Ganoderma applanatum – Artist’s Conk

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Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum) is a common mushroom that can be found worldwide. It can be found on living and dead trees, primarily hardwoods. Artist’s conk is both a parasitic and saprobic fungus. It is particularly known to decompose beech and poplar trees.
Artist’s conks are perennial mushrooms that can grow up to 2 feet in diameter. The cap surface is lumpy and brown to dull gray. The white pore surface stains brown easily when handled. This staining allows the pore surface to be drawn on and used as a canvas.
Artist’s conks are too woody to be edible but have been used as medicinal mushrooms for over 2,000 years. They have been used to treat insomnia, reduce depression and fatigue, and regulate blood sugar.

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

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