Sunday 23 June 2013

Red-belted bracket (Fomitopsis pinicola) and Willow bracket (Phellinus igniarius)

Fomitopsis pinicola

Other names for F.pinicola is Red-belted bracket or Red-banded polypore.  Quite appropriate really as this hoof-shaped bracket has a reddish/rust extended rim around the margin.  This bracket does resemble in shape and texture Fomes fomentarius but grows more steeply. It can reach a size of 30 cm.   It is grooved and wrinkled. The  Fungi of Britain and Europe book states that "it has a resinous covering which melts in heat" and this can be tested using a match!  It smells strongly acidic and grows either in small groups or can be solitary.  Usually found on broad-leaved trees or conifers.  May be seen all year but this is a rare bracket.

If I have interpreted the FRDBI records correctly then it has only been recorded 40 times in the UK.
I was very kindly sent a photograph by DC taken in Gloucestershire and was the second recording in that county.  This photograph can now be viewed on Browse 4 of

Phellinus igniarius

During May I came across my first ever sighting of a Willow bracket.  Having never seen one before I was blessed with seeing on the same day, a young example and then later a mature example. 

The young Willow bracket is very different in appearance to how it matures.  Being hoof-like, and bracket-like, rusty brown, but when mature being grey with a cracked appearance.  Mostly seen on willow but also sometimes on broad-leaved trees.  This can also be seen on Browse 4.