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Bracket Fungi - Laetiporus portentosus (White punk fungus)

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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I picked up a bracket fungus on a recent trip in the Vic High Country :
Laetiporus portentosus (aka white punk fungus)
P1290437 (Small).jpg P1290438 (Small).jpg


This fungus is very distinct because the fungus becomes riddled with holes, eaten into it by the larvae of … (a small, black moth, I think – there were some remains inside some of the “tunnels”) This causes the fungi to look like a piece of sponge, and when dry it is very light – like a piece of polystyrene.
P1290439 (Small).jpg P1290440 (Small).jpg P1290441 (Small).jpg

The fungi is reportedly edible, and was used as a food by Aboriginal people; and as a medium to transport fire.

The fungi readily took a spark from a firesteel and burnt very readily.
P1290442 (Small).jpg P1290444 (Small).jpg

Here’s another fungi, still attached to a tree (a eucalypt).
P1280672 (Small).jpg
 

Toddy

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I usually throw the maggot munched fungi away, (they usually crumble to dust) but seeing this I think I might try a spark onto one and see how it does.
Thank you for the idea :)

Toddy
 

Aussie123

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Once the fungi are dead, they do tend to get turned to dust by insects, but these fungi are eaten alive (!), so they were quite sturdy and firm.
 

Wentworth

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Thanks Aussie123. Would it take a spark from flint and steel as well? I know that the some of the tinder fungi in the UK need preparation beforehand. I've always wondered if we had an Australian substitute.
 

Aussie123

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Thanks Aussie123. Would it take a spark from flint and steel as well? I know that the some of the tinder fungi in the UK need preparation beforehand. I've always wondered if we had an Australian substitute.

I'm not sure, but it didn't take much effort with the firesteel.
 

Toddy

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If I've dried our native piptoporus really, really, well, then it'll sometimes take from a firesteel, but not from flint and steel. Happy for someone to come along and tell me they've done it though :D

Chagga, king alfred's cakes, and fomes will all take from a spark. The first two don't need any preparation either, but KAC's really only do it when they're dry; chagga will take even when damp.

Toddy
 

Aussie123

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If I've dried our native piptoporus really, really, well, then it'll sometimes take from a firesteel, but not from flint and steel. Happy for someone to come along and tell me they've done it though :D

Chagga, king alfred's cakes, and fomes will all take from a spark. The first two don't need any preparation either, but KAC's really only do it when they're dry; chagga will take even when damp.

Toddy

I've used daldinia concentrica (king alfred's cakes ?) and I think this was better - but its difficult to tell without a working flint and steel !

(I need to get to a forge and fix that situation !)
 
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