Welcome to Piptoporus betulinus

Photos by David Work


Piptoporus betulinus is a fungus that has been around since the time of the Iceman, literally. The 5,300 year old "Iceman," nicknamed "Otzi" was discovered by hikers in the Italian Alps in September 1991. Amongst the possessions found on or near Otzi included two leather thongs made of animal hide that each had a small donut shaped piece of the fruiting body of Piptoporus betulinus. It is believed Otzi used this particular fungus as a medication which is detailed in the Facts link.



Piptoporus betulinus was formerly Polyporus betulinus and has been nicknamed razor strop fungus as the coarseness of the dried fruiting body works very well to sharpen razors and knives. Also, since it is specific to birch trees it has become known as the birch polypore, birch conk, birch bracket, and of course; the "Iceman's" fungus. 


Learn More about Piptoporus betulinus Classification