identification of a polypore

Tom Volk tjvolk at
Fri Apr 14 08:26:44 EST 1995

Hi Mike.

In article <5uwcYRm.mikefer at> mikefer at writes:

>From: mikefer at
>Newsgroups: bionet.mycology
>Subject: identification of a polypore
>Date: Thu, 13 Apr 95 23:14:46 -0500
>Organization: Delphi (info at email, 800-695-4005 voice)

>I am trying to identify a stalked polypore with limited reference resources.
>Soooo. I thought I'd ask. This was found growing on the ground in a pasture
>has a woody stipe attached to the cap on its side in a small indentation. Any
>ideas where to start looking at the genus level? Thanks

This is certainly not as easy as you might think. Although some polypores 
can be easily identified macroscopically, they are the exception rather than 
the rule.  The days are gone when all polypores could be classified as 
Polyporus or Fomes.  Gilbertson & Ryvarden describe 100 genera of Polypores 
in their 2-volume "North American Polypores"  Modern genera of polypores are 
based largely on microscopic characteristics (monomitic vs dimitic vs. 
trimitic, clamps vs. simple septate, certain kinds of cystidia, etc) and 
whether the fungus causes a white or a brown rot.  Some of the polypores are 
very interesting to look at in the microscope-- I recommend it highly.  
There is also a computerized synoptic key to polypores, using the above 
characteristics, called PolyKey by Adaskaveg and Dunlop. I recommend it very 
As for your polypore in the pasture, I'm sorry to say have no idea without 
seeing it or knowing additional information about its microscopic 

Incidentally I am scheduled to gicve a morning workshop on 
introduction to identification of polypores and corticiod (resupinate crust) 
fungi at this year's NAMA foray in Bemidji Minnesota at the end of August.
A beautiful place and  a fun time.

---Tom Volk  Center for Forest Mycology Research, Madison Wisconsin
<tjvolk at>

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