Name(s): bracket fungus, shelf fungus
Local English Name(s): tree fungus, conk
Scientific Name(s): various species of Fomes, Fomitopsis,
Upriver Halkomelem Name(s):
Downriver Halkomelem Name(s):
Island Halkomelem Name(s): tuw'tuw'uluqup
video / High
Ecology, & Distribution:
The bracket fungi (or shelf fungi) comprise
numerous species of the Polypore Family (Polyporaceae). Technically,
these are not plants, gaining their sustenance through the decomposition
of dead and dying plant matter. In our area there are numerous types
of bracket fungi-also widely known as conks-including species of the
fungal genera listed above as well as many others. The visible portion
of a bracket fungus consists of the fruiting, or reproductive, body.
Such structures may be an extremely long-lived and woody, adding a new
layer of living fungal matter at the base of the structure each year.
The vegetative portion of the fungus resides within the body of the
tree (or dead stump), where it consists of an extensive network of filamentous
fungal threads. Bracket fungi are widely distributed throughout the
province where they occur upon a variety of host species.
Upriver Halkomelem Cultural
Unidentified fungi (possibly some
type of bracket fungi) obtained from red alder trees or stumps were
considered edible. This unidentified fungus was said by some to cause
rain if one turned it upside down after picking it or if one scratched
Island Halkomelem Cultural Role(s):
Some types of bracket fungi have been
used for medicine or kept for good luck.