Giant Polypore

Meripilus giganteus


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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

Giant Polypore Meripilus giganteus (Pers.) P. Karst. syn. Polyporus giganteus (Pers.) Fr. syn. Grifola gigantea (Pers.) Pilát (illustrated (e) 25% life size) Fruit body 50–80cm across, rosette-like, short stems from the common base ending in numerous flattened, fan-shaped caps, each 10–30cm across, 1–2cm thick; the upper surface concentrically zoned light and darker brown, covered in very fine, brown scales; radially grooved. Flesh white; soft, fibrous; taste slightly sour, smell pleasant. Tubes 4–6mm long, whitish. Pores 3–4 per mm, subcircular, often late in forming; whitish, bruising blackish. Spores 5.5–6.5×4.5–5¼, broadly ovate to subglobose, hyaline. Hyphal structure monomitic; generative hyphae without clamps. Habitat at the base of deciduous trees or stumps or arising from the roots some distance from them, usually on beech but sometimes also on oak; autumn. Common. Edible but can be a little bitter.

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