Hoof fungus – Fomes fomentarius

Fungi of the Week

31st January 2020 | Info

Common name: Hoof fungus 

Scientific name: Fomes fomentarius 

Introduction: Hoof fungus is a native bracket fungus that has parasitic and saprobic qualities. It typically grows on birch trees and gained its name due to its hoof-like shape.  


Cap: Annual layers of tubes layer to form a hoof-like shape. As the fungus matures, it typically gets thicker. The upper section of the cap varies in shades of grey with a brownish tinge to its outer edge and is infertile. The lower part of the cap is a white-grey colour that develops a brown look when bruised and is fertile. 

Pores: Minute and spaced 2-3mm apart.  

Stem: Stemless. 

Spores: White, discharge in spring. Oblong-ellipsoidal in shape. 

Flesh: Hard and pale brown. 


 Grows on the side of various deciduous tree species but mainly Birch.

[Image: Hoof Fungus on the side of a tree]

Impact on Trees:

Hoof fungus infects trees through broken bark, causing it to rot. It is parasitic and becomes saprobic once a tree has died.

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