WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Apr 6th, 2010

Orange Jelly Mushroom

Apr 6

Yea, I know these are a lot more yellow than orange but the color varies. This jelly mushroom is supposed to be edible but it sure doesn’t look it to me.

Dacrymyces palmatus

Orange Jelly Mushroom

This jelly mushroom seems to prefer dead Hemlock. It’s supposed to grow on conifers in general but the only thing I’ve seen it growing on around here are the dead Hemlocks.

Orange Jelly fungus can grow from early spring to late fall this far north. This photo is from Jan. 27 when I found some frozen jelly. Back then I could only make an educated guess at the identity of the frozen jelly blob.

Orange Jelly fungus - frozen

A good soaking rain can bring on a growth spurt at any time. That was the case here where it’s now easy to see the white base of the fungus. The white point of attachment is a good indicator of the identity.

Dacrymyces palmatus

Another common name sometimes used is Orange Witch’s Butter but it should not be confused with the ‘real’ Witch’s Butter – Tremella mesenterica. They may look similar but they’re no relation. The best way to tell them apart is by the type of wood they grow on. While the jelly depends on dead conifer the butter grows from dead hardwoods.


Scarlet Elf Cup Mushroom

Someday I just might get the name of these mushrooms correct. I have no idea what possessed me to call them Caps when they are obviously Cups. At least I got the scientific names straightened out the last time I found some on March 15th. These are either Sarcoscypha dudleyi or Sarcoscypha austriaca and not Sarcoscypha coccinea as most of my field guides had led me to believe.

Scarlet Elf Cup Mushroom

past Scarlet Elf Whatchamacallit posts:
Mar 15th, 2010
Apr 18th, 2009

Note to self:
First found a month earlier this year than last. Last year only a few found, this year they seem to be everywhere. So far only found growing from half buried maple branches, not seen on any other hardwood.

10 Responses

  1. Floridagirl Says:

    That’s some really cool fungi!

  2. Hugh Says:

    My dyslexia repackaged the title as “jolly old mushroom.”

    Great pictures. They make me want to soft-boil an egg.

    We get Witch’s Butter, at least I’m pretty sure that’s what it is, on old birches.

  3. Ratty Says:

    You always show the best mushrooms. The yellow stuff looks like wax to me. Those red cups always make me think of blood. I look for things like this now. I don’t find anything this good, but I find a lot more than I ever saw before.

  4. Curbstone Valley Farm Says:

    I love the jelly fungi! We had quite a bit of Tremella aurantia this year with all our wet weather. Our jelly fungi seem to prefer either tanbark oaks or douglas fir. I have yet to see a scarlet elf cup mushroom here though.

  5. Joy Says:

    Hello there stranger !
    I have been MIA .. battling raccoon wars ..and by some strange reason I have been fixated on eating Jello .. I wonder if there is some kind of connection ? LOL
    Your pictures are amazing Mr. WiseA** .. you should have a book published with your witty commentary and these fabulous pictures .. I am serious now .. and for a small fee I will do your promo tour over here in the Great White North : )

  6. MNGarden Says:

    Now those are the most unusual ones I have seen. Nature is strange and wonderful.

  7. Laurrie Says:

    How you make fungus look so stunningly beautiful I don’t know, but you do. I love your photos.

  8. rainfield Says:

    I would cap off the reading about your Caps intead of Cups with my date with the mushrooms. I am writing, still writing.

  9. Susan at Winterberry Farm Primitives Says:

    I can’t believe it; another mycology nut! I am considered crazy by friends and neighbors when I get all excited about a new basidiomycete popping up through the leaf litter! Your specimens are cool! Love your blog! Can’t wait to read more about your natives!

  10. Beverly Says:

    Just found a scarlet elf last week–usually I don’t see any fungi (is that the right word?)

    I too love your photos. The woods of my youth were in Schenectady.
    Somehow the plants look more familiar in your photos and those of Claudia Gregoire (TheGardenLady, who lives in Schenectady and photographs some of the actual sites where I was tutored in wild flower identification).
    We have the some of the same wildflowers here in my central Ohio woodlot, but something is missing–probably my youth.