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Oak Polypore

Inedible Inedible
Autumn Autumn
Summer Summer

A very rare big size, annual polypore. One of the four species listed in Schedule 8. of Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), so it is illegal to pick or even cut samples. Most of the photos are from Hungary, where it is also rare, but not protected! The photos taken by Matt Payne are from the UK, a lucky rare find.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Oak Polypore (EN), Porojęzyk Dębowy (PL), Tölgyfa-Kérgestapló (HU)
Scientific Name Buglossoporus quercinus
Synonyms Buglossoporus pulvinus, Piptoporus quercinus
Season Start Aug
Season End Oct
Average Mushroom height (CM)
Average Cap width (CM)
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Fruiting Body

10–30 cm across, shelf-like to slightly convex, fan-shaped, semicircular or rounded. Margin rounded and finely suede-like. Whitish at first, then yellowing, but turns brownish with age. Upper surface smooth, finely velvety when young, might be cracking with age.


Tubes up to 4 mm long, white, pores circular, 2–4 per mm, pore surface is white when young, then off-white to buff, bruising brownish when damaged.


Up to 4 cm thick, soft or corky. Whitish, once cut bruising reddish first, then slowly turns brownish.


Often on barkless hulks, fallen bigger branches or cutting surface of Oak trunks. Saprotrophic on weak, old Oaks (some authors wrote it is parasitic on Oaks), causing brown-rot on its heartwood. Growing solitary or in small groups of 2-3 fruit bodies.

Possible Confusion

Birch Polypore (Fomitopsis betulina), pictured, grows on Birch only, and its flesh remains white.
Beefsteak Fungus (Fistulina hepatica) has red flesh with white veins and can often be found bleeding, while Oak Polypore has whitish flesh which turns reddish first then slowly to brownish.
Oak Bracket (Pseudoinonotus dryadeus) is mostly much tougher. Growing at the base of old Oak trees, on oak stumps or on the ground attached to buried roots. Often can be seen some dried amber coloured droplets on its margin.
Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) is bright yellow everywhere, including its flesh.

Spore Print

Spore print is whitish. Spores cylindrical to spindle-shaped, curved slightly at base, smooth and colourless (hyaline).

Taste / Smell

Inedible, tastes bitter when matured, smell is nothing distinctive.


Very rare in the UK, and protected by law (in highest level). If you are lucky enough to have found one, please, record it via the regional branch of BMS or one of the known recording apps/platforms!


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