Observation 92188: Ganoderma applanatum (Pers.) Pat.
When: 2012-04-07
No herbarium specimen

Proposed Names

26% (10)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: 4-6 pores pr mm, pore surface white and easily staining chocolate, growth on downed Douglas fir, surface cracking in age.
-14% (2)
Recognized by sight: Darv’s suggestiong for observation 92744

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Just did. Can’t be.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-14 21:10:44 EDT (-0400)

According to Michael Kuo, “Ganoderma annularis, found on hardwoods in California, has tubes that do not develop in new layers each year, and extremely thin flesh; its spores measure 10-12 × 6-8 µ. Ganoderma brownii, also found on California hardwoods, has layered tubes and spores 9-12 × 7-9 µ.”

You have stated this was found on Douglas-fir, which is not a hardwood. This observation has extremely thick flesh (would like to know how thick, hint, hint). Thus it is unlikely to be Ganoderma annularis (which I had never heard of before, and thank for for the suggestion).

please compare with obs. 92744
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-14 10:36:28 EDT (-0400)


I collected 92744 because it’s habit and characteristics match closely with the second photo’s specimen.

Still wondering
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-04-14 05:34:11 EDT (-0400)

about the brown bruising of the pores? Looking at the context and spores would make it easy to tell these alternatives apart.

By: C. A. Harris (caharris)
2012-04-14 03:12:40 EDT (-0400)

Looks to me like Fomitopsis officinalis. I will add a few photos by

friend and collector.

About collection
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-13 22:06:48 EDT (-0400)

I was not able to find these two specimens again. I will continue to return to this section and look.

I did collect several fruiting bodies that I felt were VERY similar to these. I believe my new collection to be Fomitopsis officinalis, collected at 1200 ft elevation. I will update this comment with an observation number.

I will change my vote here to ‘could be’ for Ganoderma applanatum so that both suggested names are equally weighed.

I hope to find this observation’s specimens again.

RE: Tim Sage’s comment
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-13 13:46:38 EDT (-0400)

“Wouldn’t this log be in much worse shape had it been there for 15++ years?” Not necessarily. Depends a lot in my experience on elevation, which we just learned was under 2000 feet. Also depends on the age of the log when it fell, and the succession of fungi eating the log (a fascinating topic all by itself btw).

Who in the PNW has not seen old-growth stumps where the interior rotted out before the exterior? Sometimes the thick bark resists fungal degradation while the cambium and heartwood more quickly rot away. The opposite also happens, and perhaps more frequently since a lot of second-growth trees have thinner bark that is more susceptible to fire damage. I don’t see fire damage here, though.

Interesting subject, apparently.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-13 13:37:38 EDT (-0400)

Searched MO, and found the following observations which I feel are good representatives of G. applanatum for your area, Britney: 10389 (with All the Rain Promises for scale); 92331; 79850; 77894; 74939; 70770; 71323; 57226 (with Pleuteus cervinus); 56041; 65067; 65047; and finally this one 64745: which looks similar to this observation but has a negative score, even though it still retains the name Ganoderma applanatum.

Does not seem like much concensus, does it? Ganodermas are known as shellac shelves, and should have a portion of the upper sporocarp which looks like brown or reddish-brown shellac. Arora notes a single large Ganoderma applanatum can produce 5 trillion spores during its lifetime, and often this results in a coating of spores on top. A finger smudge of the top should result in copius spores plus should expose some of the shellac-like original fungus. This spore production ceases after the fungus uses all available nutrients, and starts the long decomposition process. But in general the sporocarp should be much wider than it is tall, spreading fan-shaped, on hardwood or Douglas-fir.

Regardless of how this turns out, it is an important learning moment here.

I’d call it that
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2012-04-13 05:40:54 EDT (-0400)

> On a side note. About this voting system. I’m not sure why a person would vote “I’d call it that” in agreement with Ganoderma applanatum and then change it to “as if”, followed by voting “I’d call it that” for Fomitopsis officinalis.

Oh crap, I think that person is me. I found Darvin’s arguments convincing and switched my vote. At the end of the day, you are right, I don’t really know.

Rory brings up a great point…
By: Tim Sage (T. Sage)
2012-04-13 04:18:23 EDT (-0400)

Wouldn’t this log be in much worse shape had it been there for 15++ years?

About the map and elevation
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-13 02:33:41 EDT (-0400)

I was WAY below 2000 feet and on an old logging trail that winds up along the Roaring River. The locals collectively call quite a few ‘peaks’ Snow Peak, so that’s what I’ve called it here. Perhaps that’s misleading.
I’m not sure what’s up with the map and Lacont/Lacomt but you are correct about the Mill city/Lacomb orientation.

I’ve been looking over the OR,WA, NCA observations for both G. applanatum and
Fomitopsis officinalis and it seems that some of Tim Sage’s and Drew H.‘s observations match well with mine here in the habit and staining and in habitat. Combine that with the discussions in Deb’s obs.(63699)…

All discussions aside, I need to go and collect this and look more carefully for the defining factors for Fomitopsis officinalis. According to Darv in Deb’s observation 63699…
“Created: 2011-03-29 22:24:45 MST (-0700)
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
Summary: Dimitic hyphal system

It does have thick walled skeletal hyphae, as well as thin walled generative hyphae, but they are not diagnostic feature for this species. It lacks the third type, binding hyphae. The defining features, according to Gilbertson are white, chalky, bitter taste, a pileus that is not crustose and sclerids in the context."

The weather should be fair enough to get out again tomorrow. Maybe I can find it again. There were at least four fruiting bodies on the fallen tree.

