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I've seen them in Scotland in August 2015:

enter image description here

The plants / fungi were quite high (over 2m) on the tree. They are almost circular if you view them from the top, I guess (except for the part where they are connected to the tree). I guess the diameter of them might be over 14cm.

What are they called?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm asking this question because I would like to upload the photo on Wikipedia Commons. And for personal curiosity. $\endgroup$ – Martin Thoma Sep 8 '15 at 11:28
  • $\begingroup$ From a basic google search they look like hoof fungi, but I could be totally wrong. $\endgroup$ – Quantum spaghettification Sep 8 '15 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ Are you asking for the species name or the general term for this type of fungi with "woody" fruit bodies? If you are asking for the general term, that is Polypore. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Sep 8 '15 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater The more exact you can say it, the better. But I'm already happy about "Polypore" :-) $\endgroup$ – Martin Thoma Sep 8 '15 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ It's a bit similar to the common Fomes fomentarius (which grows on birch), but I don't know the group well enough to say. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Sep 8 '15 at 12:59
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Well I will agree with fileunderwater, it is a Fomes fomentarious. For more info check this: Fomes fomentarius is a tough perennial polypore that usually becomes hoof-shaped with age; it is found on standing and fallen hardwoods. Its woody upper surface develops grayish zones, and its brown pore surface features tiny round pores. When sliced open (no easy task, given its toughness) it is usually composed more of vaguely layered tubes than flesh.

Along with Piptoporus betulinus, Fomes fomentarius is one of two mushrooms that the Tyrolean Iceman was carrying around 5000 years ago. He apparently used Fomes fomentarius as tinder.

Description:

Ecology: Parasitic and saprobic on the wood of hardwoods (especially birches and beech); causing a white rot; growing alone or gregariously; perennial; fairly widely distributed in northern and north-temperate North America

Cap: Up to about 20 cm across; shell-shaped to hoof-shaped; with a dull, woody upper surface that is zoned with gray and brownish gray.

Pore Surface: Brownish; 2-5 round pores per mm; tube layers indistinct, brown, becoming stuffed with whitish material.

Stem: Absent.

Flesh: Brownish, thin, hard.

enter image description here

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