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Fomes fomentarius : Horses Hoof Mushroom

Popular source for vegan leather and an amazing healthy tea! Using mushrooms that are around 3 years old can yield small amounts of the fibrous and felt like trama layer to the mushroom. After some hard work and skill, you can remove this layer and make amadou leather from it! Truly beautiful and something I'd love to try making here on the farm!

Also See Similar:
Phellinus igniarius
Ganoderma applanatum (Atist's Conk)


Kingdom : Fungi
Division : Basidiomycota
Class : Agaricomycetes
Order : Polyporales
Family : Polyporaceae
Genus : Fomes
Species :
Fomes fomentarius :                                             Horse Hoof Mushroom, Tinder Mushroom

Where to Find This Mushroom in the Wild?

Fomes fomentarius, aka more commonly referred to as the horse's hoof mushroom around here, is a parasitic mushroom that feeds primarily off of dying birch trees and stumps while leaving a thick white mycelium cluster in the wood (white wood rot look). This mushroom is very easy to find if you can find a dead birch tree... Covering them sometimes like a rock climber's dream wall in my opinion. 

Each year a new layer will form on the margin adding the ring like pattern of growth each year. Taking years to grow to a decent size, overharvesting of these mushrooms has made them a little bit tougher to find. From what we've read letting them grow for about 3 years is favorable. We here would love to set up more sections of downed trees for the mycelium to feast off of and we can continue to study this beautiful specimen with so many uses. 



Description of the Mushroom

Cap: grows in size each year with another ring, wood like outer layer that is typically brow and tannish in color. Striations for layers can be easily seen with age. Hardened but gets easy to peel after soaked in water for a few days. Harder as you move away from the margin. 
Stem / Stipe: not existent. Attached at base to tree / stump. 
Pores:  Pore surface is light tan to brown in color darkening later in the year. Can bruise very easily (can leave a good thumbprint). Pores lead to tube layers that extend to the trama layer. these tube layers can be cut out and brewed into tea for medicinal purposes. s
Hymenium: spore layer
Spore Print: pale yellow color 
Ecology:  Grows parasitically on birch trees primarily, however does become a decomposer once the tree has died. Can be found all year long. Also found on beech trees here near the coast of Lake Huron. 
Edibility: not a choice edible (too tough) however can be brewed into a healthy tea. 


Interesting Facts

This mushroom is not considered to be a choice edible but can be consumed even though the taste has been described as acrid and unpleasant overall. The tube like fruit body can be brewed into a healthy tea to help fight cancer/inflammatory/diabetes effects and is currently undergoing more studies to better determine these claims. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on the subject either, I'm just reading what the real scientists on the subject say. 

Some Great Research HERE!!

Edibility / Recipes

Not a good eating mushroom (haven't tried it personally) 
Used for Amadou leather, good styptic/tinder/leather alternative. also can brew the tubular fruit body into a tea we have yet to try. 




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