I’m concerned about the map, too.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-13 02:08:47 EDT (-0400)

Britney states it was found on Snow Peak which should be between Mill City on the North Santiam River, and Lacomb. But the map states either Lacomt or Lacont, which don’t exist in Oregon according to Oregon Geographical Names by Lewis A. McArthur. The map also doesn’t show elevation. Was this found above 2000 feet, Britney? If so, it is unlikely this is G. applanatum, as it favors riverbottoms (like the Santiam River running through Lebanon).

Tasting some of the stem context (it might require an ax, saw or sharp knife) should give a quick determination if it is bitter (Arora calls F. officinalis Quinine conk for a reason) or mild.

Rory and all
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-13 00:25:37 EDT (-0400)

I’ll try to get back to this. I was 100% sure of Ganoderma applanatum both in the field and after I got home and checked the details.

This may look ‘ashen’ or white but I don’t believe there are white spores to be seen as was mentioned. It wasn’t chalky, nor was it covered in any spores. It was bald and dry. This isn’t hoof shaped either like the other examples here on MO. The second picture shows the growth habit, flatly and out-ward. Ganoderma applanatum fruits in large numbers here, is often a washed out grey or brown color, and has layered growth rings. Matchmaker software has quite a few examples of Ganoderma applanatum that look very similar to this (minus that strange attachment.)

I think this snag had some fruits while it was upright and then those continued to fruit after it fell. That tiny neck attachment that makes it look like a wasp nest – seems like it fruited and then gravity pulled it in another direction and it hung on to fruit again.

On a side note. About this voting system. I’m not sure why a person would vote “I’d call it that” in agreement with Ganoderma applanatum and then change it to “as if”, followed by voting “I’d call it that” for Fomitopsis officinalis. That’s a higher vote than even Darv’s (in both directions) and sort of implies “I don’t know”. I wouldn’t swing a vote that hard on something I was so willing to jump ship on…..just my two unsolicited cents.

Seriously? Check the ecology of the situation.
By: Rory Pease (Rory Pease)
2012-04-12 23:12:44 EDT (-0400)

That is applanatum. Check the age of the tree, the type of tree, and take a cross section. Or send someone a sample to explore under a scope.

Small specimens yet.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-10 13:59:20 EDT (-0400)

I counted the rings on one of your specimens, Britney, and can see 14. I have a specimen that I’ve been watching for 15 years now in my front yard: still moderately fresh although it has been laying on the ground for that time. My specimen is over 60 years old. I would estimate some of the specimens near Bear Springs Ranger Station are 100-120 years old.

When they finally start to degrade, they turn chalky: brittle, bleached white tones, sometimes even with moss growing on them.

Thanks Darv and Daniel, you’ve changed my vote.
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-09 23:50:16 EDT (-0400)

Thanks for taking the time to explain this for me. I plan to come back to this section of Snow Peak next week and I’ll definitely try to find this again. I’d like to do the bitter test and look at this more closely. Your certainty is all I really need to agree on, but this one fooled me well.

Make a spore print
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2012-04-09 23:20:59 EDT (-0400)

Don’t let the brown color mis-guide you. Lots of polypores stain brown at some specific time in the development of a new layer of tubes, usually when young and tender. That feature is not unique to Ganoderma, or even consistent within Ganoderma.
This conk has white spores, a pendulous habit with a lateral attachment and the photo shows annual growth rings of at least a dozen years. One quick look under a microscope and you will be convinced.

Spore color
By: christopher hodge (christopher hodge)
2012-04-09 21:23:29 EDT (-0400)

If you recall seeing residual spores around or can get your hands on some its spores, you can easily tell. Regardless of whether they are whitish or brownish, it is cool specimen. Nice Find!

By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-09 20:54:57 EDT (-0400)

I deeply respect your instincts here. I am not convinced of Fomitopsis officinalis though.

I can find no description that allows this observation to stain so easily and NOT be Ganoderma.

Is it the concentric rings of yearly growth that were the deciding factor for you to settle on F. officinalis?


Cannot speak to browning.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-09 20:30:59 EDT (-0400)

I rarely find it nearby. Usually found at higher elevations in the Cascades. But Snow Peak certainly might have it.

Ganoderma oregonensis typically (in my area) grows on old-growth Black cottonwood, especially along the Columbia River. It also tends to spread further outward with each succeeding year. I’ve seen some G. oregonensis that is nearly 40 inches across. Fomitopsis o., OTOH, can stay hoof-shaped for many, many years. If you look carefully at your photos Britney, you should see rings produced every year as the fungus grew. Each ring equals one growing season (1 year). Sometimes it is possible to find sporocarps with 90 degree angles in them. That indicates the fungus started growing while the snag was upright, but changed direction after the snag fell. Pore surface always parallel to the ground for maximum spore dispersal.

does F. officinalis also stain quickly brown
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-09 18:53:21 EDT (-0400)

when the pore surface is injured (or just barely touched)?

Very similar to Fomitopsis officinalis MO# 86980
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-09 18:07:47 EDT (-0400)

To tell them apart, put some of the dried sporocarp (stipe) in your mouth for about 15-20 seconds. If F. officinalis will taste strongly of quinine. (Spit it out after, btw.)

While I typically find F. officinalis on Larix, Tsuga and spruce, I wouldn’t put it past that catch-all Pseudotsuga either.

good id River.
By: Richard and Danielle Kneal (bloodworm)
2012-04-07 23:34:45 EDT (-0400)

i really wanted to say Fomes.

Very unusual!
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2012-04-07 23:04:35 EDT (-0400)

Created: 2012-04-07 19:29:55 EDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-04-14 22:03:36 EDT (-0400)
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