Origin of Name
Due to its association with birch trees of photos of the species in Sweden, Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries, originally gave the species name betulina. It was later discovered that the species has a wider range of host preferences. The Genus name Lenzite comes from the name of mycologist H. O. Lenz and refers to a group of bracket fungi in the family Polyporaceae.
Gilled polypore, birch mazegill or multicolor gill polypore
Fruiting Body General Description (General Characteristics)
The fruiting body makes a semicircular, irregular bracket, or kidney shape. The fungi is flattened to convex and has concentric zones that range from whitish, grayish, and brownish colors. It consists of a bumpy to rigid hairy texture. On the underside of the fruiting body, there are white gill-like slots (that can become a dark brown with age), rather than pores. These gills are similar to those of the agaric mushrooms but not as long. Although it contains gills, the Lenzites betulina is taxonomically known as a polypore.
The cap has a semicircular, irregularly bracket-shape or kidney-shape and is flattened to convex. It has a dense hairy texture with whitish, grayish, and brownish concentric zones. It can grow up to 10 cm across and 2 cm thick. The cap will turn a greenish color with old age as a result of algae.
Cylindrical,5-6 x 2-3µm. White spore print.
The flesh is a white colored and leathery to corky.
Known to act as a cancer inhibitor and act towards immune stimulating effects.
Lenzites betulina is typically confused with Gloeophyllum saepiarium as they both contain a gill-like hymenium, however, G. saepiarium has a rusty brown color compared to the multicolored, yellow-brown-grey color of L. betulina. "Lenzites betulina is also less commonly confused with Trametes versicolor that has a zonate upper surface, however, it contains pores on the underside compared to the gills of L. betulina
Found on deadwood of hardwoods and also on conifers. Grow in overlapping clusters on logs and stumps. Widely distributed in North America.
Found fruiting annually in the summer and fall.
Found in midwestern and eastern North America, the Pacific Northwest, and California, but extremely rare elsewhere.