Ganoderma tsugae

Common Names: Hemlock varnish shelf
Category: Fungi
Sub-category: Polypores

The hemlock varnish shelf is closely related to the reishi mushroom, and is also said to share similar medicinal properties. Cap is 4 to 24 cm; at first irregularly knobby or elongated, but by maturity more or less fan- or kidney-shaped; with a shiny, varnished surface often roughly arranged into lumpy "zones"; bald; dark red to orangish red or reddish brown when mature; when young often with zones of bright yellow and white toward the margin. Stem is sometimes absent, but more commonly present; 3 to -14 cm long; up to 3 cm thick; equal or irregular; varnished and colored like the cap; often distinctively angled away from one side of the cap. Flesh is whitish when fresh, becoming brownish with age; fairly soft when young, but soon tough. Pore Surface is whitish, becoming dingy reddish brown in age; usually bruising brown; with 4 to 6 tiny (nearly invisible to the naked eye) circular pores per mm; tubes to 2 cm deep.

Parasitic on living conifers (especially eastern hemlock and western hemlocks) and saprobic on the deadwood of conifers.

Edible Notes: Not edible; woody. But is used medicinally as a tea.

Grows on conifers, especially hemlock trees.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.