Ganoderma curtisii

Scientific name:  Ganoderma curtisii (Berk.) Murrill
Derivation of name: Ganoderma means having a "shiny
or lustrous skin"; curtisii indicates the species is named
in honor of Moses Ashley Curtis, an American Epicopal
priest, teacher, botanist, and mycologist who lived from
Synonymy:  Ganoderma lucidum (Curtis) P. Karst,
Boletus lucidus Curtis
Common names: TBD 
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Polyporales
Family:   Ganodermataceae
Occurrence on wood substrate:  Saprobic and parasitic;
solitary or in groups on dead hardwood logs and stumps or
on living trees, especially oaks, growing from the roots;
May through November, annual but found year-round.
Dimensions:  Caps up to 12 cm wide; stipes typically
present and equal to or up to 1.5x the diameter of the cap.  
Upper surface:  Covered with shiny, dark yellow-orange to
reddish-brown varnish often with purple hues; margin
whitish; glabrous.
Flesh of cap: The cream to pale brown flesh (context)
contains brownish-black melanoid deposits or bands
but lacks the concentric growth zones of G. sessile;
tough but not woody.
Pore surface: Whitish to brownish; 5-8 pores per mm.
Stipe: Lateral, usually at a pronounced angle to the cap,
varnished, reddish-brown, glabrous.
Edibility: Inedible.
Comments:  DNA evidence has reorganized the
Ganoderma species of North America. In the Northeast,
laccate Ganoderma species i.e., (those covered by a
lacquer-like resin, appearing shellacked or varnished)
include G. sessile, G. tsugae, and G. curtisii. G. curtisii
was once considered part of the Ganoderma lucidum
species complex but is now considered a segregate
species. As it turns out, G. lucidum is a non-native
European species. G. lucidum does not occur in the
US except in a couple western US locations where it
may have been introduced by those seeking to cultivate
it for its reputed medicinal properties. Ganoderma
, an Asian species known as lingzhi or reishi
and cultivated for its medicinal properties, was also
once considered part of the G. lucidum species

More information available at

Figure 1. Ganoderma curtisii fruiting near the base of a tree.
Photo © Matt Schink.

Figure 2. Stalked fruitbodies of Ganoderma curtisii.
Photo © Andrew Loyd.

Figure 3. The stipe (stalk) of Ganoderma curtisii is often longer
than the diameter of the cap.
Photo © Andrew Loyd.

Figure 4. A selection of Ganoderma curtisii specimens of
different ages, colors, and sizes.
Photo © Maricel Patino.

Figure 5. Ganoderma curtisii often grows at or near the base
of the tree it is feeding on. Note the whitish, finger-like growth
of the very young specimen to the right of the large specimen.
Photo © Maricel Patino.

Figure 6. A selection of shiny, varnished (laccate), stalked
Photo © Andrew Loyd.

Figure 7. With age, and perhaps spore deposition from the pores
below, older specimens usually lose their lustre.
Photo © Matt Schink.

Figure 8. Melanoid bands or deposits are typically present in the
flesh (context) of the cap and stipe of Ganoderma curtisii. These
bands appear as dark lines or stripes.
Photo © Matt Schink.

Figure 9. Melanoid bands are readily evident in the flesh just
above the tube layer in the cap of this specimen. The bands are
even more apparent in the stipe.
Photo © Andrew Loyd.


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