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Aleuria aurantia (Family Pyronemataceae)

Orange-peel fungus


Widespread in forests, woodlands and parks of eastern Australia. The distribution shown on the map is based on herbarium records and reliable sightings. It is likely that this species has a wider distribution than that shown on the map. However there has been little work on the distribution of Australian fungi and there are surprisingly few herbarium specimens of even the common species. (ACT, NSW, SA, TAS, VIC).


A stalkless, bright orange disk or shallow cup which may be up to 7 cm in diameter, but often no more than half that. The disks have a rubbery consistency. The smooth upper surface is bright orange, while the slightly roughened underside is paler, often pruinose. The disks can grow in clusters, with mutual pressure leading to distorted shapes, rather than perfectly circular disks.

Spore print: white. Ascomycete

Ecology/Way of Life:

This is a saprotrophic species, and the disks appear on the ground.

Other Comments:

The type specimen was collected in Europe and the species is widespread, being found elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere and in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. There are several species of Aleuria in Australia, and the one most likely to be confused with Aleuria aurantia is Aleuria rhenana. The disks of Aleuria rhenana can grow to 3 cm in diameter, but they are generally produced on top of short stalks. The other Aleuria species have disks only to about a centimetre in diameter. There are a several other common genera of orange, disk–like ascomycetes in Australia, but these have much smaller cups or disks, mostly under 1 cm in diameter.

Further Reading:

Corner, EJH. (1929). Studies in the morphology of Discomycetes. I. The marginal growth of apothecia. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 14 pp263 – 275

Dennis, R. W. G. (1981). British Ascomycetes. Vaduz: J. Cramer.

Rifai, MA. (1968). The Australasian Pezizales in the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Verhandelingen der Koninkluke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, afd. Natuurkunde, Tweede Reeks, 57 pp1 – 295.


Text, map and images by Heino Lepp.

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