top of page

Fomitopsis betulina : Birch Polypore

One of the two mushrooms carried by "Otzi the iceman" over 5,000 years ago! This mushroom is a very common brown rot fungus meaning that in this type of decay, the wood shrinks, shows a brown discoloration, and cracks into roughly cubical pieces, a phenomenon termed cubical fracture. The fungi of certain types remove cellulose compounds from wood and hence the wood turns brown.

Also See Similar:
Phellinus igniarius
Ganoderma applanatum (Atist's Conk)
Fomes fomentarius (horses hoof)
Tyromyces chioneus (White Cheese Polypore) 

Kingdom : Fungi
Division : Basidiomycota
Class : Agaricomycetes
Order : Polyporales
Family : Fomitopsidaceae
Genus : Fomitopsis
Species :
Fomitopsis betulina :                                             Birch Polypore Mushroom

Where to Find This Mushroom in the Wild?

The Birch Polypore mushroom can be found on pretty much any dead / dying birch tree in the woods being extremely common throughout the Norther Hemisphere. The Brown Birch Polypore can lay dormant for years until a stress factor arises to the tree and its environment to awake this fungi! Example being a strong winds damaging the tree and causing the stress to weaken the trees defense mechanisms allowing this mushroom to thrive. Killing the tree. 

Check all over knocked down birch trees and you're sure to find a few of these growing in a few different shapes and sizes on the logs. 



Description of the Mushroom

Cap: No distinct cap 
Stem / Stipe: None , attached at base to rotting and decaying birch wood
Pores: on Hymenium
Hymenium: decurrent
Spore Print: White in color
Ecology:  parasitic (grows on dying birch trees)
Edibility: yes, but does not taste very good. Many other methods to consume this mushroom like a tea, tincture, powder, and more!


Interesting Facts

One of the two mushrooms carried by "Otzi the iceman" over 5,000 years ago! Believed to have been utilized as a medicine to help rid the body of a tape worm!!

Edibility / Recipes

It is edible, however, the taste is extremely bitter and not really enjoyed by anyone. Yet, a healthy and medicinal tea can be made with these mushrooms too

  Some scientists believe that Ӧtzi might have used the fungus for medical purposes (Capasso 1998) and, although the idea arouses some controversy (Pöder 2005), the long tradition of the use of F. betulina in folk medicine is a fact (Reshetnikov et al. 2001; Wasser 2010). Infusion from F. betulina fruiting bodies was popular, especially in Russia, Baltic countries, Hungary, Romania for its nutritional and calming properties. Fungal tea was used against various cancer types, as an immunoenhancing, anti-parasitic agent, and a remedy for gastrointestinal disorders (Grienke et al. 2014; Lucas 1960; Peintner and Pöder 2000; Semerdžieva and Veselský 1986; Shamtsyan et al. 2004). Antiseptic and anti-bleeding dressings made from fresh F. betulina fruiting body were applied to wounds and the powder obtained from dried ones was used as a painkiller (Grienke et al. 2014; Papp et al. 2015; Rutalek 2002).  "


Screenshot 2022-11-15 105801.png

Sources Listed Here


  5% OFF orders above $50 

bottom of page