What You Should Know
Oudemansiella mucida (Schrad.) Höhn. is pale grayish to whitish ivory mushroom, which is frequently covered with a slimy and semi-translucent membrane. This is a saprobic white-rot wood fungus (sometimes weakly parasitic) and specific to beech (Fagus sylvatica) wood, where it grows and fruits in clusters on trunks and branches. Less frequently, it can also fruit on dead high up branches of living beech trees. It is widespread throughout Europe following beech distribution.
O. mucida eliminates competition with other fungi when it is growing on beech trees by production of the anti-fungal agent strobilurin, used in agricultural treatments (Anke, 1995).
It is also known for the secretion of chlorinated metabolites (de Jong et al. 1994).
It is an easy species to determine on the field. It does not very often happen to encounter a mushroom which, practically, doesn’t have any similar species: a flagship species. The place of growth, always on plants or dead branches of beech, its silhouette, the white color, the center of the cap slightly ochraceous, the viscosity of the cap and the consistency of the flesh, almost gelatinous, render it unmistakable.
Porcelain fungus is generally not considered toxic. Some sources claim that it is mildly toxic though, while others consider it edible after washing (to remove the mucus). Still, others, describe porcelain fungus as a good culinary mushroom and provide specific recipes for preparing it.
Other names: Porcelain Fungus.
Oudemansiella mucida Mushroom Identification
2-6 (8) cm, initially convex then flat, thin margin, almost grooved; slightly wrinkled cuticle, covered by slimy mucilage, of ashy white color, olive-gray at the center, translucent.
Spaced gills, broad, sinuate, rounded to the stem, adnate, intercalated by lamellulae, mucilaginous, white.
3-7 x 0,2-0,8 cm, slender, hard, rigid, sinuous, full, enlarged at the base, streaked at the top, white, darken when handled.
At the top, thin, rather broad, white.
Thin, little, soft with a slightly herbaceous smell, mild flavor.
It grows on beech trees with little vigor or fallen branches, always of beech, caespitose or single.
Spherical, even sub-globose, smooth, finely guttulated; at times, on the contrary, with big guttula and around finer ones, 5-18 × 13,5-17 µm. Q = 1,08.
Club-shaped, tetrasporic, with joint buckles, 76-87,5 × 16,25-17 µm.
Rare, fusiform, ventricous, 92,5-100 × 18,75-30 µm.
Oudemansiella mucida Taxonomy and Etymology
In 1794 the German botanist and mycologist Heinrich Adolf Schrader (1767-1836) described the Porcelain Fungus and gave it the scientific name Agaricus mucidus. Its present accepted name dates from 1909, when Austrian mycologist Franz Xaver Rudolf von Höhnel (1852 - 1920) transferred this species to the genus Oudemansiella.
Synonyms of Oudemansiella mucida include Agaricus mucidus Schrad., Collybia mucida (Schrad. : Fr.) Quél., Armillaria mucida (Schrad.) P. Kumm., and Mucidula mucida (Schrad.) Pat.
The genus Oudemansiella was established in 1881 by Italian-Argentinian mycologist Carlos Luigi Spegazzini (1858 - 1926) and named in honor of the Dutch mycologist Cornelius Anton Jan Abraham Oudemans (1825 - 1906).
The specific epithet mucida refers to the layer of transparent mucus that covers the caps of these mushrooms.
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