Pycnoporus cinnabarinus

Pycnoporus cinnabarinus
Image Courtesy of Emily Johnson
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Group of Fungi: Polypores

Family: Polyporaceae

Latin Name: Pycnoporus cinnabarinus (Jacq.) P. Karst.

Common Name: Cinnabar-red Polypore

Description: Semicircular to kidney-shaped structure, cap 1–4 in (2.5–10 cm) across and 1/4–5/8 in (0.5–1.5 cm) thick, flat; upper surface cinnabar red to orange-red to orange but ultimately fading to dirty white in age; finely hairy and rough at first but becoming more or less smooth; lower spore-bearing surface orange-red at first and fading less than the upper surface in age; stalk lacking or rudimentary; spores white in mass.

Biological Role: Decomposer of decaying wood.

Habitat: On logs, stumps and fallen branches of broadleaf trees and more rarely on conifers; solitary or occurring in small groups, the individual fruiting bodies sometimes fused and often overlapping.

Geographical Distribution: Found throughout North America.

Comments: Freshly formed specimens of this colorful polypore are difficult to overlook in nature. Older specimens are still distinctive if one examines the lower surface, which tends to retain its orange-red color much longer than the upper surface.

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