 to 12cm thick.

Chicken of The Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)

It can be seen all year round. Usually found on deciduous trees, mainly oak, and rarely coniferous trees, although its seems to have a preference for Yew (Taxus baccata), which can be quite a pest. Widespread and common.

Photograph of Chicken of The Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) taken September 2011, local wood, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

Artist’s Bracket

Ganoderma applanatum

This bracket is usually a hard woody, semicircular bracket, but can sometimes form a rosette. It can also form overlapping tiers. The upper surface can be quite uneven and knobbly as it ages, and it has a mixture of browns, reds and ochres, with a white or cream margin. The underside has fine rounded pores, with a thin white or cream surface which when scratched reveals darker lines, hence its vernacular name as it can be used like a canvas to draw upon. Fruit body 10 to 60cm wide, 2 to 8cm thick.

It fruits all year round. It is a parasite on the trunks of broadleaved trees, found growing solitary or in tiers on dead or living wood. Widespread but occasional.

Photographs of Artist’s Bracket (Ganoderma applanatum), taken November 2012, Warley Woods, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.