Fistulina hepatica or beefsteak fungus or beefsteak polypore as it is commonly called is a common edible fungus in the Great Britain, but is less common in NOrth America. It is found in many parts of the world like North America, Australia and Europe. It is usually found growing on mature living oaks or chestnuts and is known to cause brown heart rot. It is a bracket fungus commonly called as beefsteak fungus or ox tongue fungus due to its striking resemblance to a chunk of fresh meat or liver. It is widely used as a substitute for meat and has been known to be used a lot by the Europeans especially the French. In the natural environment where this fungus is found it is very easy to identify this fungus as it looks like a mass of red meat sticking to a log.
Fistulina is not considered as a “true” polpore inspite its tubes being packed tightly because the tubes are discrete units like the bristles of a brush. Thus leading the “Polyporologists” to classify and give F. hepatica its own family Fistulinaceae
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I believe I’ve found two here in SW Missouri on a chinquapin oak. Looks very orange though, red at the edge. Does turn red if cut. Someone told me it could be a cinnabar polypore.
in CA, they also grow with chinquapin and wax myrtle, in Australia with eucalyptus. I suspect that all hardwoods are potential hosts for this species.
Altho they all bleed red juice, the hymenium can turn white with age, and the bright red colors can fade with exposure.
Created: 2007-01-10 00:04:05 CST (-0500) by Darvin DeShazer (darv)
Last modified: 2018-10-29 20:22:53 CDT (-0400) by Nathan Wilson (nathan)
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