Thursday, December 27, 2018

Orange bubbly

On a wintery grey day, on a grey shore, bounded by grey water and dark greyish logs, a patch of orange-peel brightness calls to me; I scramble and slide over slippery logs to get close to it. Cushions of brilliant jelly bubble out of a soaked log from end to end.

Good enough to eat, maybe*

I've always called this Witches' butter, Tremella mesenterica, going by photos and descriptions in my guide books. Recently, photos on the web are clearer, easier to blow up to see the details; I googled yellow jelly fungus and examined the photos that showed up.

It's probably not Witches' butter, after all. On E-Flora, I found many photos of Dacrymyces chrysospermus, no common name given. The photos match these, and now, knowing what to look for, I see the white basal attachments.

Tremella mesenterica lacks white basal attachment and grows on deciduous wood, besides being different microscopically, (Lincoff). Dacrymyces stillatus is smaller, simpler in form, and different microscopically. Dacrymyces chrysocomus is smaller, yellow, and cushion-shaped to cup-shaped. Dacrymyces capitatus is smaller, yellow, usually grows on hardwoods, and differs microscopically. (E-Flora)

So the witches are out of luck.

Advice about edibility differs: not edible (Phillips), edible, but should be boiled or steamed not sauteed, (Lincoff). (E-Flora)

1 comment:

  1. Don't think I'd try eating it, but it is so pretty especially when the skies are gray. - Margy


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