Friday, March 19, 2010

Yellow somethings

I'm always glad to see these; little lights in dark places.

But I didn't know what to call them. I have called them "Yellow blobs", which they are, and "Yellow jelly", which they sort of look like. (Except when they're orange or grey.)

This time, I decided to find them and get the name right.

Trouble is, I found names, plenty of them. They're "Yellow Fairy Cups". Good, because they are usually yellow or orange, and they are a cup fungus, although the cup is shallow enough to be a disc most of the time.

Or we could call them "Lemon Drops". Not the candy type, though; they're inedible. And not a useful name for web searches.

"Lemon Disc" or "Lemon Disco"? Like disco lights? And what do you call them when they grow up and turn orange? "Orange Wood Cups"? That would do.

Maybe the Latin name is the best. And it's still descriptive enough. "Bisporella citrina".  "Citrina" refers to the citrus colour; could be orange or lemon. Some websites refer to them by that name alone, "Citrina".

Of course, there are older Latin names, which are handy if you're Googling. There's Helotium citrinum; that's how I found the Orange Wood Cups name, and Calycella citrina, which just takes you back to Bisporella.

Whatever you call them, (I think I'll stick to Bisporella c.) they grow on rotting or dead wood, mostly in the shade. The ones above were on a dead snag in Watershed Park, where it is always dark.


  1. I like kyour perspective on things! ~karen

  2. I think I like 'Yellow Fairy Cups' best. I can picture wood fairies sipping morning dew ...

  3. Clytie, Laurie will like that comment. Next thing I know, he'll be writing a poem about those fairies ...

  4. I think I remember that they're cup-shaped because the raindrops falling in/on them splash the spores all over. Or maybe it's the fairies that do that :)


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