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Conifer Mazegill

Conifer Mazegill (Gloeophyllum sepiarium)

Other names: rusty gilled polypore, yellow-red gill polypore

When to see: late summer and autumn

The conifer mazegill (Gloeophyllum sepiarium) is a saprophytic species of fungus that grows on dead or dying wood of conifer trees. It forms thin, bracket-shaped fruiting bodies that are orange to brown in colour. The fan-shaped cap is about 2-15cm across.

Close up photo of conifer mazegill mushroom
Fan-shaped cap of the conifer mazegill (Gloeophyllum sepiarium)

The conifer mazegill has distinctive orangey gills on the underside:

Close up of gills of conifer mazegill
Orangey gills of the conifer mazegill

By way of comparison, some other bracket fungi such as the birch polypore (Fomitopsis betulina) do not have gills but, rather, a smooth pore surface:

Close up photo of underside of a birch polypore
Smooth underside of the birch polypore

Conifer mazegill causes a brown rot of the wood it is growing on, breaking down the cellulose and hemicellulose.

It is widely distributed across Europe and North America, being found in woodland/forests, in woodyards, and in urban settings. The ones pictured on this page were all growing on the pine bench in my garden here in Powburn.

The conifer mazegill is generally thought to have no medicinal purposes, although some old studies (>20 years) have suggested it may have anti-tumour properties (Wasser, 2002)

Edible?

No.

I could be wrong

I’m not an expert at identifying fungi – I’m just a hobbyist. So, I may well be wrong about the identity of mushrooms shown here. If you think I’ve misidentified anything then please feel free to get in touch using the Contact Form and I’ll be pleased to update the information. Thanks!

REMEMBER: Unless you are 100% confident that you know what you are doing, NEVER EAT wild mushrooms – many are poisonous and/or can cause severe illness. Look but don’t eat!

Sources

iNaturalist (undated) ‘Conifer Mazegill’ [WWW] https://www.inaturalist.org/guide_taxa/1199598 Accessed 6 October 2023.

Ultimate Mushroom (undated) ‘Gloeophyllum sepiarium’ [WWW] https://ultimate-mushroom.com/inedible/704-gloeophyllum-sepiarium.html Accessed 6 October 2023.

Wasser, S.P. (2002) ‘Medicinal mushrooms as a source of antitumor and immunomodulating polysaccharides’ Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2002) 60:258–274 [WWW] https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/8c23e841/files/uploaded/medicinal_mushrooms.pdf Accessed 6 October 2023.

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