Tremella is a genus of jelly fungi which commonly occurs in South Australia. Here are 2 species which are easy to identify & hard to confuse with anything else.
Taxonomic name: Tremella mesenterica
Tremella comes from the Latin tremo meaning ‘tremble’ and ella meaning ‘small.’ mesenterica comes from the Greek mesos meaning ‘middle’ and enteron meaning ‘intestine.’
Common name(s): Witche’s butter, yellow brain.
Habitat/ecology: Found on decaying wood.
Parasitic on Stereum hirsutum or Peniophora sp. which are wood rotting fungi.
A convoluted mass of large lobes & folds make up the fruit body. Usually yellow in colour when young, turning orange with maturity. Soft & gelatinous texture.
Spore print: White or pale yellow.
Taxonomic name: Tremella fuciformis
Tremella comes from the Latin tremo meaning ‘tremble‘ and ella meaning ‘small.’
fuciformis comes from the Latin fucus meaning ‘paint’ or ‘dye’ and forma meaning ‘form’ or ‘shape.’
Common name(s): White brain, snow fungus.
Habitat/ecology: Saprophytic (decomposer) on dead wood. Commonly found in wet Eucalyptus forests.
White, somewhat transparent. A convoluted mass of large lobes & folds make up the fruit body. Soft & gelatinous texture.
Spore print: White.
Look alikes: Tremella encephala is somewhat similar in appearance but is smaller than T. fuciformis & is an off white, pale-creamy yellow colour.
This fungus is edible and is used in a sweet Asian style soup along with dates, longan berries & jujubes