Oudemansiella mucida

Claire selected another wonderful image of a fungus for today’s BPotD entry and writes:

I would like to thank Monika F. (monika&manfred@flickr) of Vienna, Austria for sharing this gorgeous photograph (original image) of Oudemansiella mucida via the BPotD Flickr Pool.

Oudemansiella mucida, better known as the porcelain mushroom, is a member of the Physalacriaceae (quite a mouthful!). Monika took this particular photo in Austria, and it is common in temperate regions around Europe. The mushroom is specific to beech trees and lives in clusters mainly on dead branches and trunks, but has also been sighted on live trees. Also called the poached egg fungus, Oudemansiella mucida can be consumed after its outer slimy coat is washed off. I don’t believe the name is because of the taste, but likely because of its rounded, white, slimy cap that resembles an egg white. If you’re in European forests in autumn, perhaps it might be worth it to take a shot at collecting Oudemansiella mucida.

Eric adds: In addition to what Claire has written, study of this fungus led to the development of a powerful anti-fungal agent commonly used to protect agricultural crops. Oudemansiella mucida and another fungus, Strobilurus tenacellus secrete substances that deter competing fungi. Study of these secretions led to the development of azoxystrobin a powerful anti-fungal used extensively by farmers, particularly for wheat production. It is considered to have low environmental risk because it has low toxicity for mammals, birds, bees, insects, and earthworms. It is highly toxic to some freshwater and marine animals, but the chemical breaks down in the soil and if runoff is monitored may be used relatively safely.

Oudemansiella mucida

7 responses to “Oudemansiella mucida”

  1. Hortbeardie

    What an absolutely beautiful photograph! And, a most interesting background story. But how to pronounce either its name or its family is totally beyond
    my capabilities. A pronounciation guide would be a great addition to an already terrific site.

  2. Eric in SF

    Hortbeardie – it’s my understanding there is no pronunciation guide for botanical latin. Pronunciation certainly varies with region and the speaker’s mother tongue. I have difficulty understanding my European and Latin American orchid colleagues when they rattle off names.

  3. Bonnie

    Wonderful lesson to start a day! The picture shows the beauty of the mushroom.

  4. elizabeth a airhart

    nature will bear the closet inspection-she invites us to lay our eye
    level with her smallest leaf and take an insects view of its plain
    thoreau american writer
    lovely picture and fine writeing bonjour and thank you

  5. nina

    nice fungus, lovely photo, thanks !

  6. Carol McCarthy

    Lovely photos as always.
    I do miss the line at the top listing Family and location.

  7. Elizabeth Revell

    Porcelain, so much prettier than poached egg; and on the basis of this photo at least, wholly appropriate! The purity, fragility and high glaze are exquisite.

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