Ganoderma applanatum

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Artist's bracket
Ganoderma applanatum 2010 G1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Polyporales
Family: Ganodermataceae
Genus: Ganoderma
G. applanatum
Binomial name
Ganoderma applanatum
  • Boletus applanatus
  • Elfvingia applanata
  • Fomes applanatus
  • Fomes vegetus
  • Ganoderme aplani
  • Ganoderma lipsiense
  • Polyporus applanatus
  • Polyporus vegetus
Ganoderma applanatum
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
pores on hymenium
no distinct cap
hymenium is decurrent
lacks a stipe
spore print is brown
ecology is parasitic
edibility: inedible

Ganoderma applanatum (the artist's bracket, artist's conk,[1] or bear bread) is a bracket fungus with a cosmopolitan distribution.


This fungus grows as a mycelium within the wood of living and dead trees. It forms fruiting bodies that are 3–30 cm wide × 5–50 cm long × 1–10 cm thick,[2] hard as leather, woody-textured, and inedible.[3] They are white at first but soon turn dark red-brown. Brown spores are released from the pores on the underside of the fruiting body. The tubes are 4–12 mm deep and terminate in pores that are round with 4–6 per millimetre.[2] The fruiting bodies are perennial, and may persist for multiple years, increasing in size and forming new layers of pores as they grow.

The similar Ganoderma brownii has thicker, darker flesh, often a yellow pore surface, and larger basidiospores than G. applanatum.[2]

Ganoderma applanatum is a wood-decay fungus, causing a rot of heartwood in a variety of trees. It can also grow as a pathogen of live sapwood, particularly on older trees that are sufficiently wet. It is a common cause of decay and death of beech and poplar, and less often of several other tree genera, including alder, apple, elm, buckeye and horse chestnut, maple, oak, walnut, willow, western hemlock, Douglas fir, old or sick olive tree, and spruce.


A drawing on the lower side of the sporocarp of G. applanatum

A peculiarity of this fungus lies in its use as a drawing medium for artists. When the fresh white pore surface is rubbed or scratched with a sharp implement, dark brown tissue under the pores is revealed, resulting in visible lines and shading that become permanent once the fungus is dried.

G. applanatum is a medicinal farming crop that is used as a flavor enhancer in Asian cuisine. G. applanatum is non-digestible in its raw form, but it is used for cooking, because of its rich mushroom flavor. Blending with filtration, or cold pressing in water, is a common method for creating ganoderma drinks. Hot herbal soups, or fermentation in lemon acid with onion is a common use for cooking with G. applanatum slices as an umami flavor enhancer in fermented foods.

Ganoderma applanatum is known in Japan as kofuki-saru-no-koshikake (コフキサルノコシカケ),[4][5] literally meaning "powder-covered monkey's bench", and in China as shu-she-ling-zhi (树舌灵芝), where it has long been used in traditional medicines.[6] Studies have shown Ganoderma applanatum contains compounds with potent anti-tumor,[7][8][9] antibacterial[10][11] anti-fibrotic[12] properties.


There is anecdotal references of higher primates consuming this fungus for self-medication.[13]

In the book Gorillas in the Mist Dian Fossey writes the following about gorillas eating Ganoderma applanatum:

Still another special food (for the gorillas) is bracket fungus (Ganoderma applanatum)... The shelflike projection is difficult to break free, so younger animals often have to wrap their arms and legs awkwardly around a trunk and content themselves by only gnawing at the delicacy. Older animals who succeed in breaking the fungus loose have been observed carrying it several hundred feet from its source, all the while guarding it possessively from more dominant individuals' attempts to take it away. Both the scarcity of the fungus and the gorillas' liking of it cause many intragroup squabbles, a number of which are settled by the silverback, who simply takes the item of contention for himself.[14]

Larval galls (black objects) of Agathomyia wankowiczii on an artist's bracket fungus

