Basidiomycete – Shelf fungi
Laetiporus portentosus (Berk.) Rajchenb., Nordic Jl Bot. 15(1): 114 (1995)
A large white to brownish coloured hoof-shaped bracket fungus. Firm and fleshy textured when fresh. Mature fruit bodies often fall to the ground and are readily identified by their spongy insect-ravaged form. Up to 40 cm across.
Pores: Pale yellow at first then becoming dull white to brown with age.
Stem: (stipe): No stem as such, attached laterally.
Spores: Spore print white, globose to subglobose, smooth
Habitat: Tends to grow on stringy-barked eucalypt trees
Substrate: Living trees. PARASITE
Habit: Solitary though at times in groups.
Season: Summer to autumn.
Comments: Common. cosmopolitan. This fungus causes brown cubical heart rot in living trees. Slow-acting, as can be seen reappearing on apparently healthy trees year after year, usually 5-15 m above the ground. Insect larvae feed ravenously on the interior flesh leaving the fungus riddled with holes and tunnels. Therefore, unlike many bracket polypores, it falls off the tree after reaching maturity. These remnants are what is often seen on the forest floor looking like a porous piece of stytofoam. Dry remnants are combustible and were once used as tinder by Aboriginal people and early colonists.
Piptoporus eucalyptorum (Fr.) Warcup, Ecology Forests Woodlands South Australia: 131 (1986) Piptoporus portentosus (Berk.) G. Cunn., Bull. N.Z. Dept. Sci. Industr. Res., Pl. Dis. Div. 164: 106 (1965)
PlacesBrogo, NSW Meringo, NSW Mirador, NSW Narrabarba, NSW Nerrigundah, NSW North Narooma, NSW Towamba, NSW Yowrie, NSW
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