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Ganoderma lucidum
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Ganoderma lucidum

Common Name: Mushroom of Immortality; Varnish Shelf

Synonyms:

Substrate: Downed Wood

Location: Hardwoods

Spore Color: Rusty-brown

Pore Color: White when fresh, brownish with age

Comments: 

Many people are aware that this mushroom is sold medicinally in health food stores around the country. Not as many people know that is is fairly common in the wild throughout most localities in the states. Many scientific studies have shown significant healing properties associated with ingestion of this species. It works to help enhance the functioning of the immune system, and through that, many other ailments.

The cap of this polypore is a fairly distinctive dark red color with a shiny "varnish" coating. Young specimens have a whitish margin to the cap, meaning they are still fresh and growing. 

Lookalikes:  

Ganoderma tsugae grows on conifers, especially hemlock.

Pictures:

Ganoderma lucidum

Ganoderma lucidum

9/1/12 - Paynetown SRA - Bloomington, IN