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Wolfiporia extensa (Peck) Ginns (syn. Poria cocos F.A.Wolf) is a fungus in the Polyporaceae family.It is a wood rot fungus but has an underground growth habit.Notably, it forms a large, persistent subterranean sclerotia resembling a small coconut.This sclerotia, called "(Chinese) Fuling" or fu-ling (Chinese: 苗; pinyin: fúlíng), is different from the true Fuling used by Native Americans for Indian bread, which is the arrowhead calla lily,Peltandra virginica, a A tuber plant of the flowering plant Alocasiaceae.W.extensa is also widely used as a medicinal mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine.TCM indications are diuretic, invigorating the spleen (i.e. digestive function), calming the nerves.
Common names include hoelen, tuckahoe, tuckahoe, Chinese root, tuckahoe (Fuling, pinyin: fúlíng), and matsuhodo.
Wolfiporia extensa is a source of the triterpenoid pachyfolate, which has been the subject of scientific research based on the mushroom's role in traditional Chinese medicine. In this case, the species is often called coconut.Hoelen refers to a mushroom grown in China on the roots of Chinese red pine trees (for example, Pinus massoniana and Pinus tabulaeformis); it also grows on these pines and other conifers, as well as several hardwoods.Some may wonder why the name "hoelen" is often used to refer to it.The common name comes from the original botanical name Pachyma hoelen given by Dutch).Lewis David von Schweinitz, founder of American mycology (the study of fungi), named hoelen Sclerotium cocos in 1821, using a genus name devised 30 years earlier to denote spherical fungi and cocos from coconuts, describing their shape and typical size (see Photo of a coconut-shaped mushroom ball found at the base of a pine tree).Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries named it Pachyma cocos "Systematic Mycology".A hundred years later, in 1922, American mycologist Frederick Adolph Wolf identified the mushroom as Polyporia and renamed it Poria cocos.His two-volume book Fungi became a major resource for research on mushroom species.However, his revised nomenclature for the mushroom is far from complete.The mushroom was named Macrohyporia cocos in 1979, Macrohyporia extensa in 1983, and then Wolfiporia cocos in 1984, genus names that distinguish this mushroom from other Poria fungi (the last version is in honor of Mycologist Fredrick Wolf); other species of Poria cocos produce filaments rather than clumps.In the same year (1984), it was further rewritten as Wolfiporia extensa, which is now the preferred botanical name.An American mycologist, Charles Peck, applied the species name extensa to this mushroom as early as 1891 and proposed this name.