Fungi fd. 1/25/03

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at ipns.com
Tue Feb 11 04:44:40 EST 2003


"e.hutton" <caterpillar at amuscaria.uklinux.net> wrote in message news:<nhnr1b.002.ln at localhost.localdomain>...
> Daniel B. Wheeler wrote:
> 
> > "Alter S. Reiss" <alterreiss at yahoo.com> wrote in message
> > news:<b1nq6h$140uei$1 at ID-72420.news.dfncis.de>...
> >> "e.hutton" <caterpillar at amuscaria.uklinux.net> wrote in message
> >> news:6fhe1b.g35.ln at localhost.localdomain...
> >> > Alter S. Reiss wrote:
> >> > > "Daniel B. Wheeler" <dwheeler at ipns.com> wrote in message
> >> > > news:pgpmoose.200301271056.7007 at net.bio.net...
> >> > >> Fungi found Jan. 25, 2003 at Paul Bishop's (a week before the annual
> >> > >> FREE truffle hunt):
> >> > >
> >> > > (. . .)
> >> > >
> >> > >> Witch's Butter (sorry, forgot the scientific name)
> >> > >
> >> > > Tremella Mesenterica, IIRC.  I rather like it in those "cup o'
> >> > > noodles" type ramen soups.
> >> > >
> >> > Sorry you recall incorrectly. Tremella Mesenterica is Yellow Brain
> >> > Fungus. Witches' Butter is Exidia glandulosa = E. plana = E.truncata,
> >> > and is
> >> black.
> >> 
> >> I suppose this is one of the perils of using common names -- the fungus
> >> that I know as witches butter is usually yellow, and occasionally orange.
> >> Lincoff (the Audubon Field Guide), and McKnight and McKnight (the
> >> Peterson Field Guide) agree with me on what witches butter is (Lincoff
> >> calls E. Gladulosa "Black Jelly Roll", and the McKnights call it "Warty
> >> Jelly Fungus", for what it's worth), but it wouldn't take much to
> >> convince me that there are places were "Yellow Brain Fungus" means T.
> >> Mesenterica, and "Witches Butter" means the id you try it in
> >> ramen soup?E. Glandulosa.
> >> 
> >> So, Daniel -- what color was the stuff you found?  And d
> > 
> > The material is bright yellow, but fades to a nearly transluscent
> > yellow-whitish gray in extreme age. I haven't tried eating it. But I
> > understand it can be pickled and candied.
> > 
> > Daniel B. Wheeler
> > www.oregonwhitetruffles.com
> > 
> Two countries divided by a common language again.
> Here in the UK Witches' Butter is E. Glandulosa. Obviously the US of A
> agrees to differ. Daniel's fungus, being bright yellow, is clearly
> Tremella Mesenterica. I have never seen enough to want to try its
> edibility - none of my books regard it as edible anyway.

I just checked the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American
Mushrooms, edited by Gary Lincoff. It states, in part:

"Edibility: Edible

Comments: This fungus can be found during warming winter thaws,
throughout cool, wet springs, and in summer in the mountains. The
Yellow Witches' Butter (T. lutescens), probably just a variant, is
smaller, pale yellow, and more lobed than contorted. Witches' Butter
is sometimes added to soups."

Since clumps of what I was finding approached 3 inches in diameter,
I'm leaning toward T. messenterica. But the coloration as fresh was
bright yellow. I'm not good enough a mycologist (if I ever _was_ that
good) at distinguishing between T. lutescens from T. messenterica.

Daniel B. Wheeler
www.oregonwhitetruffles.com




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