Inonotus hispidus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Inonotus hispidus Mushroom
Inonotus hispidus or the shaggy bracket is indeed a bracket-like fungus, with fuzzy (not quite actually shaggy) fruiting bodies growing out of the trunks of certain hardwoods in North America, Europe, and Asia. The fungus is familiar to foresters and orchardists as a serious tree disease capable of causing a white rot that weakens trees to the point where they lose major limbs or worse, but the mushroom also has its uses.
The hairy upper surface of this massive bracket distinguishes it readily from Beefsteak Fungus. Inonotus hispidus is quite rare; it occurs mainly on trunks of broad-leaved trees, and in particular Fraxinus (ash trees) and Mallus (apple trees).
Shaggy bracket is not considered edible, but it’s a traditional folk medicine in Asia and some parts of Europe, and is also used to dye wool.
Other names: Shaggy Polypore.
Inonotus hispidus Identification
Parasitic on living oaks (especially water oak); causing a white heart rot; annual; growing alone, gregariously, or in shelving clusters; usually found high on the tree (often out of reach); appearing year-round; to be expected along the Gulf Coast.
Up to 40 cm across and 20 cm deep; semicircular to fan-shaped; planoconvex or flat; velvety to finely hairy or, in age, nearly bald; yellow to orangish-yellow, becoming rusty brown with age; the margin thick and soft when young.
Bright yellow to creamy when young, becoming yellowish-brown; bruising brown when young; with 3-5 angular pores per mm; tubes to 3 cm deep.
Reddish-brown; soft and watery at first, becoming tougher with age; faintly zoned or streaked (when young specimens are sliced the flesh is reminiscent of the flesh in Fistulina hepatica).
Fistulina hepatica, the Beefsteak Fungus, produces softer fruitbodies that ooze red juice when cut.
Inonotus hispidus Taxonomy & Etymology
In 1785 French mycologist Jean Baptiste Francois Pierre Bulliard (1742 - 1793) described this species and named it Boletus hispidus. This polypore was given its current scientific name in 1879 by the Finnish mycologist Petter Adolf Karsten (1834-1917).
Synonyms of Inonotus hispidus include Inonotus hirsutus and Polyporus hispidus (Bull.) Fr.
Inonotus, the genus name of the Shaggy Bracket fungus, comes from ino- a prefix meaning fibrous, and ot which means an ear. The specific name hispidus comes from Latin and means stiffly hairy, shaggy or spiny.
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