What You Should Know
Polyporus ciliatus is an inedible species of fungus in the genus Polyporus. Grows on fallen branches of deciduous trees. The pores of these thin-capped polypores cannot be detached from the upper layer of the cap. It is fairly widespread across most of Europe and in many parts of Asia and North America.
Well camouflaged among the fallen leaves, the pale brownish caps can be difficult to spot when growing on fallen branches, but on standing timber, they are rather more conspicuous.
The dried caps are sometimes used as table decorations or as inert contributors to pot pouri.
Other names: Fringed Polypore.
Polyporus ciliatus Mushroom Identification
Convex at first, flattening with a depressed (umbilicate) center, the upper surface of the 1.5-12cm diameter cap is very variable in color but usually some shade of gray-brown or yellowish-brown. Particularly towards the margin, the cap surface is usually covered in tiny bristly hairs; cap thickness is also very variable and ranges between 1 and 5mm. The flesh is white and leathery.
Color variable but often pale yellowish brown or tawny-buff, 2-4cm long and 2-7mm in diameter, usually connected centrally to the cap, stems are often curved and slightly thickened at the base.
Tubes and Pores
Beneath the cap, the white tubes are packed together at a density of 4-6 per mm; they are between 0.5 and 2mm deep and terminate in whitish pores that turn yellowish from the margin inwards and eventually light tan as they age.
Subcylindrical, often slightly allantoid, smooth, 5-6 x 1.5-2.5µm; inamyloid.
Odor and Taste
Odor is faintly mushroomy; the taste is not distinctive.
Saprobic, on dead deciduous hardwood - usually fallen branches - notably Beech and various oaks but also (as in the main picture on this page) alders.
Annual fruitbodies appear in late spring and summer, sometimes persisting through winter and into the following spring.
Polyporus brumalis is similar but has a smooth margin and larger pores.
Polyporus ciliatus Taxonomy and Etymology
The Fringed Polypore was described scientifically in 1815 by the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries.
Synonyms of Polyporus ciliatus include Boletus substrictus Bolton, and Polyporus lepideus Fr.
The generic name Polyporus means 'having many pores', and fungi in this genus do indeed have tubes terminating in pores (usually very small and a lot of them) rather than gills or any other kind of hymenial surface.
The specific epithet ciliatus means 'with fine hairs' and is a reference to the fine bristly hairs on the cap surface, most noticeably near the margin.
Photo 1 - Author: Andreas Kunze (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: Jean.claude (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
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