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Aleuria aurantia

[ Ascomycetes > Pezizales > Pyronemataceae > Aleuria . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Often called the "Orange Peel Fungus," this attractive cup fungus is bright orange, with a fuzzy whitish underside (at least when young). Aleuria aurantia occasionally develops a slit down one side, reminiscent of species of Otidea (see Otidea onotica for an example), but it does not consistently do so, and it is more brightly colored than most Otidea species. Under the microscope, Aleuria aurantia has spores that become marvelously reticulate, clearly separating it from species of Otidea.

Aleuria rhenana is a similar but smaller species that develops a rudimentary stem.


Ecology: Saprobic, usually growing in clusters on the ground, often in clayey soil or disturbed ground (roadbanks, landscaping areas, and so on); summer and fall (fall and winter in California); widely distributed in North America.

Fruiting Body: Cup-shaped, often becoming flattened or irregularly shaped as a result of the clustered growth habit; reaching widths of 10 cm, but often smaller; bright orange and smooth above; undersurface usually whitish-fuzzy, at least when young, but often orange and more or less smooth; without a stem. Odor none. Flesh orangish; brittle.

Microscopic Features: Spores 18-24 x 9-11 µ (but see note to the right); becoming warted and reticulate by maturity; elliptical; usually with two oil droplets and a prominent apiculus at each end. Asci eight-spored; up to 250 x 15 µ. Paraphyses with swollen and rounded ends, with yellowish to orangish contents in a KOH mount.

REFERENCES: (Persoon, 1800) Fuckel, 1869/1870. (Fries, 1822; Seaver, 1928; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Evenson, 1997; Barron, 1999; Roody, 2003.) Herb. Kuo 01140503, 01110604.

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Aleuria aurantia

Aleuria aurantia

Aleuria aurantia

Aleuria aurantia

Aleuria aurantia
Reticulate spores. These spores measured 12-15 x 4-6.5 µ, and represent an unnamed West-Coast variety with smaller spores than the "typical" variety. See Arora (1986, p. 837).

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Kuo, M. (2005, January). Aleuria aurantia. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: