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Posts Tagged ‘Black Witch’s Butter’

black-witchs-butter

When walking in the woods on the weekend, this branch, thickly covered with a mass of black, lumpy stuff was observed. It proved to be a fungus, Black Witch’s Butter (Exidia glandulosa), one of the jelly fungi. Although it looked rather repulsive, the black lumps are dry to the touch, not sticky, and yield slightly to pressure in a jelly-like way. In dry weather, the fruitbodies of most jelly fungi lose water and become rough and shrivelled, almost disappearing. In rainy weather, however, they quickly absorb water and the fruitbodies recover their gelatinous, full shape. Thus, jelly fungi can appear quickly after a rain storm, and we have recently had plenty of rainfall to plump up this specimen. Black Witch’s Butter is a widespread fungus and fruits on the twigs and branches of hardwood trees.

birch-branch

Another branch played host to both Black Witch’s Butter and a small, reddish bracket fungus Peniophora rufa. This fungus features flat, scattered fruitbodies with coarsely wrinkled surfaces. It is also a widespread fungus and not uncommon. It is often found on the dead but still bark-covered branches of aspens. Set off by the green of club moss, this branch made a colourful display.

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