One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Mycology. A large, widely distributed genus of hymenomycetous fungi of the family Polyporaceae, comprising chiefly bracket fungi growing on dead or living wood; (also polyporus) a fungus belonging to or formerly included in this genus.
2In form polyporus. A dense spongy material used to hold fine pins bearing delicate insect specimens, and consisting of dried pieces of a polypore, especially Piptoporus betulinus.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in William Hooker (1785–1865), botanist. From scientific Latin Polyporus, genus name from poly- + ancient Greek πόρος. Compare Hellenistic Greek πολύπορος having many passages.
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