The polypore fungus, Laetiporus portentosus, commonly called White Punk, forms large, thick brackets on living Eucalypts. It causes white heart-rot to the host tree.
It is often found as dry remnants at the bottom of trees, looking and feeling much like styrofoam that has been riddled by tiny borers.
What is probably this species of polypore, was eaten by Aborigines in Tasmania, possibly as an emergency food. In Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia a fungus, sounding like this one, was used as tinder and to carry fire as it would smoulder all day. In the northern hemisphere also, several polypores have been used as tinder or for carrying fire, including Fomes fomentarius and Piptoporus betulinus. 'Punk' is an old English word which means something that smoulders.
- Remains of Laetiporus portentosus, Lane Cove National Park, June 12, 2006. L portentous forms brackets high up in eucaly