Common name: Giant Polypore
Scientific name: Meripilus giganteus
Introduction: Meripilus giganteus is a polypore fungus that is native to the UK and has both parasitic and saprobic qualities.
Cap: The ‘caps’ of a Meripilus giganteus vary in appearance and colour. When young, caps are typically more rounded and blunter whereas, when the fungus has matured, caps become thinner and sharper. They are also typically quite wide (can be up to 50cm wide). Less commonly, when the meripilus giganteus fungus grows upon buried roots, they take on a rosette-like appearance.
Tubes and Pores: Their tubes are off-white in colour and packed densely, ending with rounded white pores. Once the pore surface gets bruised, they quickly turn black or brown.
Spores: Ellipsoidal and smooth.
Meripilus giganteus form between buttresses/on recently felled stumps and at the base of some broadleaf trees such as beech late summer to early autumn.
Impact on Trees
This polypore fungus is parasitic and becomes saprobic once the host has died. It is a short-lived fungus that quickly rots away but can cause soft rot to form before developing into white rot. It primarily affects the main root structure of a tree, breaking down its pectin, causing its wood to become brittle and therefore more likely to fracture.
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