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Witches Butter
Tremella mesenterica

From Missouri Department of Conservation: “The gelatinous “fruiting bodies” are temporary. This fungus’s full-time job is to inhabit dead wood as a parasite that gets nourishment by digesting the tissues of an unrelated fungus ( a crust-like fungus that is itself parasitizing and maybe killing the tree). Witches’ butter is therefore a parasite of a parasite! The yellow jellylike masses create and disperse spores, which float away to begin more “witches’ butter” elsewhere.”

This is edible, but please do not base any identification of mushrooms on this website information, or eat anything that you are not 100% sure of the identification from a mushroom expert.

Alternate Name: Yellow Brain, Golden Jelly Fungus, Yellow Trembler
Size: Width: 1–3 in; height: 1.25-1.625 in.
Family: Tremellaceae
Habitat: Prefers dead deciduous wood, especially oaks, and typically many grow together.
Identification: "Small, yellow, irregularly lobed, gelatinous masses. Grows on dead deciduous wood. Year-round. Fruiting body irregularly lobed, brainlike; sulfur yellow to pale yellow; texture gelatinous." From mdc.mo.gov
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All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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