Major Groups > Jellies > Phlogiotis helvelloides


Phlogiotis helvelloides

[ Basidiomycetes > Tremellales > Exidiaceae > Phlogiotis . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This distinctive jelly fungus is hard to describe, but not so hard to recognize. Despite my usual cautions against identifying mushrooms by comparing them to photographs, I have to admit that Phlogiotis helvelloides is probably an exception. Look at the picture, add a semi-gelatinous consistency--and, well, that's Phlogiotis helvelloides. If you are worried about look-alikes, yank your putative Phlogiotis helvelloides hard as you pick it; if you hear screaming, you have pulled someone's tongue, and a little searching will probably reveal a human being concealed in the substrate.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing on the ground or on well rotted wood; almost always found under conifers; summer and fall (also winter in warmer climates); widely distributed in northern and montane North America.

Fruiting Body: 2-15 cm high; with a confluent "cap" and "stem," though the dividing line between them is hard to pin down; "cap" funnel-shaped or irregular, often with a slit down one side; inner surface smooth, pinkish orange; outer surface smooth or wrinkled, colored like the inner surface (or paler); "stem" central or off-center, colored like the outer surface except for a whitish base; flesh rubbery.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 9-12 x 4-8 µ; elliptical; smooth. Basidia cruciate-septate; ovoid; 14-21 x 9-13 µ. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (de Candolle, 1805) Martin, 1936. (Fries, 1822; Saccardo, 1888; Smith, 1949; Lowy, 1971; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 01120608.

I have used the familiar genus name Phlogiotis for this mushroom, but Index Fungorum says the current name is Guepinia helvelloides, while the Dictionary of the Fungi (2001) says Tremiscus is the current genus name.

Further Online Information:

Phlogiotis helvelloides at Roger's Mushrooms


Phlogiotis helvelloides

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