The midge Agathomyia wankowiczii lays its eggs on the fruiting body of the fungus, forming galls.[15] Female forked fungus beetles, Bolitotherus cornutus lay their eggs on the surface of the fruiting bodies and the larvae live inside of the fruiting bodies of Ganoderma applanatum and a few other bracket fungi.[16] Meanwhile, the fly Hirtodrosophila mycetophaga courts and mates entirely on the underside of dark fungi.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Overson, Alissa. "Ganoderma applanatum: The Artist's Conk". The Fungal Kingdom. Evergreen State College. Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Ginns, James (2017). Polypores of British Columbia (Fungi: Basidiomycota). Victoria, BC: Province of British Columbia - Forests, Lands, and NR Operations. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-7726-7053-3.
  3. ^ Meuninck, Jim (2017). Foraging Mushrooms Oregon: Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Edible Wild Mushrooms. Falcon Guides. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-4930-2669-2.
  4. ^ "kofuki- saru-no-koshikake (コフキサルノコシカケ)". Flora of Mikawa. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  5. ^ Mizuno, Takashi (1995). "Sarunokoshikake: Polyporaecea fungi‐kofukisarunokoshikake, ganoderma applanatum and tsugasarunokoshikake, fomitopsis pinicola". Food Reviews International. 11: 129–133. doi:10.1080/87559129509541023.
  6. ^ "About Asian Anti-Cancer Materia Database".
  7. ^ MIZUNO, TAKASHI; et al. "Isolation and characterization of antitumor active β-d-glucans from the fruit bodies of Ganoderma applanatum". Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., Amsterdam - Printed in The Netherlands. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  8. ^ Taichi Usui; et al. (2014). "Antitumor Activity of Water-Soluble β-D-Glucan Elaborated by Ganoderma applanatum". Agricultural and Biological Chemistry. 45: 323–326. doi:10.1080/00021369.1981.10864512.
  9. ^ Chairul; Tokuyama, Takashi; Hayashi, Yoshinori; Nishizawa, Mugio; Tokuda, Harukuni; Chairul, Sofni M.; Hayashi, Yuji (26 March 1991). "Applanoxidic acids A, B, C and D, biologically active tetracyclic triterpenes from Ganoderma applanatum". Phytochemistry. 30 (12): 4105–4109. doi:10.1016/0031-9422(91)83476-2.
  10. ^ Smania, Jr; Monache, Franco Delie; Smania, Elza de Fatima Albino; Cuneo, Rodrigo S. (1999). "Antibacterial Activity of Steroidal Compounds Isolated from Ganoderma applanatum". International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 1, 1999 Issue 4 (4): 325–330. doi:10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v1.i4.40.
  11. ^ Osińska-Jaroszuk, Monika; Jaszek, Magdalena; Mizerska-Dudka, Magdalena; Błachowicz, Adriana; Rejczak, Tomasz Piotr; Janusz, Grzegorz; Wydrych, Jerzy; Polak, Jolanta; Jarosz-Wilkołazka, Anna; Kandefer-Szerszeń, Martyna (July 2014). "Exopolysaccharide from Ganoderma applanatum as a Promising Bioactive Compound with Cytostatic and Antibacterial Properties". BioMed Research International. 2014: 743812. doi:10.1155/2014/743812. PMC 4120920. PMID 25114920.
  12. ^ Luo, Q; Di, L; Dai, WF; Lu, Q; Yan, YM; Yang, ZL; Li, RT; Cheng, YX (February 23, 2015). "Applanatumin A, a new dimeric meroterpenoid from Ganoderma applanatum that displays potent antifibrotic activity". Org. Lett. 17 (5): 1110–3. doi:10.1021/ol503610b. PMID 25706347.
  13. ^ "MEDICINAL PROPERTIES IN THE DIET OF GORILLAS" (PDF). African Study Monographs. 23 (2): 71. June 2002. doi:10.14989/68214.
  14. ^ Fossey, Dian (1983). Gorillas in the Mist. Mariner Books. p. 52. ISBN 9780395282175.
  15. ^ Brian Spooner; Peter Roberts (1 April 2005). Fungi. Collins. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-00-220152-0. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  16. ^ Liles, M.P. (1956). "A study of the life history of the forked fungus beetle, Bolitotherus cornutus". Ohio J Sci. 56: 329–337. hdl:1811/4397/V56N06_329.pdf.
  17. ^ "The Evolutionary Biology of Colonizing Species - PDF Free Download". Retrieved 2019-11-18.

External links[edit]