Yellow Brain Fungus Tremella mesenterica

Scientific Name:  Tremella mesenterica (Tremellaceae). 'Tremella' = 'trembling', a reference to the jelly like nature of the fungus. 'Mesoenterica' = 'middle intestine', so it must have looked more like an intestine than a brain to Anders Jahan Retzius, who was the first to describe it, in 1769.

English Name: Yellow Brain Fungus. Also Golden Jelly Fungus; Yellow Trembler; Witches Butter (Jelly Fungus family).

French Name: La Trémelle mésentérique.

5 Key Characters:
  • grows on dead wood that has already been attacked by Rosy Crust Fungus Peniophora incarnata
  • easy to spot in wet weather when it is bright yellow, but turns into a brown rubbery patch in dry weather.
  • it doesn't really look like a brain but it does resemble jelly.
  • occurs on all types of deciduous trees but especially birch and hazel.

Lookalikes:  Tremella aurantia, which tends to be duller and occurs mostly on oak and beech.

Habitat: Deciduous trees.

Fruiting Period:  All year but most obvious in late autumn and early winter.

Status:  Common.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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