Porcelain fungus (Oudemansiella mucida)
Other names: slimy beech tuft, poached egg fungus
When to see: July-October
These delicate, semi-translucent white-ivory mushrooms are typically found on beech wood: dead trunks, fallen branches or dead branches on living beech trees. They are, therefore, saprophytes, i.e., obtaining their nourishment from dead or decaying organic matter.
The initially dome-shaped cap grows from 2-8cm across and is covered in a glistening mucous. The cap flattens slightly as the mushroom matures. Underneath are the almost pure white gills from which the white spores drop.
The stem can also grow to 8cm and has a distinctive white collar (ring) just below the cap.
Porcelain fungi typically grow in tufts and produce their own fungicide to fight off any competing fungi.
The porcelain fungus is edible – but you need to wash off the mucous first*.
* WARNING: Unless you are 100% confident that you know what you are doing, NEVER EAT wild mushrooms – many are poisonous and/or can cause severe illness. Look but don’t eat!
Phillips, R. (2006) ‘Mushrooms’ London: Macmillan.
Porcelain fungus [WWW] https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/fungi-and-lichens/porcelain-fungus/ Accessed 11 October 2022.
I could be wrong
I’m not an expert at identifying fungi – I’m just a hobbyist. So, I may well be wrong about the identity of mushrooms shown here. If you think I’ve misidentified anything then please feel free to get in touch using the Contact Form and I’ll be pleased to update the information. Thanks!