The bracket fungi (or shelf fungi) comprise numerous species of the Polypore Family (Polyporaceae), in the class basidiomycete. Technically, these are not plants, gaining energy through the decomposition of dead and dying plant matter. The visible portion of a bracket fungus consists of the fruiting, or reproductive, body. Such structures may be an extremely long-lived and woody, adding a new layer of living fungal matter at the base of the structure each year. The vegetative portion of the fungus resides within the body of the tree (or dead stump), where it consists of an extensive network of filamentous fungal threads. Western Washington.