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UK Nature > Fungi & Lichens > Piptoporus betulinus




Scientific Name: Piptoporus betulinus
Common Name: Birch Polypore

Anyone who has spent time in birch woods has seen Piptoporus betulinus on dead birch trees and logs, or occasionally on living trees. The species is an attractive polypore, easily recognized by its habitat on birch wood and the fact that the cap folds over to make a distinctive, smooth rim around the pore surface. The caps are whitish to brownish, and the pore surface is whitish or grayish brown.

Although Piptoporus betulinus is annual and does not actually live for more than one season, its fruiting bodies are somewhat tough and are sometimes found in the next year (usually somewhat blackened). It develops from a small white spherical swelling on the side of dead or living birch trees.

Barbers used to 'strop' or sharpen their cut-throat razors on tough, leathery strips cut from the surfaces of these polypores, and so they became known as the Razor Strop Fungus.











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