Aleuria aurantia: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Aleuria aurantia Mushroom
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 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. The illustrated and described collections are from California and Illinois.
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 & Etymology
In 1799 when Christiaan Hendrik Persoon described this species he named it Peziza aurantia.
It was the German mycologist Karl Wilhelm Gottlieb Leopold Fuckel (1821 - 1876) who transferred Orange Peel Fungus to the genus Aleuria and gave it its present scientific name Aleuria aurantia in 1870.
Synonyms of Aleuria aurantia include Peziza aurantia Fr., Scodellina aurantia (Pers.) Gray, Peziza coccinea Huds., Helvella coccinea Bolton, and Peziza aurantia Pers.
The specific epithet aurantia means "golden" is a reference to the color of the fertile surface of these cup fungi.
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