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Group of Fungi: Polypores
Latin Name: Ganoderma applanatum (Pers.) Pat.
Common Name: Artistís Conk
Description: Fan-shaped, shelf-like or (more rarely) hoof-shaped structure; cap 2–20 in (5–50 cm) or across (occasionally even larger) and 1/4–2 in (0.5–5 cm) thick, upper surface dull grayish brown to pale brown, concentric darker lines delimiting areas with a lighter color, tough and leathery texture; margin of cap white; spore-bearing surface white, becoming darker with age and bruising brown when disrupted, pores very small and difficult to see; stalk usually lacking; spores brown in mass.
Biological Role: Decomposer of wood but also can be considered as a pathogen when present on living trees.
Habitat: On fallen logs and stumps of broadleaf trees or more rarely conifers.
Geographical Distribution: Widely distributed throughout North America.
Comments: Ganoderma applanatum is one of the better known polypores. Because the white pore surface bruises easily and the color change is permanent, it is possible to make drawings or sketches with any sharp-pointed object. Fruiting bodies used in such a manner often show up at craft fairs, and the drawings that have been done can be quite extraordinary.