Pseudohydnum gelatinosum

Pseudohydnum gelatinosum
Image Courtesy of Dan Guravich
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Group of Fungi: Jelly Fungi

Family: Auriculariaceae

Latin Name: Pseudohydnum gelatinosum (Scop.) P. Karst.

Common Name: Jelly Tooth

Description: Flattened spoon-shaped or tongue-shaped gelatinous structure, cap usually 1–3 in (2.5–7.5 cm) across and 1/4–1 in (0.5–2.5 cm) thick; upper surface translucent, smooth to somewhat downy, white to grayish brown; margin inrolled; lower surface covered with downward projecting tooth-like spines, white to watery gray, 1/8–1/4 in (0.3–0.5 cm) long; stalk varying from a short lateral extension of the cap to a distinct and upright structure, then up to 1 5/8 in (4 cm) long, same color as the cap; spores white in mass.

Biological Role: Decomposer of decaying wood.

Habitat: On decorticated (without bark) logs, stumps and fallen branches of conifers; solitary or more often occurring in small groups.

Geographical Distribution: Found throughout North America.

Comments: Pseudohydnum gelatinosum is a distinctive fungus that seemingly combines features of two entirely different groups-the jelly fungi and the tooth fungi. It is actually a jelly fungus that only resembles a tooth fungus, and the genus name Pseuohydnum (literally meaning "false tooth fungus") actually refers to this fact. Pseudohydnum gelatinosum is an edible fungus but is rarely collected for human consumption because of the small size and rather bland taste of the fruiting bodies.

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