What You Should Know
Ganoderma carnosum has a lacquered reddish-brown to the purplish-brown upper surface. Often a small stem attaches the bracket to the wood substrate. Ribbed white developing to golden-brown. White pore surface. Brown flesh. Brown spore. Habitat at the base of the tree up into the scaffold crown structure. It is inedible but can use in medicine.
At maturity, the pores of these bracket fungi release brown spores.
Other names: Fleshy Bracket.
Ganoderma carnosum Mushroom Identification
Perennial bracket; growing to 20cm across and up to 7cm thick, usually attached via a stout lateral stem 1 to 10cm long but sometimes with an eccentric ascending downward-tapering stem. The upper surface is reddish-brown becoming blackish purple when mature, and the stem is similarly colored. The infertile crust is irregularly bumpy, often with poorly-delineated concentric grooves; shiny when young become duller and darker with age.
The lower (fertile) surface is covered in roundish or angular creamy white to ivory pores typically 0.15mm across and spaced 3 to 4 per mm. The pore surface turns ochraceous brown with age or when bruised.
Tubes and Pores
The chocolate brown tube layer is up to 2.5cm thick, and the flesh immediately above the pore layer is a darkish chestnut brown. The flesh of the stem and that immediately below the pileus (cap 'skin') is whitish, becoming hazel brown with age.
Ellipsoidal to ovoid, 10-13 x 7-8µm; ornamented with many warts. (Basidia are four-spored.) Inamyloid.
Trimitic. The generative hyphae are thin-walled, 2.5-6µm in diameter and septate, with clamps.
Odor and Taste
Habitat & Ecological Role
Parasitic and then saprophytic, almost exclusively on Taxus baccata (Yew trees) in Britain but more commonly on firs (Abies species) in central Europe. Like other Ganoderma species this bracket fungus causes white rot. On living trees, it is nearly always found growing low down on trunks or emerging from just below the ground where it is attached to tree roots. Ganoderma carnosum grows sometimes on felled trunks, and in some parts of Asia, it has been produced in cultivation using bags of sawdust as the growing substrate.
Summer to Autumn. The fruitbodies can appear on the same host for several years.
Ganoderma carnosum Look-Alikes
Usually with a stipe and not on yew
Is much larger and not on yew.
Ganoderma carnosum Taxonomy and Etymology
The species was described scientifically in 1889 by French mycologist Narcisse Theophile Patouillard (1854 - 1926), who gave it the scientific name Ganoderma carnosum by which this bracket fungus is still generally known today.
From the Greek Ganos-, meaning brightness or polished to a bright sheen, and -derma meaning skin, comes the genus name Ganoderma - a reference to the lacquered appearance of the caps of these bracket fungi.
The specific epithet carnosum is derived from the Latin carnem and means 'fleshy' - the same Latin source also provides us with carnal (of the flesh) and carnage (slaughter).
Ganoderma carnosum Synonyms
Fomes carnosus (Pat.) Sacc.
Scindalma carnosum (Pat.) Kuntze
Ganoderma atkinsonii H. Jahn, Kotl. & Pouzar.
Photo 1 - Author: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)