Journal Notes: A fungus that is parasitic on birch and other trees, known for its medicinal properties. The sterile conk is irregular in shape and looks like burnt charcoal. This isn’t the fruiting part of the fungus but a mass of mycelium (vegetative matter). The fruiting body will usually appear after the tree is dead. It can be found year round in cold type climates. To prepare it for consumption you can ground it into a fine powder and brew it like a tea or you can boil chunks of it in a pot or kettle and serve the water that way, reusing the chunks for several servings. Harvest fall through winter until the sap starts flowing and never take from a dead tree. Also can be used as tinder and a coal extender. It has a sort of look alike often called False Tinder Fungus or Horse Hoof fungus that is inedible but it’s not poisonous.
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