What You Should Know
Cudonia circinans can be distinguished by its irregular-round cap that is plump when wet, smooth to the slightly wrinkled underside, rubbery stipe, buff to beige coloration, and growth with Sitka spruce.
Grows scattered to gregarious in moss, thick duff, or well-rotted wood, primarily in Sitka spruce forests; locally common in the far north coast, uncommon south to Mendocino County; fall through spring.
Other names: Common Cudonia, Redleg Jellybaby.
Cudonia circinans Mushroom Identification
Presumably saprobic; growing scattered to gregariously or in clusters on the duff of spruces and other conifers, and occasionally on well-rotted wood; late summer and fall; widely distributed in northern and montane North America.
10–20 mm across; cushion-shaped to irregularly convex, with the margin curled under; upper surface bald, sometimes a little wrinkled; dry; creamy to pale pinkish tan; undersurface similar to the upper surface.
15–30 mm long; 2–5 mm thick; dry; bald or very finely fuzzy near the base; often with longitudinal grooves or ridges which may extend onto the undersurface of the cap; brown to purplish tan; attached to copious underground, sulfur yellow mycelium.
Thin; insubstantial; not gelatinous.
KOH negative on cap surface.
Spores 35–40 x 1.5–2.5 µm; cylindric with one aciculate end and one end merely rounded; often a little curved; smooth; hyaline and multiguttulate in KOH. Asci 75–125 x 8–11 µm; fusiform, with subacute apices; hyaline in KOH. Paraphyses 75–150 x 2–3 µm; filiform; often exceeding the asci and curving or looping; apices varying from subacute to subclavate or merely rounded; smooth; hyaline in KOH.
Cudonia circinans Look-Alikes
Is similar, but with more yellow to yellowish-green coloration and is usually larger.
Is a mostly spring-fruiting, less yellowish species with shorter (18-24 microns) spores, normally with one or no crosswalls (as opposed to multiple cross-walls for C. circinans), (Trudell), P. monticola is pinkish-cinnamon to pinkish-buff to grayish brown, occurs mainly in spring and summer, and has smaller spores.
Is drab or dark gray and has smaller spores (18-22(24) microns long).
Is gelatinous, thicker-fleshed, and more brightly colored sometimes with green tints, and has different spores.
Photo 1 - Author: Silver Leapers (Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 2 - Author: Urmas Ojango (Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic)
Shape: Jelly Fungi
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