What You Should Know
Ganoderma applanatum can be found in nearly every state in the United States and every Canadian province at nearly every time of the year. This mushroom is a very common perennial bracket fungus. The underside is creamy white and can be scratched with a sharp point to leave brown marks. It can be found all the time because it has a perennial, very hard fruiting body, one that adds new layers of pores every year.
This mushroom is classified as a polypore, which means "many pores." The white pores are on the under-surface of the fruiting body. It is also known as a "shelf fungus" because the fruiting body forms a stalkless shelf on the sides of trees and logs. There are many, many species of shelf fungi, probably more than 500 species, so don't assume any shelf fungus can be classified here.
Ganoderma applanatum is edible but you can`t eat it because of hard and woody flesh. Usually, it use in making tea and tinctures and as a survival kit for making fireplace outdoor.
Other names: Artist’s conk.
Ganoderma applanatum Health Benefits
One study using an animal model was employed to test Ganoderma applanatum’s ability to support immune health. The study was performed by giving rainbow trout aqueous extract forms of Ganoderma applanatum. In this trial, the fish were fet 250, 500, and 1,000 mg extract/kg diet 4 times per day.
After 45 days, the results found that the numbers of red and white blood cells, as well as hemoglobin, hematocrit, monocytes, and neutrophil levels increased significantly. The end results suggested the potential ability of the Artist’s Conk’s ability to activate immunologic parameters in the treated fish, when applied in extract form.
The Artist’s Conk mushroom contains lectins, which may have a link to fighting cancer. One study, in particular, focused on testing the purified lectins from Ganoderma applanatum’s ability to fight HT-29 colon cancer cells. The results found that the purified lectins from Ganoderma applanatum to contain cytotoxic and proapoptotic activities against HT-29 colon adenocarcinoma cells. What this means is that the lectins are toxic to cancer cells, and may assist in breaking them down.
When extracted and used as a tea, the Artist’s Conk has been found to have antioxidant properties. One study researching Ganoderma applanatum in combination with tea leaf extracts found the result to have an extract that exerts a profound positive effect on the level of phenolic-type antioxidants.
Ganoderma applanatum Identification
(pileus) 4- 24 in. across and fan or kidney-shaped, slightly convex to hoof-shaped. They can have zones, bumps, lines, or cracks and are exceptionally hard especially after the first year. The cap is usually gray in the offseason and brown in the summer when covered with spores. It can become several inches thick as it ages.
The pores/tubes are white bruising to brown if touched or bruised. A new layer of pores from 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick is built each successive year.
Usually not present broadly attached to the wood and quite difficult to remove.
Very hard and brown or brown and white.
The spores are brown and tend to collect on the top of the cap in summer.
Ganoderma applanatum Distribution & Habitat
Widespread and fairly common in Britain and Ireland, Ganoderma applanatum is found throughout most of mainland Europe and is most common in central and northern Europe.
Artist’s conk infects most hardwoods, and many conifers. It is most common on alder, ash, beech, Douglas-fir, elm, poplar, buckeye chestnut, horse chestnut, maple, walnut, willow, western hemlock, olive tree, and spruce.
Ganoderma applanatum are very easy to find on mature or dead hardwood. Often near streams can be a good place to look because there tends to be more dead wood and a moist microclimate. Sugar maples that are on their way out are very likely to have them. They are everywhere actually. They have a strong but pleasant woodsy smell.
Ganoderma applanatum Edible Notes
The fruiting bodies are inedible in their raw form. However, when cooked, they have a rich mushroom flavor that blends well with various recipes. Slices of the fruiting bodies have been used in fermented foods to enhance their flavor. When dried and ground, the fruiting bodies can be made into a tea or tincture. Artist’s conk can be used for dyeing wool, certain fabrics, and paper. In Asia, the fruiting bodies are blended or cold pressed with water to create ganoderma drinks.
Ganoderma applanatum Taxonomy
Ganoderma applanatum is placed in the order Polyporales, demonstrating its relationship to the core group of polypores. The genus name Ganoderma means “shiny or lustrous skin,” which is typical of other members of the genus such as G. lucidum. Despite its genus name, G. applanatum displays a matte finish.
The species name applanatum means “flattened,” which refers to the shelf-like growth pattern of the Artist’s Conk. Many woody polypores produce hoof-shaped conks (for example: Fomes fomentarius, FFF#189), but G. applanatum mushrooms are remarkably flat.
MycoBank lists the current name of G. applanatum as G. lipsiense. Both names have been around for a long time, but most people use G. applanatum. If the rules of mycological nomenclature dictate that G. lipsiense is the proper name, it will take a long time before that name catches on.
Ganoderma applanatum Tincture Recipe
Dried reishi mushrooms
Vodka (100 proof)
Fill a quart or half-gallon canning jar halfway to the top with the dried reishi.
Add the vodka, filling the jar to the top. Label it with the date and what you're making.
Cap the jar, and keep it in a warm area away from the sunlight for 4 to 6 weeks. Try to remember to shake it daily.
After about a month strain the mixture using cheesecloth, coffee filters, or a strainer. The method you use will depend on the size of your reishi mushroom pieces. Try straining a few times to remove all the solids.
Ganoderma applanatum Tea Recipe
Dried mushrooms – 3-4 grams
Water – 4 cups
Bring the water to a boil in stainless steel or ceramic pot. Don't use aluminum for such a prolonged boiling process.
Add the mushroom pieces. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, not outright boiling. Let it simmer for 2 hours.
Remove from the heat, strain, and set aside. Allow the liquid to cool a little, as it's quite hot. You can repeat the process with the strained pieces until the resulting extraction is no longer bitter or colored.
Photo 1 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 2 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: Syrio (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 4 - Author: Rudolphous (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 5 - Author: George Chernilevsky (Public Domain)
Please help improve Ultimate Mushroom:Submit