Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Aleuria aurantia - Orange peel fungus

Family: Pyronemataceae [E-flora]

"Summary: Aleuria aurantia has bright orange cup-shaped to flattened or distorted thin-fleshed fruitbodies with the exterior downy and paler or whitish, growing in ground especially in areas where the soil is disturbed. It is common in the Pacific Northwest. Distribution includes BC, WA, OR, ID, and also AZ and CA, (Larsen), NF to WA, CA, and WV, probably throughout temperate North America, and also Europe, (Seaver), AB, NT, YT, and AK, (Schalkwijk-Barendsen), and MA (Perry)." [E-flora]

"It is one of several ascomycetes that will discharge many spores simultaneously when disturbed, producing a visible smoke-like cloud. Sometimes this can be induced by breathing on the cups; at other times it will occur on its own when the fruitbody is removed from its collecting container." [Trudell MPNW]

"Habitat / Range scattered to gregarious or in fused clusters on ground, preferring bare soil or sand along roads, paths, landslides, etc., but also in grass or moss, (Arora), in groups or clusters on hard or disturbed soil in gardens, in grass, or along roadsides, (Phillips), on west coast fruits in spring and fall but most abundant in fall (McKnight), summer and fall (Bacon)" [E-flora] "Usually occurring on areas of disturbed soil such as those found along roads and paths, orange-peel mushroom is widely distributed throughout the world." [EPMW Hall]

Status: Native [E-flora]

"Similar Species Caloscypha fulgens is more yellow, typically flushed with green or blue-green on exterior, and grows only in spring whereas Aleuria aurantia fruits in spring and fall, (McKnight)." [E-flora]

Food Use

"Edibility yes (Arora)" [E-flora] "Though thin and rather brittle, the fruiting bodies are edible and have been consumed either raw or cooked. The latter, of course, is the safer choice." [EPMW Hall] "Edible and highly rated by one authority, but bland according to others. One of my colleagues uses it raw in salads, but it is so thin-fleshed and fragile that it hardly seems worth the trouble to collect it." [MushDemyst] "it is edible, but brittle and hard to collect intact, and has little taste" [Trudell MPNW]


"Tertiary Decomposers: An amorphous group, the fungi represented by this group are typically soil dwellers. They survive in habitats that are years in the making from the activity of the primary and secondary decomposers. Fungi existing in these reduced substrates are remarkable in that the habitat appears inhospitable for most other mushrooms. A classic example of a tertiary decomposer is Aleuria aurantia, the Orange Peel Mushroom. This complex group of fungi often pose unique problems to would-be cultivators." [GGMM Stamets]

Aleuria Sp.

Local Species

"Aleuria seems to be closely related to Pyronema (Landvik et al., 1997). There are about 10 species of Aleuria, growing especially on forest soil. Aleuria is similar in appearance to Peziza (see below) but is distinguished from it in having non-amyloid asci. The best-known species is A. aurantia, the so-called orange-peel fungus..." [IntrotoFun3]

Sowerbyella rhenana- stalked orange peel fungus

Blue-Listed in B.C.[E-flora-2]

"Summary: Features include a stemmed cup that is orange to yellow-orange with pale orange to white underside and stem, and guttulate reticulate spores that lack an apiculus. (Castellano). It is found in WA, ID, CA and known from Europe and Japan, (Castellano). There are collections from OR deposited at Oregon State University. It was photographed by Kem Luther on Vancouver Island in BC."[E-flora-2]

"Habitat / Range scattered to gregarious or cespitose in duff of moist, relatively undisturbed, older coniferous forests, (Castellano), gregarious, often in small clusters, on ground or moss in woods (usually under conifers), (Arora)"[E-flora-2]

"Similar Species Neottiella rutilans is a similar moss-inhabiting species with slightly larger spores and longer hairs on the underside, (Arora)." [E-flora-2] "Aleuria rhenana Fuckel (= Sowerbyella rhenana) is similarly colored [as Aleuria aurantia], with smaller cups borne on clustered stipes; it is much less frequently encountered, seemingly preferring old-growth forests." [Trudell MPNW]



Page last modified on Friday, October 28, 2022 5:53 AM