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Quick facts

Common names: oak bracket, weeping conk, warted oak polypore, weeping polypore

Scientific name: Pseudoinonotus dryadeus

Family: Hymenochaetaceae

Fruiting season: brackets fruit late summer to early winter

Habitat: broadleaved woodland, at the base of living and dead oaks, occasionally other broadleaved trees such as beech, birch and alder

What does oak bracket look like?

A thick, lumpy cushion-like bracket fungus, up to 65cm across and typically 10–15cm thick, sometimes occurring in tiers. The thick amber liquid it secretes makes the bracket look as if it is dripping honey. As the bracket ages, it starts to smell very unpleasant.

Cap: upper surface is cream to rusty brown and velvety. When young and fresh, amber-coloured droplets ooze from tiny pores in the dimpled surface, especially around the edge. Its rusty brown flesh is soft at first, becoming corky and fibrous with age. The caps become blackened and cracked over winter, and sometimes persist for several years.

Gills/spores: elliptical and smooth with a white spore print.

Not to be confused with: the rare oak polypore (Piptoporus quercinus) which is only found on oak trees over 250 years old.

Oak bracket fungus in woodland habitat

Credit: Doug Horrigan / Alamy Stock Photo

Where to find oak bracket

Oak bracket fungus is fairly common in southern and eastern England, but a rare sight in northern Britain. It also occurs in Wales and Northern Ireland. It is found in broadleaf woodland at the base of living and dead oaks, and occasionally other broadleaved trees, such as beech, birch and alder.

Uses of oak bracket

The oak bracket fungus doesn’t have any specific uses, apart from playing a vital role in the woodland ecosystem. However, as with other polypores, it is said to be an indicator of the health of woodland and invertebrate diversity.

Oak bracket fungus is not edible.

Did you know?

Oak bracket is parasitic, mainly on species of oak. Spores enter through wounds in the tree’s bark, causing white rot and decay of the trunk, eventually making it prone to toppling.