Orange Jelly Fungus

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Orange Jelly Fungi, Vancouver Island, BC
Orange Jelly Fungi, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Dacrymyces palmatus, also known as Orange Jelly Fungi, is a common jelly fungus from the Dacrymycetaceae family. It is usually found on the dead wood, usually recently fallen branches and it grows on dying standing trees. The gelatinous, orange fruiting body of the fungus, which can grow up to more than 7 cm diameter, has a lobed surface that is slimy to the touch when wet. It grows on conifer bark, and is more common in the fall rainy season.  This fungus occurs widely in conifer forests, it is widely distributed in the Pacific Northwest and can be found all over Vancouver Island. It is considered edible but tastes quite bland so I have included it in the non-edible section.

Orange Jelly Fungi, Vancouver Island, BC
Orange Jelly Fungi, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

This fungus is easily confused with Tremella mesenterica, or as it is more commonly called witches’ butter. They do look quite similar and I find that quite a few mushroom sites do list them as the same mushroom. They are from different families though, and there are differences. Witches butter will dry out into a leathery blob, orange jelly dries out into a mess. Witches Butter prefers hardwoods while orange jelly prefers conifers. Both are pretty cool to see, I have always loved seeing them when out hiking on the island, they add so much color to beautiful green forests.

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