Hoof Fungus

(Fomes fomentarius)

Conservation Status
Hoof Fungus
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed


not listed


not listed


Hoof Fungus fruiting body (conk) is a 2 to 8 wide, ¾ to 4¾ thick polypore.

The fruiting body is hoof-shaped, rounded and curved downward on top, flat or slightly angled upward below. There is no stalk.

The upper surface is concentrically zoned and hairy when young. The zones are grooved and vary in color in shades of gray and brownish-gray. It soon becomes gray and hairless. The margin is whitish and velvety on actively growing conks.

The underside is whitish. The pore tubes are not layered (stratified).

The flesh is hard and cinnamon brown. When cut in cross section there are no white lines (mycelial threads) visible.

An individual conk can survive for years, even decades, forming a new ridge or furrow each year. It is found on standing or fallen dead trees or on the trunk of a living tree.


Similar Species


Willow Bracket (Phellinus igniarius) old conks are black and often cracked above. The margin and undersurface are light brown and velvety on actively growing conks. The pores are stratified. The flesh in cross section shows white mycelial threads.

Habitat and Hosts

Usually birch, but also other hardwoods

Hoof Fungus causes white trunk rot on hardwood trees. It turns the wood into a soft, white, spongy mass.




Year-round but grows mostly in early summer and autumn


Another common name for Hoof Fungus is Tinder Polypore, from its most common usage, as tinder for starting fires. Otzi the Iceman, the 5,000-year-old mummy found in the Alps in 1991, was carrying four pieces of it.


Distribution Map



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




Very common and widespread

  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushrooms, bracket fungi, puffballs, and allies)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Polyporales (shelf fungi)  
  Family Polyporaceae (bracket fungi)  
  Genus Fomes  


  Polyporus fomentarius  

Common Names


Hoof Fungus

Tinder Conk

Tinder Fungus

Tinder Polypore

True Tinder Polypore











A shelf-like, bracket-shaped fruiting body of certain fungi.



The vegetative part of a fungus; consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae, through which a fungus absorbs nutrients from its environment; and excluding the fruiting, reproductive structure.



A bracket fungi. A fungi that produces its spores in pores on the underside of a woody fruiting body (conk).

Visitor Photos

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Found on birch snag

    Hoof Fungus   Hoof Fungus  

Robert Briggs

    Hoof Fungus      
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
    Hoof Fungus   Hoof Fungus  



  Hoof Tinder Bracket Fungus
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Hoof Tinder Bracket Fungus  

Bracket fungus.

Hoof Tinder Fungus

Fomes fomentarius

  Fomes fomentarius - fungi kingdom
Fungi Kingdom

Published on Jan 23, 2015

Fomes fomentarius - fungi kingdom




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Tinder Fungi (Fomes fomentarius) on Birch Tree
Carl Barrentine

Published on Jun 3, 2012

Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (03 June 2012).

  Fomes fomentarius Tonderzwam
Michael Inden

Uploaded on Jul 11, 2009

Tonderzwammen op beuk

  Firestarter Mushroom - Fomes fomentarius

Uploaded on Feb 24, 2009

There is proof that prehistoric peoples used this mushroom to start fire with, and carry fire in. Tradd discuss this mushroom in the Pisgah national Forest.

  Fomes fomentarius (Ίσκα)
Kostas Tzouratzoglou

Published on May 16, 2015




Visitor Sightings

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Location: Cass County

Found on birch snag

Hoof Fungus  
  Robert Briggs

Location: Afton State Park, Southern River Trail

Hoof Fungus  
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings




Created: 10/26/2016

Last Updated:

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