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Red-Belted Bracket

Inedible Inedible
Autumn Autumn
Spring Spring
Summer Summer
Winter Winter

A majestic, colourful perennial bracket fungus mostly found on conifers. 

Mushroom Type
Common Names Red-Belted Bracket (EN), Carn Pinwydd (CY), Pniarek Obrzeżony (PL), Szegett Tapló (HU)
Scientific Name Fomitopsis pinicola
Synonyms Pseudofomes pinicola, Fomes pinicola, Polyporus pinicola
Season Start All Year
Season End All Year
Average Mushroom height (CM)
Average Cap width (CM) 10–40
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Fruiting Body

Perennial, 10–40 cm wide and 5–15 cm thick, shelf-like or hoof-shaped, rarely resupinate. Widely attached to its substrate, without having a stem (sessile).
Upper surface (skin): zonate, smooth, glabrous (shiny, almost laccate), variable in colour. It might have some yellow, orange, red to dark blueish to black on it, the central part is often covered with a dark resinous layer. Margin thick, rounded, white when young, turning orange to red with age.


Tubes 2–8 mm long, concolorous with the flesh. Pores 4–6 per mm, roundish, white when young, turning yellowish with age. Often secreting colourless droplets (this phenomenon is called: guttation).


10–12 cm thick, yellowish, pale ochraceous. Might be zonate or non-zonate.


Growing on dead standing or lying trunks or stumps of conifers, also on hardwoods, rarely on living trees too. It is necrotrophic parasite, causing cubical brown-rot.

Possible Confusion

As the genus’ name predicts, it has a rather similar appearance to Hoof Fungus, specimens of the two species are often confused.
Hoof Fungus (Fomes fomentarius), pictured, grows on hardwoods, preferably but not exclusively on beech and causing white-rot. It might have really variable appearance, but it has grey and brown based colours on its upper surface (skin), and its pore surface is ochre to grey, not white to yellowish cream.

Taste / Smell

Inedible. Smell and taste not distinctive.


Common and widespread. It is one of the most common wood inhabiting (brown-rot) species in conifer forests in Europe.


Spore print is white. Spores are thin walled, cylindrical to ellipsoid, smooth, colourless (hyaline) and inamyloid (means: their spore wall doesn’t contain starch).

Other Facts

The name of the genus Fomitopsis means ‘similar to Fomes‘ aka Hoof Fungus, while the epithet (the 2nd part of the scientific name) refers to its strong preference of pines (Pinus spp.).
Fomitopsis pinicola
 is the type species of genus Fomitopsis. Until recently we believed our European Fomitopsis pinicola is native to the American continent too, but molecular studies showed it is a different species, called Fomitopsis mounceae. It might be confusing that F. mounceae is called Red-Belted Polypore in North America.


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