Meripilus giganteus (Pers.) P. Karst., 1882
Common names: Giant polypore, Black-staining polypore [En], Polypore géant [Fr], Reuzenzwam [Nl], Riesenporling [De]
Meise, BRABANT ● Belgium
Description: The basidiocarps consist of numerous rosette-like flattened fan-shaped pilei; they are typically 50–200 centimetres (20–79 in) in diameter and 20–80 centimetres (7.9–31 in) high. The individual caps, up to 20–80 centimetres (7.9–31 in) diameter and 1–4 centimetres (0.39–1.6 in) thick, arise from a common basal stem.
The color of the cap surface is pale tan to dull chestnut brown in young specimens but darkens in age to become concentric zones (zonate) of various shades of brown.
The surface is also finely fibrillose with tiny scales (squamules). There are 3 to 6 pores per millimeter on the underside; the pore surface bruises brown and black, helping to distinguish it from the similar species Grifola frondosa.
In the field, it is recognizable by the large, multi-capped fruiting body, as well as its pore surface that quickly darkens black when bruised or injured.
Biology : This bracket fungus is often found in large clumps at the base of trees, although fruiting bodies are sometimes found some distance away from the trunk, parasitizing the roots.
Habitat: This mushroom can be found growing of hardwoods, more rarely on conifers. M. giganteus grows especially on Quercus and Fagus (like here) tree species, but it has also been collected on the hardwoods Acer, Aesculus, Alnus, Betula, Castanea, Celtis, Corylus, Eucalyptus, Laurus, Myrica, Persea, Pittosporum, Platanus, Populus, Prunus, Pyrus, Tilia, Ulmus; it has also been found growing on the coniferous species Abies, Larix, and Pinus.
Distribution: Circumboreal distribution in the northern hemisphere: Europe, Scandinavia, the area formerly known as the USSR, Iran and Turkey. M. giganteus is not found in North America.
Wikipedia, Merilipus giganteus