Porcelain Fungus

Porcelain Fungus ©Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Porcelain Fungus

Scientific name: Oudemansiella mucida
The shiny, translucent Porcelain Fungus certainly lives up to its name in appearance. It can be seen growing on Beech trees and dead wood in summer and autumn.

Species information

Statistics

Cap diameter: 2-8cm
Stem height: 5-8cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

July to October

About

The Porcelain Fungus can be found in Beechwoods. It appears in late summer until late autumn on dead trunks and fallen branches, and occasionally it grows on dead branches high up in living trees. It is also named the 'Poached Egg Fungus' or 'Slimy Beech Cap'. Fungi belong to their own kingdom and get their nutrients and energy from organic matter, rather than photosynthesis like plants. It is often just the fruiting bodies, or 'mushrooms', that are visible to us, arising from an unseen network of tiny filaments called 'hyphae'. These fruiting bodies produce spores for reproduction, although fungi can also reproduce asexually by fragmentation.

How to identify

The caps of the Porcelain Fungus are white, translucent and very shiny; they start off convex, flattening out with age. The gills are white, broadly spaced and attached to the stem.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The Porcelain Fungus is edible after washing and when the skin is removed.

How people can help

Fungi play an important role within our ecosystems, helping to recycle nutrients from dead or decaying organic matter, and providing food and shelter for different animals. The Wildlife Trusts manage many nature reserves sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including fungi: you can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member. Our gardens are also a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside. Try leaving log piles and dead wood to help fungi and the wildlife that depends on it. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS.