Lenzites betulina

Lenzites betulina
Image Courtesy of Emily Johnson
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Group of Fungi: Polypores

Family: Polyporaceae

Latin Name: Lenzites betulina (L.) Fr.

Common Name: Gilled Polypore

Description: Semicircular, fan-shaped to somewhat kidney-shaped structure, tough and leathery; cap 3/4–4 in (2–10 cm) across and 1/4–3/4 in (0.5–2.0 cm) thick, outer surface with concentric multicolored bands, hairy, pale buff to dingy yellow-brown to grayish-brown; lower surface with what appear to be gills, these broad, widely spaced, cream colored; stalk lacking or up to 1 in (2.5 cm) long and 1.4–3/4 in (0.5–2 cm) thick; spores white in mass.

Biological Role: Decomposer of wood.

Habitat: On fallen branches and wood debris of broadleaf trees or more rarely conifers; usually occurring in overlapping clusters but sometimes scattered.

Geographical Distribution: Widely distributed throughout North America.

Comments: When viewed from above, Lenzites betulina resembles several other relatively small polypores such as Trametes versicolor. However, the gill-like structures (which are actually elongated pores) of Lenzites betulina are distinctive.

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