Two Buglossoporus quercinus finds from Windsor

Back during August, I and two other very boring people went on a little foray around Windsor Great Park, to look at the trees. At the height of summer, it really was polypore season, and we weren’t let down on that front – plenty of Fistulina hepatica emerging from the magnificent oaks, as well as Laetiporus sulphureus in quite awesome abundance.

We were, nonetheless, aware of a much rarer UK fungus: the oak polypore (Buglossoporus quercinus). Quite frankly, it’s very rare, and the biology of it little understood (sounds a bit like most fungi!). However, for those that are interested, there are some quite fantastic publications that one can delve into, and they are:

1. Natural England’s ‘Report on the oak polypore Piptoporus quercinus (syn. Buglossoporus quercinus; B. pulvinus) (ENRR458)

2. Martha Crockatt’s doctoral thesis ‘Ecology of the Rare Oak Polypore Piptoporus Quercinus and the Tooth Fungi Hericium Cirrhatum, H. Coralloides, and H. Erinaceus in the UK

Also check out this site for information. This page is managed by Kew Gardens.

Unfortunately, other articles are behind paywalls, and unless you are a member of the British Mycological Society then other articles won’t be available, though the other main one is again by Crockatt and, thus, likely contains simialr information to the thesis.

Anyway, as we were exploring Bears Rails (adjacent – and linked to – Windsor), we first came across – from a distance – what looked like young Laetiporus sulphureus. Therefore, we waltzed over, without a great deal of excitement, though that soon changed when we realised what we had found – oak polypore! Cue eager discussion and around ten minutes of taking photos, before walking on and discussing the find some more.

Later on, we were blessed with finding yet another example. Again, just outside of the actual Great Park, and even more hidden away. We only came across it as we were a little wary of whether we were trundling down a private road, and when we idled back it caught our eye. Again, cue lots of photo-taking!

Certainly, for those that like hunting for fungi, finding this fungus is a real treat. Of course, you cannot take it, or damage its habitat, as it’s protected by UK statute law (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981). Its host trees, very old oaks (veteran, moribund, or dead snags and stumps), are a declining population, and the Natural England report does a great job as detailing this issue further.


Oak tree #1

In total, there were four sets of fruiting bodies on this tree – all from oak polypore. Evidently, it has colonised almost the entire snag.
Up high on the stem sat this small guy.
Lower down, was this larger specimen.
A closer inspection reveals the very distinct the fruiting body.
And just below, out of exposed heartwood, was this dude.
On the other side of the tree, this fruiting body emerges from beneath bark.

Oak tree #2

This host is still alive, and in good condition (regarding crown density). Note some retrenchment, however – a lower crown is forming, below some loftier branches.
Can you see it? Look to the top right.
Huzzah! Coming out from the junction of a long-dead branch and the main stem.
Some pretty colourations on this one, too.
Two Buglossoporus quercinus finds from Windsor