Trametes gibbosa

Say what you see! It has to be
A Lumpy Bracket

Most bracket fungi are usually every day ‘all year round’ kind of guys, some persisting even for years. And here’s one of the other common shelf fungi to perpetuate throughout the year, releasing it’s reproductive spores (sporulating) during spring. It can be large, lumpy, but unfortunately inedible which is a shame due to the potential size it can reach.

Trametes gibbosaThe Lumpy Bracket (Trametes gibbosa) is found in woodland exclusively growing on dead deciduous wood, of which it favours beech, often solitary but also can be found in medium to large groups (sometimes very large groups – see photographs below). Either way, most of the time it is a striking white colour (sometimes with hues of grey or buff) and very thick and lumpy.

One fruiting body can grow up to 20 cm across and up to 7 or 8 cm thick. It’s typical semicircular shape often displays a distinctive central hump at the back where it meets the wood, especially when larger. The attachment to the wood is very thick and sturdy.

Its surface texture is initially velvet-like due to very fine surface hairs and later, with age, it becomes smooth to the touch.

A key characteristic I always look out for in order to confirm identification for sure, especially while out in the filed, is that the margin (edge of the bracket) is noticeably thick (like an outer ‘lip’ – especially when younger), although it does become thinner with age. It sometimes is a darker shade to the rest of the fungus, but this may be due to environmental conditions etc. And talking of that, you may stumble across many examples that appear green! This is because they are key targets for algae that like to grow among the fine downy hairs on the surface.

The pores on the underside are distinctively elongated and quite large. They are initially white or grey-white and age to a creamy colour.

In large groups (especially when younger) as illustrated in the photograph below, they can appear in stunning floral-like arrangements. I had to double check these were Lumpy Brackets as it’s not a typical site to see. But they were indeed worth a photograph or two. So keep a look out for these beauties, and as I commented on earlier, it’s a shame they’re not edible.

Top: Typical semi-circular bracket shape. Centre left: Green algae on upper surface. Centre right: Underside showing elongated pores. Bottom: Large group of Lumpy Brackets growing on stump

Top: Typical semi-circular bracket shape. Centre left: Green algae on upper surface. Centre right: Underside showing elongated pores. Bottom: Large group of Lumpy Brackets growing on stump

QUICK ID TABLE: LUMPY BRACKET Trametes gibbosa

FRUITING BODY

5-20cm across. Semicircular shape. 1-8cm thick. White, usually buff hues or with green algae markings. Minutely downy, later smooth.

FLESH

White. Cork like consistency.

PORES / SPORE PRINT

Medium to large. Elongated.
Spore Print: White (see how to take a spore print here).

HABITAT / SEASON

On dead deciduous wood, usually beech. All year. Sporulating in spring.

EDIBILITY

Not edible. Too tough. Bitter and tasteless.

3 replies
  1. Neil Mahler
    Neil Mahler says:

    But luckily, this J C Harris chappy IS edible … so lets all eat him instead !
    Do you get my point JC ? Some of us specifically go into the countryside to look for fungi and to admire their beauty, to photograph them and leave them for OTHERS to see.
    Some of us may even be county fungi recorders or a member of the local fungus recording group and there is nothing more annoying than to discover some selfish forager/s has already been there and taken everything (and mostly to be thrown away in the bin when they get home and can’t identify it)

    Even Nature Reserves and SSSI’s are not exempt – reserving an area for nature is no boundary for foragers … “if it’s in there and free, then we’ll have it” seems to be the motto.

    Reply
    • J C Harris
      J C Harris says:

      It seems you may have got the wrong end of the stick Neil (or your cannibalistic cooking utensil. lol)

      I, like yourself, enjoy the wonder of fungi to admire, photograph and record (as I am an active member of a local fungi study group). I also like to pursue edible fungi but not in a way you may be thinking. It is not my intention to encourage people to go out and rape the land of fungi and ignore local by-laws. My experience with many of my blog followers, is that they greatly appreciate what they find, and if they do take some morsels for consumption, respect the fungus and leave others to reproduce, as I always do. In fact I intend to have a feature page soon explaining more about this kind of thing and to go about looking for fungi, understanding and appreciating the land and the law etc.

      And I agree, it is unfortunate not everyone thinks this way or has this kind of respect (especially with no concern as to where), so please don’t eat me. I have so much to give!

      Reply
  2. Thomas
    Thomas says:

    I feel ‘No Pick’ timings and locations will need to be implemented – Such as the one in Epping Forest that was mentioned on Countryfile back in October.

    Reply

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