Artist’s Conk

Artist’s Conk, Artist’s Palette, Liver Conk

Ganoderma applanatum


Ganoderma produces brackets on the surface of its host, often low on the stem. The brackets are nearly flat, with bands of light brown to reddish brown, darkening towards a white edge and underside. The brackets are perennial and a new layer of growth is added each year. The underside of the bracket turns brown when scratched or bruised, and the colour change stays when the fungi is dried, giving rise to its common name of Artist’s Conk.

This fungus is a recycler of dead wood, like stumps and old logs, but can also attack wounds in trees, causing rot into the heartwood, down into the butt of the tree (the base of the stem) and out into the roots. Decay in the butt and roots can make a tree unstable in the ground and at risk of being blown over.

There is no treatment available for Ganoderma and affected trees eventually have to be removed for safety.

Commonly seen on: Wattles, Gums, Beeches, Ashes, Elms, Oaks