Fomes fomentarius – Hoof Fungus

Page Created by Connecticut Foraging Club
Upcoming Events | Meet the Instructors | Plant Archive | Mushroom Archive

Hoof fungus (Fomes fomentarius) is one of the two mushrooms that was found with Otzi the iceman who lived 5,000 years ago in the Italian alps.
Hoof fungus, also known as Tinder fungus, can be found growing on living and dead birch, beech, and sycamore trees. It is a perennial fungus, first emerging in the spring and growing larger each year. The hoof fungus starts as a pathogenic fungus and then becomes a decomposer.
Hoof fungus is a hard and dry polypore with a ridged texture. The pore surface is brownish to gray. There is a ridge as the pore surface meets the edge of the mushroom.
Otzi the iceman was thought to have the hoof fungus as a source of tinder. Hoof fungus burns slowly and can be used for starting fires. Hoof fungus can also be used to make amadou, a form of vegan leather.
Hoof fungus is too hard to be considered edible but has been shown to have medicinal compounds. The mushroom has been used to modulate the immune system, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, and lower cholesterol.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stellaria media – Chickweed

Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a common edible green that was brought here from Europe. Chickweed can be identified by its teardrop-shaped leaves that grow opposite

Read More »