I have been on a constant lookout for this fungi whenever I’m in the woodland forest. I’m in search for these for their Bushcrafting qualities. The proper name for the fungi is Fomes fomentarius and the common names are Horse hoof, Tinder fungi, and Iceman fungi to name a few. I was first introduced to this fungi by Michael at MCQBushcraft and I will be forever grateful to him because I learned of its many uses. In Northeastern Pennsylvania I have found this fungi in abundance because of the large number of Birch trees here.
I have learned how to process this fungi to extract the trauma layer from within the fruit body. The trauma layer can be used to produce Amadou which is a soft spongy, flammable substance that resembles suede leather. Amadou can be used as an excellent lightweight tinder material. The whole bracket fungi fruit body is flammable but slow burning and can also be used to carry a spark. While the fungi is slowly burning it produces a fragrant smoke similar to a punk or incense. This also works well to repel flies while walking or hiking in the woods. 🙂
You can find lots of interesting reading about this fungus online if you just search. One of the most interesting I found is about Ötzi The Ice Man (click on the title to be taken to the link). Ötzi knew about this fungus and its usefulness long before you and I. Take time and read the article Ötzi The Ice Man. I thing you will enjoy the story!