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Remarks (public):For a complete description including images see 
Remarks (internal):Causes a white soft spongy heart and butt rot. It is doubtfully pathogenic to living tissues but can render hosts liable to windthrow. Sporophores may be found on trees in advanced state of rot or on stumps and other exposed residues. The fungus has been associated with a concentric stem canker of citrus (33, 25; 47, 817). There has been much confusion in the identification of G. applanatum especially in Europe. In particular, G. adspersum (Schulzer) Donk (syn. G. europaeum Stey.; G. australe Fr., non Fr.) have been mistaken for this species. This is probably due to Bourdot & Galzin (1927) mixing the characters of the two species.
Description type:Non-original description 
Description:Ganoderma applanatum (Pers.) Pat., Bull. Soc. myc. Fr. 5: 67, 1889.
= Polyporus fomentarius ? applanatus Pers., Myc. Europ.: 80, 1825.
= Polyporus applanatus (Pers.) Wallr., Fl. Crypt. Germ. 2: 591, 1833.
= Fomes applanatus (Pers.) Gillet, Champ. France: 686, tab. 466, 1878.
= Placodes applanatus (Pers.) Quel., Ench.: 171, 1886.
= Phaeoporus applanatus (Pers.) Schroet., Pilze Schl. 1: 490, 1888.
= Polyporus leucophaeus Mont., Syll. Crypt.: 157, 1856.
= Fomes leucophaeus (Mont.) Cooke, Grevillea 14: 18, 1885.
= Ganoderma leucophaeum (Mont.) Pat., Bull. Soc. mycol. Fr. 5: 73, 1889.
= Polyporus vegetus Fr., Epicr. Syst. myc.: 464, 1836-38.
= Polyporus megoloma Lev., Ann. Sci. nat. Bot., ser. 3 5: 128, 1846.
= Fomes megaloma (Lev.) Cooke, Grevillea 14: 18, 1885.
= Ganoderma megaloma (Lev.) Bres., Hedwigia 53: 54, 1912.
Basidiocarp (basidioma) perennial, sessile, dimidiate, flabelliform, usually flat, 20-30 mm thick at the middle but thickening at the base, sometimes effuso-reflexed, generally simple, but sometimes staged-imbricate becoming a mass, 150-200 mm thick. Upper surface flat, concentrically ridged and somewhat radially folded, generally velvety when young, smooth with age, dull tawny-olive but powdered over by brownish spore deposit, margin white when in the growing stage. Cutis hard, less than 0,5 mm thick, usually non-brittle, shiny, olivaceous-black, context 5-20 mm thick, up to 200 mm thick in the common base when several basidiomata are staged-imbricate, more or less subvertically and concentrically zoned, verona brown near tube layer fading into cinnamon buff towards the cutis. Tubes in one layer 5-10 mm thick in young specimens, in more mature basidioma staged layers occur, each separated by a thin layer of context (this thin interlayering of context has not been observed in any other species of Ganoderma); one specimen has been observed with eight tube layers, probably meaning that it is as many years old. Pore surface white in actively growing specimens, tawny on ageing.
Hosts: A very wide range of broad-leaved and coniferous trees. As much confusion has arisen between G. applanatum and G. adspersum earlier references must be accepted only with care as to the hosts. It is the authors observation that G. applanatum is more frequent in the woodland biotype than in orchards, garden and roadside plantations while G. adspersum seems to be more frequent in the latter.
Geographical distribution: Throughout the northern hemisphere temperate zone. The northern limit follows the tree line. The southern limit is Florida in the USA, the Mediterranean sea in Europe, Northern Iran, Northern Pakistan, southern slopes of the Himalayas, but a specimen has been obtained from Bombay in India. In Pakistan and India it overlaps slightly with the range of G. tornatum (CMI Descript. 447).
Physiological specialization: None reported.
Transmission: Transmission is probably confined to air-borne spores and root contact with infected plant material in the soil.

Literature: Bourdot & Galzin, Contribution a la flore mycologique de la France, 1927; Steyaert, Considerations generales sur le genre Ganoderma et plus specialement sur les especes europeennes, Bulletin Societe r. botanique Belgique 100: 189-211, 1967.

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