Scientific name: Polyporus umbellatus
Synonyms: Umbrella polypore, Zhu Ling, Chorei-maitake, Tsuchi-maitake, Chinese Sclerotium
The Umbrella polypore grows on calcium-rich soils arising from dead roots, buried wood or stumps, preferring birches, maple, willows and beeches. Common in central to eastern Europe, the Caucasus, western and eastern Sibiria, Pakistan, North America, Asia
Hardwood (birch, maple, beech, oak), leeched Shiitake, Maitake, and Reishi blocks.
Usage: Edible mushroom, vital mushroom
The Polyporus umbellatus creates bushy fruiting bodies, composed of numerous round single standing fruiting hats. These can reach diameters of 20 to 40, sometimes 50 cm and weigh several kilograms. The individual stems converge in a common stalk. The stalk arises from a black-brown sclerotium, which is located close to the soil surface. The individual hats are coloured pale yellow to grey-brown and have a width of 1 - 4 cm. They have a rough surface and are mostly immersed in the middle. The edge is wavy bent and relatively thin. On the bottom of the hats is a whitish porous layer that can run far down the stem. The pores are round and the tubes are one to two centimeters long. The flesh is also whitish, fibrous and brittle. It smells like flour, pleasant when young; aged, however, it has an unpleasant odor.
The Polyporus umbellatus thrives as a parasite or saprobe on the basis of living or dead trees or stumps or nearby. The fruiting bodies occur singly or gregarious on up to six copies. Even after the felling of host trees, the fungus is able to survive up to 30 years at the remaining stumps (for example, in the following spruce stand).
Polysaccharides are the main active components in this mushroom.
Division: incertae sedis
Spores: 7 - 10 x 3 - 4 µ, white in deposit, smooth, cylindrical