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Saprobic and parasitic; grows on Eastern Hemlocks; in North America, range comprises the northern Midwest and the Northeast, as well as along the Appalachian mountains. Polypore with bracket shelves that become wider and more shell-shaped as mushroom ages. Some specimens have a visible stem that extends perpendicular from the tree. Cap surface is lacquered. Color of the stem and part of the shelf closest to it ranges from dark brown to dark orange. Color becomes progressively more orange, then more yellow as the mushroom extends further out, and the outer edge is white. As the mushroom ages, the color changes first at the outer edge progressively more inward - the white becomes yellow, the yellow becomes more orange, and the orange becomes crimson until the entire mushroom ranges from brick red to deep crimson to deep brown. Loses its lacquered surface over time. The hymenium is covered with small pores that are originally white and darken to brown as the mushroom ages. Ganoderma tsugae is one species in a group of mushrooms known as Reishi, which have long been used in traditional medicine, most notably in China (La Clair et al. 2011). This species in particular has been found to mitigate prostate cancer cell growth when administered in an ethanol extract form (Huang et al. 2019). Furthermore, Ganoderma tsugae has been shown to be effective against allergic asthma (Chen et al. 2015). The decrease in the eastern hemlock population has led to an increase in the population of Ganoderma tsugae, which may be contributing to the increase in the numbers of pleasing fungus beetles in certain areas (Elliott et al. 2019). ID number: 13.16.02.2021
White, Kathleen R.; Jergensen, Jacqueline A.; and Lam, Ada, "Ganoderma tsugae" (2021). Mycological Herbarium of Macrofungi from the East Brook Valley. 35.
Location: East Brook Valley, Walton, NY (TC- Tsuga Creek)