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Beefsteak Fungus

A bracket fungus occasionally found on decaying oak and other deciduous trees.


  • Beefsteak Fungus: well done, not rare

    Post date: Thursday, 2 October, 2014 - 00:00

    The distinctive colouring reddish-brown of this bracket fungus is the key to its identification as the beefsteak fungus (Fistulina hepatica). It bleeds a dull red juice when cut which is blood-like. The scientific name, hepatica, refers to the liver and people originally thought of this fungus as being more like a liver than a beef steak and thought as it looked like a liver it would heal liver conditions; it does not!

    This is a common species, found frequently on oak and sweet chestnut in our local woodlands.  What I found interesting is that it is parasitic and turns the wood of its host a dark drown (back to that blood-like sap I suppose) which makes it in much demand from the furniture industry. The poor tree! If the fungus doesn't get you the carpenter will ... 

    It is edible when young but I suspect it is not as tasty as a piece of rump steak - my book says "the flesh is dark and succulent, is mottled in appearance with pink veins that give out a blood like sap. It tastes sourish and has a pleasant smell". Try it if you dare!


Common Name Beefsteak Fungus
Alternative Name(s) Ox-tongue
Scientific Name Fistulina hepatica
Species Group Bracket Fungi
Interest Level
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Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
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Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

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Bracket Fungi