Hoof / True Tinder Fungus Fomes fomentarius: One of the most common polypores here, found on most types of deciduous trees. Young specimens are velvety, but older ones very hard. The fungus becomes very thick as annual layers of spore tubes develop. It has been used by man from at least 10 000 years ago as tinder. It can also be processed into a leather like material, which could be used on wounds to dry them out, or to make accessories such as pouches. Lookalike Ganoderma applanatum. Not edible. Can be seen all year.
|Tinder Fungus on a now dead oak tree.|
Dark, almost black when young, white or buff when mature, somewhat funnel shaped, with a wavy edge. 1.5 - 15 cm across and covered in brownish black scales, which become sparser with age. Gills white to yellowish and raggedy. Stem greyish yellow and often bent. Common on wet wood, found near water and especially on Willow Salix spp and Poplar Populus spp, often in groups, May to September. In France it is considered edible when young and quite tasty. Confusion is possible with the Birch Knight Tricholoma pardinum.
|Growing on a poplar stump on the banks of the Charente River, August.|