Artist’s Conk

(Ganoderma applanatum)

Conservation Status
Artist’s Conk
  IUCN Red List

not listed


not listed


not listed


Artist’s Conk is a common, easily recognized, perennial, wood decaying, bracket fungus. It is widespread, occuring in U.S. state and every Canadian province.

It is found singly or in small groups on most hardwood species and some conifer species. It is usually saprobic, on decaying stumps and logs, but is sometimes parasitic, near the base of injured trees.

The fruiting body is woody, usually stalkless, bracket-like, fan-shaped to slightly convex, 2 to 23½ long, and 2 to 4 thick. The upper surface is dull, unvarnished, rough, and often furrowed. It is arranged in concentric zones that range from pale gray-brown to dark brown. In the fall it is often powdery with brown spores. The lower surface is white, becoming yellowish or brownish with age. It instantly turns brown when bruised and remains brown for a long time.

The pores are circular, small, 4 to 6 per millimeter, and are difficult to see without a hand lens. The spore tubes are in layers, with a new, to ½ thick layer added each year.

The spores are brown or reddish brown.


Similar Species

  Lacquered Bracket (Ganoderma lucidum) is not a perennial. The upper surface is glossy, though it is usually covered with brown spores. It is more colorful, with blends of orange, white, and brown.  
Habitat and Hosts







Distribution Map



4, 7, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.




Common and widespread

  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Phylum Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subphylum Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushrooms, bracket fungi, puffballs, and allies)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Polyporales (shelf fungi)  
  Family Ganodermataceae  
  Genus Ganoderma (artist’s brackets, reishi, and allies)  

A recently published molecular phylogenetic analysis of the order Polyporales (Justo et al., 2017) resulted in a revised family-level classification of the order. The revised order moves Ganoderma and other genera formerly placed in the family Ganodermataceae into the family Polyporaceae. As of August 2023, the move has been accepted by IndexFungorum, NCBI, and iNaturalist, but not by GBIF, MycoBank, MycoPortal, or Mushroom Observer.




Boletus applanatus

Fomes applanatus

Fomes vegetus

Ganoderme aplani

Ganoderma lipsiense

Polyporus applanatus

Polyporus vegetus


Common Names


Artist’s Bracket

Artist’s Conk










A term often used for saprotrophic fungi. Referring to fungi that obtain their nutrients from decayed organic matter.

Visitor Photos

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Alfredo Colon

    Artist’s Conk   Artist’s Conk  

Sherry Wurtz


I found it on an old dead tree.

    Artist’s Conk   Artist’s Conk  

At the base of a live tree

    Artist’s Conk   Artist’s Conk  
    Artist’s Conk      

On a decaying stump or log

    Artist’s Conk   Artist’s Conk  
    Artist’s Conk   Artist’s Conk  

Covered with brown spores

    Artist’s Conk   Artist’s Conk  
    Artist’s Conk   Artist’s Conk  



Artist's Fungus
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Artist's Fungus  

Artist's Fungus (Ganoderma applanatum).




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Artist Conk

Uploaded on Feb 25, 2010

Dr. Scott Enebak Auburn University School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences, discusses the characteristics of common forest diseases.

  Fall medicinal mushroom hunting, how to find Ganoderma adspersum/Reishi cousin.
Earthwalker40 .

Published on Aug 19, 2012 then check out I found these Ganoderma adspersum/medicinal polypore mushrooms while fall medicinal mushroom hunting in the forest , how to find Ganoderma Adspersum.

  Ganoderma Applanatum Shelf
Ganoderma Applanatum Shelf

Ganoderma Applanatum Shelf

In which Maximus explains the phylogeny of a Ganoderma Applanatum mushroom that he found in the woods and then made into a shelf.




Visitor Sightings

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  A/C Christian Church of Minneapolis

Location: Westwood Hills Nature Center

At the Westwood Hills Nature Center, we saw some life on July 22 this year.

This was all found by the A/C Christian Church of Minneapolis.

  Apricity Apricity
Fall 2021

Location: Martin County, Fairmont, MN

  Alfredo Colon
Summer 2019

Location: Maplewood Nature Center

Artist’s Conk  
  Sherry Wurtz

Location: Jasper, MN (Rock County)

I found it on an old dead tree.

Artist’s Conk  




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