Otidea onotica: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Otidea onotica Mushroom
Otidea onotica is a species of apothecial fungus belonging to the family Pyronemataceae. This is a European species occurring singly or in small groups on soil in woodland, most often with beech trees. The fruiting body appears from spring to early autumn as a deep cup split down one side and elongated at the other side up to 10 cm in height. The color is yellow with a pinkish tinge.
The carpophores produced do not have the classical form with defined and differentiated stem and cap, as stands in the common imaginary, but instead are cup-shaped they are also called “small cups”, with at times a just hinted stem. This morphological structure is also called receptacle, because it contains the hymenophore bearing the reproductive organs of the fungus.
Otidea onotica is edible but of little value.
Other names: Donkey-Ears, Hare's-Ear.
Otidea onotica Identification
Saprobic, growing terrestrially in woods under hardwoods or conifers; often clustered, but occasionally growing alone or scattered; summer and fall (winter and spring in warmer areas); widely distributed in North America.
Spoon-shaped, ear-shaped, or cuplike, with a cleft down one side; up to 10 cm high and 6 cm across; inner surface yellowish to orangish, often with rose or pink areas; outer surface similarly colored but lacking pink or rose shades, often finely fuzzy; stem if present whitish, small, and rudimentary. Odor none. Flesh pale yellowish; brittle.
Spores 12-14 x 6-7 µ; smooth; elliptical; with one or two oil droplets. Asci eight-spored; up to 200 x 11 µ. Paraphyses narrow, usually with hooked or curved ends (see illustration).
Otidea onotica Look-Alikes
Is a much darker brown and usually produces larger cups.
Is found mostly in conifer forests.
The dark brown mushroom is common in the Rocky Mountains.
Grows from a sclerotial mass, are also dark brown but with a reddish inner surface.
Otidea onotica Taxonomy & Etymology
In 1801 when Christiaan Hendrik Persoon described this ascomycete fungus he gave it the binomial scientific name Peziza onitica. It was the German mycologist Karl Wilhelm Gottlieb Leopold Fuckel (1821 - 1876) who in 1870 transferred this species to the genus Otidea, renaming it Otidea onotica, its currently accepted scientific name.
Synonyms of Otidea onitica include Peziza onotica Pers., Pseudotis abietina (Pers.) Boud., and Scodellina onotica (Pers.) Gray.
The genus name Otidea is a reference to the ear-like form of fungi in this group, while the prefix ono- in the specific epithet onotica means donkey.
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