Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

The winter polypore

Polyporus brumalis


This small, dark brown polypore distinguishes itself from similar species by having a stem which does not become black, a smooth (rather than hairy) cap margin, and tiny circular pores. It fruits on the dead wood of hardwoods, and has a special affinity for birch. The tough fruiting bodies are persistent and can be found year-round, but it tends to come up fresh in fall and spring. Description: Ecology: Saprobic on decaying wood of hardwoods and especially frequent on dead birch wood; growing alone or gregariously; fall and spring, but found nearly year-round; widely distributed in North America. Cap: 1.5-10 cm; broadly convex, often with a sunken central depression; round in outline; dry; smooth or finely hairy; yellowish brown to dark brown or reddish brown; the margin usually inrolled, at least when young. Pore Surface: Whitish; not bruising; running slightly down the stem; 2-3 round pores per mm; tubes to 3 mm deep. Stem: Central or somewhat off-center; 2.5-5 cm long; 2-5 mm wide; equal; dry; smooth or finely hairy; whitish to grayish or pale brownish; tough. Flesh: Whitish; thin; very tough. Spore Print: White. Microscopic Features: Spores 5-7 x 1.5-2.5 µ; smooth; cylindrical ( mushroom expert)


location: North America, Europe edibility: Inedible fungus colour: Brown normal size: 5-15cm cap type: Convex to shield shaped stem type: Lateral, rudimentary or absent flesh: Pore material cannot be seperated from flesh of the cap spore colour: White, cream or yellowish habitat: Grows on wood Polyporus brumalis Fr. Fruit body annual. Cap 1.5-10cm across, circular, convex or depressed with an inrolled margin; yellow-brown to reddish brown or blackish brown; dry, densely hairy when young, becoming almost smooth. Tubes 1-3mm deep, slightly decurrent. Pores 2-3 per mm, circular to angular; whitish. Stem 20-60 x 1-5mm, central or off center; grayish or brownish; minutely hairy or smooth. Flesh 1-2mm thick; white. Spores cylindrical to sausage-shaped, smooth, 5-7 x 1.5-2.5µ. Deposit white. Habitat on dead hardwoods, especially birch. Common. Found in eastern North America, west to the Great Plains, and occasionally in the Pacific Northwest. Season June-October. Not edible (rogersmushrooms)


Medicinal effects Anti-tumor properties An extract of culture mycelia was able to inhibit the growth of Sarcoma 180 solid cancer in mice by 90% (Ohtsuka et al., 1973). Antibacterial activity Using the streak-plate method (a test for antibacterial activity), this species did not inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus nor Escherichia coli on either thiamine peptone medium or malt agar ( ) healing-mushroom

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


Saarbrigger 9 years ago

Intresting fungi. Nice series.

arlanda 9 years ago

Sorry I cant help you. I have a few polypores but didnt start to try tom
identify them seriously

AlexKonig 9 years ago

thanks, arlanda, first i thought at a chantarelle from above and was amazed to find pores underneath.!

AlexKonig 9 years ago

i'm not happy with the species, i will look the next day for other possibilities from the polyporus genus. I think my spotting has to big pores for ths id.

arlanda 9 years ago

very nice polypore!

Spotted by

Horst aan de Maas, Limburg, Netherlands

Spotted on Jan 6, 2012
Submitted on Jan 8, 2012

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors

Join the Project Noah Team Join Project Noah Team