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.
Photographed by Loire Valley Nature: