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. All the photos are from Hungary, where it is also rare, but not protected!
|Common Names||Oak polypore|
|Scientific Name||Buglossoporus quercinus|
|Synonyms||Buglossoporus pulvinus, Piptoporus quercinus|
|Average Mushroom height (CM)|
|Average Cap width (CM)|
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.
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 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!