What You Should Know
Aleuria aurantia is a brilliant edible orange, stemless disc fungus that grows, often in clusters, in soil in woodlands, amongst the grass, and along roadsides. It is easily mistaken for discarded orange peel.
The fruit-bodies are saucer-shaped initially but become flat and wavy and are often contorted due to the pressure of surrounding fruit-bodies. The diameter is 20-100 mm, height to 20 mm. The upper surface is bright orange, smooth and waxy, the outer surface is paler and covered with a whitish down.
Unlike many Ascomycetes, which fruit during the spring, Aleuria aurantia can be found from November through January, the peak of the California mushroom season.
Other names: Orange Peel Fungus.
Aleuria aurantia Mushroom Identification
Traditionally labeled as saprobic but possibly mycorrhizal (Hobbie et al. 2001); usually growing in clusters on the ground, often in clayey soil or disturbed ground (road banks, trails, and so on); also appearing in urban habitats in landscaping and occasionally on woodchips; summer and fall, or overwinter in warm climates; widely distributed in North America; also known from Europe, South America, Asia, and Australasia.
Cup-shaped, often becoming flattened or irregularly shaped as a result of the clustered growth habit; 1.5–7 cm across; without a stem, but pinched together at the point of attachment.
Bright orange and bald.
Usually whitish-fuzzy, at least when young, but often dull orange and more or less bald by maturity.
Pale yellow to orangish; brittle.
Aleuria aurantia Taxonomy and Etymology
When Christiaan Hendrik Persoon described the species in 1799, he called it Peziza aurantia.
In 1870, the German mycologist Karl Wilhelm Gottlieb Leopold Fuckel (1821-1876) transferred the orange peel fungus to the genus Aleuria and gave it It is now known as Aleuria aurantia.
The specific epithet aurantia means "golden" and refers to the color of the fertile surface of these goblet fungi.
Aleuria aurantia Synonyms
Helvella coccinea Bolton, 1789
Peziza aurantia Pers., 1800
Scodellina aurantiaca Gray, 1821
Scodellina aurantia (Pers.) Gray
Otidea aurantia (Pers.) Rehm, 1883
Peziza pseudoaurantia P. Crouan & H. Crouan, 1867
Peziza coccinea Huds.
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