Standard English Name(s): bracket fungus, shelf fungus
Local English Name(s): tree fungus, conk
Scientific Name(s): various species of Fomes, Fomitopsis, Ganoderma, etc.
Upriver Halkomelem Name(s):
Downriver Halkomelem Name(s):
Island Halkomelem Name(s):

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Description, Habitat, 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 Role(s):
     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 it.

Downriver Halkomelem Cultural Role(s):
Island Halkomelem Cultural Role(s):

      Some types of bracket fungi have been used for medicine or kept for good luck.