Pretty poly

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild January -

Some bracket fungi ap­pear in sum­mer then dis­in­te­grate, but oth­ers are stur­dier and last longer, be­com­ing more vis­i­ble when de­cid­u­ous trees lose their leaves. This abun­dant species is in the lat­ter cat­e­gory. An­other name for it is birch poly­pore – the un­der­side of its fleshy ‘fan’ lacks the gills found in many fungi, and in­stead is cov­ered in pores, which scat­ter spores through the air. Birch rots fast be­cause its heart­wood (the tree’s dead core) is not hard, en­sur­ing there is plenty of de­cay­ing wood for the birch bracket to colonise.


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