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Laetiporus Sulphurous – Chicken Of The Woods

Scientific name: Laetiporus sulphurous

Common name: Chicken of the woods, Sulphur polypore

Type of decay: Brown rot, especially heartwood.


An annual bracket appearing on the upper stem and stem base of host species from May-September. Brackets form in overlapping frilly layers up to 40cm across. When young the fruiting bodies are vivid sulphur yellow, becoming darker in colour with age and eventually brown-grey. Brackets smell fragrant when young however have an unpleasant smell when mature. The underside of the bracket consists of fine pores on a yellow background. The upper surface is also sulphur yellow becoming darker with sunlight and age. Creamy white sheets of mycelium can be found between the cracks in cubical decay of the host wood. The spore powder is white.

Effects of fungus on tree

Causes brown rot, especially in the heartwood. Wood becomes brittle and then turns to powder. The decay leads to brittle fracture of the tree at the point of the disease. Cavities and hollowed stem and branches often occur as a result of the fungal decay.

Hosts: Oak, Robinia, Willow and other broadleaf trees especially ones with coloured heartwood.

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