Tough, fan-shaped bracket fungus; bright red-orange above and below. Grows on dead deciduous branches, twigs, and wood, mainly oak. Year-round. Cap semicircular, flat; bright cinnabar-red to orange-red; texture finely hairy. Pores angular, irregular; bright cinnabar-red to orange-red, same color as the cap. Stalk not present. Spore print white. Spores magnified are cylindrical, curved, smooth. This species is easy to spot, as both the top and underside are the same color — bright cinnabar-red to orange-red.
Lookalikes: No other small Missouri polypore is bright red-orange on the cap and on the underside.
Habitat and Conservation
Mushrooms are a lot like plants, but they lack chlorophyll and have to take nutrients from other materials. Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. They are in a different kingdom — the fungi. Fungi include the familiar mushroom-forming species, plus the yeasts, molds, smuts, and rusts.
Always be cautious when eating edible mushrooms. Be absolutely sure of the ID, and only eat a small amount the first time you try it to avoid a reaction..