Orange Peel Fungus
A very unusual, completely unmistakable, and edible mushroom.
|Common Names||Orange Peel Fungus, Croen Oren (CY), Dzieżka Pomarańczowa (PL), Narancsszínű Csészegomba (HU)|
|Scientific Name||Aleuria aurantia|
|Average Mushroom height (CM)||5|
|Average Cap width (CM)||10|
No distinct cap, just a sheet of thin fragile bright orange flesh usually corrugated forming a rosette sometimes with multiple ‘petals’. Can be completely flat to the ground, or more upright becoming 5cm tall.
Pores are too small to see with the naked eye but are on the upper surface of the cap to allow the spores to be released into the air and be blown away.
Some members of the Peziza family, pictured, can look similar and are poisonous but are brown to tan and never as bright orange as the Orange Peel Fungus.
The Scarlet and Ruby Elfcup are similar but bright red.
Taste / Smell
Locally very common, where you find one you will likely find many.
White, ellipsoid. These are ejected from the upper surface of the cap in a rush when they are fully developed and the mushroom is knocked.
I tried picking some of these. They stained my fingers yellow and, when I came to clean them, the soil was stuck firmly to the undersides so I gave up.
Spotted today 16:02:21 in woods – wrong time of year?
Hi Pete, absolutely the right time of the year for Scarlet Elf Cups. They are a winter mushroom, appearing between November and March, but concentrated in the winter months.
Hi, Can these mushrooms grow on rotting wood too?
Orange Peel Fungus are saprobic meaning they consume and decompose organic matter so it is possible to find them growing on dead wood in soil but not on a living tree. Some similar looking mushrooms that grow on wood and living trees are from the Dacramyces or Guepiniopsis genus.
Tell me are they ever purple in colour ,I removed a large plastic tub from my compost heap. And found this purple lettuce like fungus.
Hi Derek, nope, orange peel fungus definitely only comes in orange. Purple-ish ones that look a bit similar are tripe fungus, Auricularia mesentrica, that as its name suggests is more fleshy than lettuce like. Some of the other cup fungi (Pezizales group) are a red-brown which might fit the bill, the bay cup, Peziza badia and Peziza michelii (no common name), or several other of the 500+ species in the group. If you had some photos that might help (but might not in this tricky group).
Several of these attractive fungus in my lawn where a large Aspen tree has been removed, will they appear again next year? October 2021
Most mushrooms will appear in the same place year after year but the weather and other plants/fungi can stop this from happening.
I’ve seen them with almost white undersides but if you send photos to [email protected] I could try and ID them for you.
My husband and I went up picking morels last night and I came across these, (I think) as I have NEVER seen them before and they were so intriguing, I had to find out what they were. We live in Eastern Oregon and it is May. Is this correct to be the Orange Peel this time of year and location? Is there a way to send a picture so you can look at and tell me what you think?
You can send photos to [email protected]. Please include photos of the stem/cap and if possible, a mushroom cut in half.
Hey, is it OK for it to be growing under my sink?
Orange Peel Fungus (Aleuria aurantia) doesn’t grow under sinks. It might grow on clay and/or disturbed soils, but not under sinks. There are a few lookalikes of this beautiful species, most of them are in different genera.