The scarlet bracket fungus, Pycnoporus coccineus*, is a bright eye-catching bracket or shelf fungus. It is an easily recognised fungus that is common in Kings Park and probably in your local park or even your backyard. Personally I think it’s a lovely bright orange rather than scarlet in colour, but who is quibbling?

It’s a decomposer fungus found on logs, old wood and sometimes on old wooden structures like playground equipment or pergolas that are outside and wet regularly in the rain. It can occur singly or in large groups. Once the scarlet bracket fungus is fruiting, you can be sure that the wood is being consumed from the inside, it is rapidly losing its structural integrity and will fall apart within a few years.

This is a fungus where you need to look at the underneath as well as the top surface as it has pores, not gills, that the spores are released from.

* Also known as Trametes cochinea. Currently there is scientific debate about which genus this fungus belongs to.

If you would like to learn more about the scarlet bracket fungus the following information is also available:

Fungi of the SW Forests, Department of Parks and Wildlife Bush Book by Richard Robinson, view here.

Fungi of the Perth Region and Beyond by Neale L. Bougher, published by the WA Naturalists Club and available to download on their website here.