Gilled Polypore Mushroom

Gilled Polypore

Gilled Polypore Mushroom

Gilled Polypore



The name Gilled Polypore sounds like an oxymoron but accurately describes this mushroom. It looks very much like a Turkey Tail but the pore surface on the underside has gills. It is widespread across Europe, Asia, and North and South America. In the United States it is very common from the East Coast to the Great Lakes states, south to Texas, and on the West Coast. It is less common in Minnesota where it is at the western edge of its range. It obtains its nutrients from dead wood (saprobic). It grows on logs and stumps of a wide variety of hardwoods, especially oak and willow, rarely also on conifers. It is usually found in overlapping rows or columns, sometimes scattered.

The fruiting body is a small, stalkless, leathery, shelf-like bracket. The bracket is fan-shaped to nearly round, flat to convex, 1¼″ to 4″ wide, and up to ¾″ thick. The upper surface is concentrically zoned with varying textures and and colors including white, tan, gray, brown, yellowish-brown, and orange. It is densely covered with hairs and is often bumpy and ridged. Older specimens are often green due to a covering of algae.

The gills are tough, sharp, up to ⅜″ deep, and closely or somewhat widely spaced. When young they are white and sometimes form elongated pockets. As they age they darken and become wavy.

The flesh is white, thin, leathery, and tough, becoming corky on older specimens. It is inedible.

The spore print is white.

Similar Species

Conifer Mazegill (Gloeophyllum sepiarium) gills are yellowish-brown or rusty brown, not white. It grows mostly on conifers, occasionally also on hardwoods.

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) has pores on the underside, not gills.

Habitat and Hosts

Deciduous and mixed woodlands



July through December


Distribution Map


4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.





Kingdom Fungi (fungi)
Subkingdom Dikarya
Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)
Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)
Class Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)
Subclass Agaricomycetidae
Order Polyporales (shelf fungi)
Family Polyporaceae (bracket fungi)
Genus Trametes

Gilled Polypore was formerly known as Lenzites betulina. In 2011, based on phylogenetic analysis, it was transferred to the genus Trametes.


Lenzites betulina

Lenzites betulinus

Common Names

Birch Mazegill

Gilled Polypore

Multicolor Gill Polypore