Turkey Tail – Trametes Versicolor

These beautiful turkey tail bracket fungi are one of the most common species I come across when rambling in the woods. As the latin name suggests, although they can vary considerably in colouration and appearance, they all belong to the same species, Trametes versicolor.

These fungi are saprophytic, and feed on dead and decaying hardwoods, although they can occasionally be found as weak parasites on living trees. As they grow and age they can become quite tough, with older specimens appearing almost woody themselves.

They are widespread and common throughout the UK and Europe, and were often used as decorations for table pieces or inserted into a hat band as a decoration – rather stylish if I do say so myself!

In the modern era they have also been used as a basis for research into cancer treatment drugs.

Although these are one of the most common bracket fungi you are likely to come across in the UK, there are many other species out there. If you find something interesting and would like to have a go at identifying it, I’ve found the following website really useful – happy hunting!


By Chris Eyles, Senior Warden for Exmoor

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