|Major Groups > Jelly Fungi > Tremella fuciformis|
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by Michael Kuo
Sometimes called the "snow fungus," Tremella fuciformis is a tropical and subtropical jelly fungus found on hardwood logs after heavy rains. It is whitish or nearly transparent, and fairly large (up to about 7 cm across)--and it features graceful gelatinous lobes rather than the glob-like blobs that typify so many other jelly fungi.
Like many jellies, Tremella fuciformis has a life cycle that is intertwined with that of another fungus; in this case an Ascomycete in the genus Hypoxylon. It is unclear whether Tremella fuciformis actually parasitizes the Hypoxylon, or whether there is a complex symbiosis or mutualism involved.
Ecology: Possibly parasitic on the mycelium of Hypoxylon archeri and closely related species--or potentially saprobic on the dead wood of hardwoods and involved in an undetermined symbiosis with the Hypoxylon (the fungi could, for example, be decomposing components of the wood that the other fungus can't decompose, enabling each other); growing alone or gregariously with Hypoxylon fruiting bodies frequently nearby; summer and fall; tropical and subtropical in distribution, but also found in Missouri, Indiana, and Kansas.
Fruiting Body: Gelatinous but fairly firm; composed of graceful lobes; translucent whitish; up to about 7 cm across and 4 cm high; surface smooth and shiny.
Spore Print: White.
Microscopic Features: Spores 7-14 x 5-8.5 µ; ovoid; smooth; often germinating by repetition. Basidia 4-spored; becoming longitudinally 4-septate (cruciate) with maturity; 11-15.5 x
Compare Tremella fuciformis with Ductifera pululahuana, which is more glob-like, usually less translucent, and features gloeocystidia; and with Tremella reticulata, which usually grows on the ground and features a branched, coral-like fruiting body.
Further Online Information:
Tremella fuciformis at Tom Volk's Fungi
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2008, November). Tremella fuciformis. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/tremella_fuciformis.html