White Jelly Fungus
The species is very common in south-eastern Australia, being found along (and on the coastal side of) the Divide as well as in and near Adelaide. 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, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC)
The fruiting bodies are white (sometimes almost translucent) and with a gelatinous texture when fresh, changing to brittle when dry. Dry fruiting bodies become gelatinous when soaked in water. The fruiting bodies irregularly lobed structures, varying in size from just a centimetre or so to over 15 centimetres in greatest length. The individual lobes may be simple or branched.
Spore print: white. Basidiomycete.
Ecology/Way of Life:
Saprotroph on dead wood.
Interaction with Humans/Threats:
This is a common species in Asian cuisine and in Australia you can buy it in many supermarkets and specialty Asian grocery stores.
The type specimen was collected in Brazil and the species is widespread in temperate and tropical region. The species is cultivated in Asia on a variety of substrates, for example, hardwood logs (or sawdust), cotton waste or corn cobs. Best results are obtained if a companion fungus first degrades the substrate, ahead of the Tremella. The book by Hall et al. gives a brief account of the process.
Arnold, G. (2002). Fungimap. http://fungimap.rbg.vic.gov.au/fsp/sp047.html
Grey, P. & Grey, E. (2005). Fungi Down Under. Fungimap, Melbourne.
Hall, I., Buchanan, P.K., Yun, W. & Cole, A.L.J. (1998). Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms: an Introduction. New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research, Christchurch.
Lowy, B. (1971). Tremellales. Hafner Publishing Company, New York.
McNabb, R.F.R. (!966). New Zealand Tremellales – II. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 4: pp533 – 545
Text and map by Heino Lepp. Image by Bruce Fuhrer.
Image kindly provided by Bruce Fuhrer from his recent book: A Field Guide to Australian Fungi
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