Tremella foliacea

This is a large, lettuce-like jelly fungi. It contains a mass of leaf-like, flattened lobes that are cinnamon brown to purplish brown. There is no stem but the fungus arises from a centralized mass of tissue. It is up to 8 inches across.

This fungus is probably parasitic on the mycelium or fruiting bodies of crust fungi. It is also believed to be saprophobic on the decaying wood of hardwoods. This photo was taken just off the boardwalk near the raptor cages. It is widely distributed throughout the country but this specimen was the first one found at Fontenelle Forest. It is mainly seen from July to November.

It is somewhat similar in appearance to Auricula auricularia but differs in that it forms a tightly packed cluster of many leaf-like lobes. Other common names include leafy brain and brown witch’s butter. Sugars isolated from this fungus have been shown to have antitumor activity.


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