This species is a jelly fungus, which possesses a sporocarp of about 4 cm in height and 7.5 cm across, although cultivated specimens are larger. It is made up of thin, erect braches and is mostly crisped at its edges. The outer surface is smooth and shiny. Microscopically, the hyphae are clamped and occur in a dense gelatinous matrix. This mushroom develops as parasitic yeast and hyphae grow until it encountering preferred hosts, after which fruiting occurs.
Common names: Yin er, White jelly fungus, White jelly leaf (“shirokikurage”), White jelly mushroom, Silver ear mushroom, Snow mushroom, Chrysanthemum mushroom (English), Snow ear, Silver ear and Whitewood ear (Chinese), White tree jellyfish (Japanese), Hed hu nu kaaw (Thailand and Laos).
Uses: This species plays a significant role in sweet dishes in Chinese cuisine. Although it’s tasteless, the species is valued for its gelatinous texture and medicinal benefits. Usually, this mushroom is prepared for a dessert soup called Luk mei, which includes jujubes and dried longans. It is also used as a drink and as ice cream. This is a dynamic fungus with regard to its medical uses: it’s used in radiotherapy, for circulatory disorders, neurological damage, and memory impairment. It also has cosmetic applications.
Time of fruiting: The mushroom commonly fruits in the middle of the rainy season in Thailand, Laos, and the tropical part of China in June and July.
Habitat: This species following its host, fruit bodies are typically found on the dead, attached, or recently fallen branches of broadleaf trees. This fungus commonly prefers tropical and subtropical ecosystems.
Distribution: This species mainly occurs in tropical and subtropical ecosystems, but does occur in temperate areas. It is found in South and Central America, the Caribbean, parts of North America, sub-Saharan Africa, southern and eastern Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Fig. 1 The basidiomata of Tremella fuciformis in field
Mortimer P. E., X J., Karunarathna S. C. & Hyde K. D. 2014–Mushrooms for trees and people: a field guide to useful mushrooms of the Mekong region. Kunming: The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).
Recent NewsEdibility, economic value and cultivated species
Recent SpeciesTermitomyces tigrinus