Ganoderma spp.


                                          LARGE individual on the Evergreen campus

Hubba hubba, shelf fungus!







Description:  There are about 80 species of Ganoderma.  This genus of bracket fungus can be seen on both living and dead hosts.   Some species of Ganoderma are annual and some are perennial.  Annual means that the conk  falls off the tree at the end of each fruiting season, while perennials persist and each year a new tube layer develops over the existing fruit body.  This is interesting to keep in mind when you come across a hefty perennial individual, because it puts the growth time of the fungus into perspective. Ganoderma are associated with causing white rot (eats the wood’s lignin) in its host, making it an important forest pathogen.  Wood lignin is made up of complex polymers that are extremely difficult if not nearly impossible to degrade, so, certain fungi that have the lignin degradation ability are valuable tools in the context of bioremediation efforts!


Identification:  Basidiocarps (mushrooms) can emerge from the trunk or the root bowl of the infected tree.  The top surface color ranges from cinnamon brown to dark brown in color, and young mushrooms can even be a grey or blonde color.  The tube layer can be cream to light brown. Species G. tsugae and G. oregonense  have a varnished appearance. In the case of G. applanatum, the pore layer bruises when touched or scratched deeming it the nickname “Artists’ conk”.  Conks can be with or without a stem structure.


Hosts:  Hardwoods and conifers.  Common on Douglas-fir and hemlock in our region.

Photo courtesy of Megan Hennessey

Distribution:   Common in our area, and widely distributed throughout the world; It is present in all types of forests.

General Information: Basidiomycete.  This is a pathogen that, on one side of the coin, is a powerful wood decomposer with a generalist appetite, but on the other side of the coin,  has chemical properties valuable for medicinal and industrial use.




Laurel checkin’ out G. oregonense at TESC

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *