August 21st. I spotted these polypores on a small branch that had fallen during a recent storm.
From a distance, it was clear that they were something that I had never seen before, and not something that I would mistake for another fungus.
The mature polypores were approximately 1 to 1.5 inches ‘wide’ and 1 inch ‘deep.’ The ‘main’ polypores were a very pale cream color with zones of darker color. They were attached to the branch by a short ‘stem.’ Most of the large polypores had a small ‘cup’ at the point of attachment of the polypore to the branch. These cups were 0.25 to 0.75 inches wide, and had concentric zones of cream and dark browns or grays.
Further along the branch were small cups that didn't have the larger polypres.
The pores on the underside of the brackets were clearly visible to the naked eye in stark contrast to the pores on a Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) bracket. The pores were approximately 0.5 mm in diameter, angular, and irregularly shaped.
The caps also had pores of the same size as the larger polypore.
It didn’t take long to identify these as the Little Nest Polypore (Poronidulus conchifer). These fungi are sometimes called Trametes conchifer in some field guides, but they have been assigned to their own genus.
Poronidulus conchifer polypores grow on branches, stumps, and logs east of the Great Plains in North America. The small caps develop first, and the larger polypore develops later. As they age, the small caps fall off, leaving the larger polypore. Aged polypores lose their color, and are stark white. It is rare to find photographs of fresh specimens.
So far, I have seen them on recently fallen branches in Barrow and Walton counties in Georgia. I have also weathered polypores on branches that had fallen in previous seasons.
Kuo, M. (2010, March). Poronidulus conchifer.