Witches’ Butter

(Tremella mesenterica)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Witches’ Butter

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Very common and widespread

Season

Year-round, especially late fall, during prolonged wet periods

Habitat/Hosts

Logs, fallen or still attached but dead branches and twigs, with bark still attached, of oaks and other hardwoods

    Photo by Heather Ellis

Identification

This is a very common and widespread jelly fungus. It obtains its nutrients by parasitizing wood-rotting crust fungi in the genus Peniophora. It occurs singly or in groups on logs, branches, and twigs of oaks and other hardwoods. The wood on which it is found may be fallen or still on the tree but is always dead and usually has the bark still attached.

When young and fresh the fruiting body is one or more stemless, gelatinous but tough, ¾ to 4 wide, 1 to 2 in height lobes and folds. The lobes are translucent, shiny, and pale orangish-yellow to bright yellowish-orange. When clustered, they fuse together and resemble an exposed brain. They are mostly water. In wet conditions they swell and lose shape, looking like a dollop of melting butter. When they begin to dry they become darker orange, more opaque, and smaller. In dry conditions they become dark orange, shriveled up, hard, and brittle. Sometimes they collapse into an inconspicuous film when they dry, but will revive with the next wet weather.

It is not poisonous but cooking it will release the water and leave little to eat.

 
Similar
Species

Brown Witches’ Butter (Tremella foliacea) forms a cluster of cinnamon brown to purplish brown, leaf-like lobes.

Golden Ear (Tremella aurantia) lobes are thicker and have a dull, matte finish. They are not shiny. They do not shrivel when dried. Its host is Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum), a bracket fungus.

Orange Jelly Fungus (Dacrymyces palmatus) is slightly smaller and more orange. It is white at the base where it attaches to the wood. It grows only on conifers.

White Coral Jelly Fungus (Tremella reticulata) is white. Older specimens are clusters of finger-like branches. It tends to grow on the ground.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Division:

Basidiomycota (club fungi)

 

Subdivision:

Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)

 

Class:

Tremellomycetes

 

Order:

Tremellales (jelly fungi)

 

Family:

Tremellaceae

 
Synonyms

Helvella mesenterica

Tremella lutescens

Tremella quercina

 
Common
Names

Witches’ Butter


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

parasitic

Obtaining nutrients from another living organism.

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this fungi or lichen.

Heather Ellis


  Witches’ Butter   Witches’ Butter
       
  Witches’ Butter    

       
       
       

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Slideshows

   
  Witches Butter
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Witches Butter  
 
About

Witches Butter or Witches Jelly or Orange jelly

(Dacrymyces palmatus)

 
     
  Grzyby: Trzęsak pomarańczowożółty / Tremella mesenterica
MTMK: PhotoVideoTravel&Garden
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 16, 2014

# Trzęsak pomarańczowożółty / kisielec pomarańczowy / galaretowiec kruszkowy / galaretowiec pospolity / móżdżak kruszkowy / trzęsidło pomarańczowe / trzęsak pomarańczowy / trzęsak złotożółty (łac. tremella mesenterica / hormomyces aurantiacus / tremella brasiliensis / tremella lutescens / tremella mesenterica var. lutescens), grzyb niejadalny

# Yellow Vrain / Golden Jelly Fungus / Yellow Trembler / Witches' Butter (l. Tremella Mesenterica / Hormomyces Aurantiacus / Tremella Brasiliensis / Tremella Lutescens / Tremella Mesenterica var. Lutescens), inedible fungus

# Warmia i Mazury, w pobliżu: jezioro Narie, Ostróda, Morąg, Kretowiny

# Music: Silent Partner - Every Step (Audio YouTube Library)

 
     

 

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Other Videos

 
  Witch's Butter (Tremella mesenterica?) on Log
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Sep 11, 2010

Photographed at the Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, Minnesota (08 September 2010). Go here to learn more about this jelly fungi: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/tremella_mesenterica.html

 
     
  Witches Butter
wetvideocamera
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 22, 2014

Tremella mesenterica - jelly-like fungus found on recently dead or decaying wood.

 
     
  Ciuperca galbena gelatinoasa pe lemn putred, Tremella mesenterica ,(Tremella lutescens)
Adrian Manolache
 
   
 
About

Published on May 3, 2014

Nu este comestibila. Se intalneste tot timpul anului pe ramurile cazute de foioase. Determina un putregai alb al ramurilor.

Google Translate: It is not edible. It meets throughout the year on fallen deciduous branches. Determine a white rot of branches.

 
     
  Ciuperca necomestibila, dar atragatoare si fascinanta: Tremella mesenterica
Adrian Manolache
 
   
 
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Published on Nov 18, 2014

 
     
  Foraging the Forest: Jelly Fungi; Witches Butter
The Roaming Gnome...Glenn Munro
 
   
 
About

Published on May 26, 2015

 
     

 

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Visitor Sightings

   
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Heather Ellis
11/1/2015

Location: Remer Township, Cass County

Witches’ Butter


     
     
 

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