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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

12 March, 2016

Tremella mesenterica: the yellow brain fungus

There are some strange things in our natural world in Dorset and this is one of them! This seems more like slime than a fungus but then fungi come in such a diverse array of forms, shapes, sizes and colours. This one has the wonderful common name of the yellow brain fungus (Tremella mesenterica) and it is certainly yellow! It starts lemon yellow, then becomes egg yoke coloured before drying orange. In its early stages it gelatinous, watery and translucent but it becomes brittle when dry. It is found on dead branches of hazel and gorse. This coinnection with gorse means is quite frequent on dead gorse bushes on the heaths of Purbeck. It can also occur on ash, beech and some other broad-leaved trees. It is visible all year and is quite common.
It is not edible, but then I didn't fancy it anyway!
Tremella mesenterica: the yellow brain fungus