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Bulgaria inquinans

[ Ascomycetes > Helotiales > Bulgariaceae > Bulgaria ... ]

by Michael Kuo

Bulgaria inquinans is an odd mushroom, reminiscent of black gumdrops with scaly brown shells--what Uncle Fester would produce if he were CEO of the Gummi factory. Older specimens like the ones illustrated are quite flabby and gelatinous, leading to confusion with jelly fungi, but younger specimens have more of a cup fungus appearance.


Ecology: Saprobic on decaying oak and tanoak sticks and logs (also sometimes reported on the wood of birches or elms); growing alone, gregariously, or (more commonly) in clusters; late summer and fall (over winter in warm climates); widely distributed in North America.

Fruiting Body: Cup- or top-shaped at first, becoming flattened or convex; 1-5 cm across; outer surface brown to black, finely to prominently hairy or scaly (often smoother and blacker with age); upper surface black, shiny, and smooth; flesh rubbery to gelatinous; stem absent or merely a pinched-off extension.

Microscopic Features: Spores 9-17 x 6-7 µ; elliptical to somewhat lemon-shaped; smooth. Asci up to about 150 µ long; 8-spored, with the top 4 spores dark brown and uniguttulate in KOH and the bottom 4 spores poorly developed, multiguttulate, and hyaline. Paraphyses filiform.

REFERENCES: (Persoon, 1794) Fries, 1822. (Saccardo, 1889; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Breitenbach, J. & Kränzlin, 1984; Arora, 1986; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 01110601.

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Bulgaria inquinans

Bulgaria inquinans

Bulgaria inquinans

Bulgaria inquinans

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Kuo, M. (2007, April). Bulgaria inquinans. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: