This is a descriptive term for polypore fruiting bodies (conks) that resemble a horse’s hoof.
Hoof fungi are Agaricomycetes and occur in a number of genera in 2 orders:
- Order Polyporales > Families Polyporaceae and Fomitopsidaceae and
- Order Hymenochaetales > Family Hymenochaetaceae.
Genera include Fomes, Fomitopsis, Phellinus and Fomitiporia.
They form a hard, woody brackets resembling a horse’s hoof.
Usually solitary but a number may grow on one log.
They can live as parasites on living wood or cause decay in dead wood.
Some are thin and resemble brackets such as those of Ganoderma.
They may have broad concentric ridges from successive years of growth.
The flesh is hard, fibrous and shades of brown.
The upper surface may be smooth, bumpy or very cracked.
It varies from light brown to grey, orange to dark red, brown or black.
The rounded edge may be white or orange.
The round pores on the under surface may be white, brown, pink, purplish or yellow.
The pore surface may bruise when damaged.