My watch list  

Fistulina hepatica

Beefsteak fungus

Beefsteak fungus on moss
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Homobasidiomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Fistulinaceae
Genus: Fistulina
Species: F. hepatica
Binomial name
Fistulina hepatica
Fistulina hepatica
mycological characteristics:
pores on hymenium

cap is flat


hymenium is decurrent


stipe is bare


spore print is pink


ecology is parasitic


edibility: choice

The beefsteak fungus (Fistulina hepatica) is an unusual polyporous bracket fungus that is most commonly seen in Britain, but can be found in North America, Australia, and the rest of Europe. It is sometimes called the beefsteak polypore or the ox tongue. As its name suggests, it looks remarkably similar to a slab of raw meat. It has been used as a meat substitute in the past, and can still be found in some French markets. It has a sour, slightly acidic taste.

The shape resembles a large tongue, and it is rough-surfaced with a reddish-brown colour. The spores are released from minute pores on the creamy-white underside of the fruit body. A younger beefsteak fungus is a pinkish-red colour, and it darkens with age. It bleeds a dull red juice when cut, and the cut flesh further resembles meat.

The species is fairly common, and can often be found on oaks and sweet chestnut, from August to the end of Autumn, on either living or dead wood. In Australia, they can be found growing from wounds on Eucalyptus trees.


  • N. Arlott, R. Fitter and A. Fitter, Collins Complete Guide: British Wildlife ISBN 1-85927-092-1


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fistulina_hepatica". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE