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FunDiS West Coast Rare Fungi Challenge

Prepared by:  Lauren Ré, Roo Vandegrift, Alex Mayberry, & Tiffany Theden
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This small cup fungus adds bright specks of color to forest soils and decaying conifer logs. They are covered in clear hairs, making the flesh on the external surface fuzzy and peach-colored.

It is presumed to be endemic to the Pacific Northwest, and was described from Lake Quinault, WA. It is rarely observed and records are limited.

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Description

The fruitbodies are small and cup- or disc-shaped, often irregular with age; up to 1 3/8 inch wide by up to 1/16 inch tall. They may or may not have short stalks. The texture starts off firm and rubbery, with a reddish-orange interior and paler peachy exterior covered in long hyaline (clear), thin-walled hairs. As the fruitbodies mature and dry out, they may take on a reddish-brown coloration and corky texture. The flesh is thick, and a cross section will reveal internal tissues lighter than the inner cup surface.
There are only two species of Pseudaleuria, the other being Pseudaleuria fibrillosa, a European species with more orange coloration but otherwise similar morphology.

What else could it be?

The Orange Peel Fungus (Aleuria aurantia) is more orange than the Fuzzy Peach Cup, and has thinner and more brittle flesh. The Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea) is also orange-red, but is much less hairy and has a stalk that can be up to 4cm long. Eyelash Cups (Scutellinia spp.) are orange to orange-red, but have dark hairs along the edge of the cup (not clear), and they have smaller, disc-like fruit bodies.


Never eat wild mushrooms without a confident identification!

Contact Poison Control if you think you have eaten a poisonous mushroom: 1-800-222-1222

When & Where?


Habitat

More Information

Beug M, Bessette AE & Bessette AR. 2016. Ascomycete Fungi of North America: A Mushroom Reference Guide. University of Texas Press: pg. 232.

Lusk DE. 1987. Pseudaleuria quinaultiana, a new genus and species of operculate ascomycete from the Olympic Peninsula. Mycotaxon. 30: 417–431.

iNaturalist (5 obs.):
inaturalist.org/taxa/175305-Pseudaleuria-quinaultiana

Mushroom Observer (2 obs.):
mushroomobserver.org/name/show_name/25646

What to do if you find it:

Make an observation

The first thing to do is to record your observation. We prefer to use the iNaturalist app for that (visit www.iNaturalist.org to learn more), but you could also upload your observation to Mushroom Observer (visit www.MushroomObserver.org). The QR code to the right will take you to the Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS for short) website on how to “Contribute Observations” to the project. The best thing you can do is take lots of photographs and notes. Typically, smartphones will automatically georeference any photos taken, but it is good practice to note your exact location, preferably with GPS coordinates, and be sure to note what trees are nearby, and any other salient features. For example, was the mushroom growing under a hemlock, or a Douglas fir? Did it have a particular smell?

Collect a specimen

If you are in an area where it is allowed and have any necessary permits, we strongly urge you to create a vouchered collection. This means a dried specimen for deposit in a herbarium, where researchers can access it for things like DNA sequencing; just a couple ‘wings’ are all you need for this large mushroom. If you don’t know how to do this, please see: 

         fundis.org/sequence/sequence/dry-your-specimens 

In California, collecting mushrooms is usually allowed in National Forests with a permit. Permits can be obtained at the headquarters of the National Forest you're visiting, and are usually inexpensive or free. However, restrictions vary among the individual National Forests, so make sure to find out the specifics when picking up your permit. State and County Parks generally do not allow mushroom picking, but regulations vary, so make sure to check your destination before you go out. In Oregon, most State and Federal lands allow collecting up to a gallon without a permit, but again, regulations vary, so check ahead of time. 

Don’t forget to look for other mushrooms and fungi while you’re there! Like other Rare Fungi, part of why this mushroom is rare is because it grows in a place that mushroom pickers don’t generally go: Coastal Redwood Forests. Since you’ve already got iNaturalist open, why not record your other finds?

Most mushrooms are like fruit: picking an apple from an apple tree doesn’t hurt the tree. In the same way, harvesting mushrooms does not generally hurt the mycelium of the fungus. We do still recommend leaving some mushrooms behind, and not picking perennial mushrooms, like brackets and conks.

Who to contact

If you think you’ve found this mushroom, and you’re not sure about any of the above, such as how to report the find, whether you can collect it, or what to do with it once you have collected it, please contact us! 

      WestCoast_Rare@fundis.org

About Fungal Diversity Survey

FunDiS is dedicated to a world in which the fungal kingdom is fully documented, understood, appreciated and protected.