• Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Fomitopsis officinalis (Vill.) Bondartsev & Singer

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Scientific name
Fomitopsis officinalis
(Vill.) Bondartsev & Singer
Common names
práchnovček lekársky
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Proposed by
Tatyana Svetasheva
Tsutomu Hattori, Beatrice Senn-Irlet, Tatyana Svetasheva
Comments etc.
Anders Dahlberg, Vladimír Kunca, Thomas Læssøe

Assessment Status Notes

Taxonomic notes

Agaricum officinale (Vill.) Donk
Boletus laricis F. Rubel
Boletus officinalis Vill.
Boletus purgans J.F. Gmel.
Cladomeris officinalis (Vill.) Quél.)
Fomes fuscatus Lázaro
Fomes laricis (F. Rubel) Murrill
Fomes officinalis (Vill.) Bres.
Laricifomes officinalis (Vill.) Kotl. & Pouzar
Piptoporus officinalis (Vill.) P. Karst.
Polyporus officinalis (Vill.) Fr.
Ungulina officinalis (Vill.) Pat.

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Fomitopsis officinalis is a famous species known from ancient centuries as an outstanding remedy used in formal and informal medicine. For ages this fungus has been intensively collected in significant amount which together with a decrease of habitats due to forest cutting has led to a sharp decline of its population.  This species has wide distribution all over the northern Hemisphere . However to date everywhere it is reported as rare or extremely rare and declining species.  Redlisted at least at 6 countries. Included in Red Data Books of 13 regions of Russia.

Geographic range

It is a holarctic species with predominantly montane hypoarctic and boreal distribution; known from North America, Europe (especially mountain areas), Ural, Siberia, Far East, China, Japan, Korea, Morocco.  The species areal coincides more or less with one of Larix spp in Eurasia, as well as Larix, Pseudotsuga and some species of Picea in North America.

Population and Trends

In different countries and continents there are many records about significant continuing reduction of population and decrease of habitats compared with the first half of XX century. Here some examples: “There are 109 records of F. officinalis in British Columbia since 1940 (when data collection first began), but only 19 of those records were added in the past 20 years. It remains to be determined if the reduced sightings and collections are a result of habitat loss (reduction of old growth sites)” (Callan, 2000); ” Neuman (1914) reported that ‘‘various collectors’’ had noted Fomitopsis officinalis occurring on larch in northern Wisconsin. Although a few reports of this fungus have been confirmed from the Great Lakes region (Gilbertson and Ryvarden 1986), F. officinalis no longer is considered to occur in the Midwest’ (Lindner et all, 2006); “Eerywhere in the Asian part of Russia it is now a rare species. During 26 years of investigation it was found only 46 times in 26 localities. Today the species is rare in regions where it earlier was common. In Altai Murashkinsky (1939)  mentioned, than in the beginning of 20th century 10% of the larches were infected by L.officinalis. ... In 2001 we found it there only once” (Muknin et all., 2005).  This species was quite common in Irkutsk region and Buryatia Republik, but during years it has been harvested (in tons) a lot for medicinal purposes.
Today total number of confirmed localities
in Europe -  about 84
In Russia -  about 50 registered in science sources, but can be about 1000 or even more
Fresh data from Canada and USA are needed.
F.officinalis has very slow growth and long generation time (probably 50 y = 3 generation).
Declining can be considered probably >50 %  during 50 years (or > 80% during 100 years (Muknin et all., 2005; records)) , it can be redlisted according criteria A2 as EN. 

A2(c)+3+4 declining due to habitat loss and continuous harvesting,  declining 30-50% during 50 years, so it can be estimated as Vu

Population Trend: Deteriorating

Habitat and Ecology

F.officinalis is a weak parasite or saprotroph (after the death of the tree) on Larix sibirica, L.decidua, L.gmelinii,L.cajanderi,  seldom on Pinus sibirica, P. sylvestris in Eurasia, and on the Pseudotsuga menziesii, Picea sitchensis, Pinus ponderosa, Larix occidentalis in North America.  It obviously prefers old and thick trees and hence old-growth forests predominantly in mountain areas, causes brown rot of wood.  It has long life up to 70-80 years old. Perennial basidiocarps grow up to 40x65 cm (Mukhin et all, 2005).

ForestBoreal ForestSubarctic Forest


Cutting of larch forests and single old trees of Larix spp and other conifer hosts. Changes in the age structure of forests, degradation and loss of habitats due to different economic purposes (logging, building of tourists and sports constructions).  Collecting of fruibodies for medicinal purposes.

Biological resource useIntentional use (species being assessed is the target)Logging & wood harvesting

Conservation Actions

Establishment of protected in law areas, prohibition of logging and removing of single old larch (and other hosts) trees. Prohibition of free fruitbodies collecting especially for trade.

Site/area protectionResource & habitat protectionSite/area management

Research needed

Molecular research of F.officinalis species from different continents and parts of the world.

TaxonomyPopulation size, distribution & trends


Bondartsev AS. ; 1953. The polyporaceae of the European USSR and Caucasia. Moskva-Leningrad: Izdatel’stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR.
Callan Brenda E., 1999. Two Web-Accessible Fungus Databases and Their Relationship to a Preliminary List of Rare Macrofungi for British ColumbiaProc. Biology and Management of Species and Habitats at Risk, Kamloops, B.C., 15–19
Dahlberg A., Croneborg H. 33 threatened fungi in Europe: Complementary and revised information on candidates for listing in Appendix I of the Bern Convention. Uppsala: Swedish Species Information Centre, 2003. 82 p.
Gregori, A., Piskur, B., Gregori, M., Jurc, D., 2007a: Spread of the Fomitopsis officinalis inoculated in stems of living larch in Slovenia, The fourth international medicinal mushroom conference, Ljubljana, 304–305.
Gregori, A. 2013. Medicinal mushrooms native to Slovenia. Acta Biologica Slovenica, 56 (2),
Kautmanova I. 2006. Redlist species of fungi held in the collections of the Slovak National Museum – Natural History Museum (Bra). Iii. Fomitopsis officinalis (Vill.) Bondartsev et Singer (En). Acta Rer. Natur. Mus. Nat. Slov.Vol. LII. p.3-5. Bratislava, 2006
Kotkova V, 2015 - data on Fomitopsis officinalis from Mycological Herbarium of Komarov Botanical institute RAS (LE)
Red Data Book of of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra: animals, plants, fungi. Ed. 2nd / Edited by AM Vasin, AL Vasina. - Ekaterinburg: Publishing Basco, 2013. 460 p (in Russian)
Mukhin, V.A., Kotiranta, H., Knudsen, H., Ushakova, N.V., Votintseva, A.A., Corfixen, P., Chlebicki, A., 2005. Distribution, frequency and biology of Laricifomes officinalis in the Asian part of Russia. Russian Journal of Mycology and Phytopathology, 39 (5), 34–42.
Lindner D.L.et all, 2006: FUNGAL DIVERSITY AND FOREST MANAGEMENT. Mycologia, 98(2), 2006, pp. 195–217.
Pietka, J., 2004b. Localities of Fomitopsis officinalis in Poland. Acta Mycologica, 39 (1), 33–45.
Fungi of the national and regional Red Data Books of Russia, 2014 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269463409_Fungi_of_the_national_and_regional_Red_Data_Books_of_Russia

Known distribution - countries

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted