Inonotus Obliquus - Name

Name

The name "chaga" (pronounced "tsjaa-ga') comes from the Russian word of the mushroom (anglicized from czaga), which in turn is purportedly derived from the word for the fungus in Komi-Permyak, the language of the indigenous peoples in the Kama River Basin, west of the Ural Mountains. It is also known as the clinker polypore, cinder conk, black mass and birch canker polypore.

In Norwegian, the name is kreftkjuke' which literally translates as "cancer polypore", referring to the fungus' appearance or to its alleged medicinal properties.

In England and Canada, it is known as the sterile conk trunk rot of birch, which refers to the fruiting bodies growing under the outer layers of wood surrounding the sterile conk once the tree is dead, to spread the spores. In France, it is called the carie blanche spongieuse de bouleau (spongy white birch tree rot), and in Germany it is known as Schiefer Schillerporling (slate Inonotus). The Dutch name is berkenweerschijnzwam (birch mushroom glow).

Within the wilderness survival community, it is called tinder fungus (this name is also claimed for fomes fomentarius), because it can catch a weak spark and form a coal that can be used to kindle a fire.

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