Advanced Cultivation
Fomes fomentarius

Strain Profile

This fascinating mushroom has a history of use stretching back thousands of years!

Also known as the ‘Iceman Fungus‘, the Tinder Fungus is known for its ability to be used as tinder for fire-starting. A sample of this fungus was found in the tool-bag, along with a flint and pyrite for making sparks, of Ötzi the ‘iceman’; a mummified man who died over 5000 years ago (c. 3300 BCE).

The pathogenic fungus infects susceptible trees through branch or bark wounds.

It also goes by the name ‘Hoof Fungus‘, owing to the fruiting body’s resemblance to a horse’s hoof.

The slow-growing fruiting body of this fungus sports a hard, woody shell of approx. 1-2mm, with softer fibrous trama tissue inside. The fruiting body is perennial, and can live for up to 30 years! Sliced through, growth rings can be observed and used to calculate the mushroom’s age, much as you might a tree.

The fibrous inner tissue can also be processed into a material called amadou. This can be made into a felt-like fabric, and owing to its high absorbency was at one time used by surgeons as a styptic.

This strain was cloned from a wild specimen collected in Lincolnshire, UK. Fruits from 10-22˚c, and will continue growing year-round within this temperature range.   

Preferred agar culture media: PDYA

Culture slants with addition of solid wood recommended for long-term storage of this species.

This culture can be very slow to show growth after a transfer, so don’t be deterred if there are no signs of life for a week or more! Incubate at 22-24˚c for best results. 

Preferred substrate:  Hardwood Logs. Particularly favours Birch. Has also been cultivated on supplemented hardwood chips.

Also Known As: 

  • Hoof Fungus
  • Iceman Fungus
  • False Tinder Fungus

Growing Parameters

Spawn Run

Temperature: 18-28°c
Relative Humidity: 90-95%
Duration: 24-60 days
CO2: >5,000 ppm
Fresh Air Exchanges: 0-1 per hour
Light Requirements: n/a

Primordia Formation

Temperature: 15-26°c
Relative Humidity: 85-95%
Duration: 10-30 days
CO2: <1000 ppm
Fresh Air Exchanges: 4-8 per hour
Light Requirements: 300-500 lux


Temperature: 10-22°c
Relative Humidity: 80-95%
Duration: Ongoing – Perennial
C02: <2000 ppm
Fresh Air Exchanges: 4-8 per hour
Light Requirements: 500-1000 lux

Advanced Cultivation

Growing Parameters are given from limited sources - this species has not been widely cultivated.

Any questions? Want to share your experience with this species?

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