E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Mitrula elegans (Berk.) Fr.
swamp beacon

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Andrew MacRae  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66249)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Mitrula elegans
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Species Information

features include bright orange to bright yellow cap that is club-shaped, pear-shaped, lobed, or brain-like, whitish stem, growth in shallow water on decaying plant debris, and slender cylindric to clavate but not filiform ascospores; the most common and widely distributed Mitrula species in North America; found BC, WA, OR, ID, also ON, PQ, NS, AL, CT, DC, GA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VA, VT, WV
Fruiting body:
2-10cm high, cap 0.15-1.5cm wide, round to cylindrical, cerebriform [brain-like], club-shaped, pear-shaped or lobed; bright orange to bright yellow, becoming ochraceous orange when old or pinkish when submerged in acidic water, smooth to wrinkled, slightl
0.15-0.3cm wide in upper part, slightly enlarged in upper or lower part, unbranched; white to faintly pinkish; bald and slightly lubricous in upper part, moderately covered with matted hyphal hairs in lower part, (Redhead), 2-4cm x 0.15-0.3cm, enlarging slightly downward; whitish to pale translucent gray, sometimes tinted pink; smooth, shiny, (Bessette)
spores 11-17.5 x (1.5)2-2.5(3) microns, flexible, narrowly cylindric or clavate, occasionally fusoid-cylindric, one-celled or two-celled, lacking a gelatinous sheath; asci 8-spored, 115-123 x 5-7.5 microns, elongate-clavate, apical pores amyloid, croziers present; paraphyses 120-130 x 1.5-3 microns, filiform, slightly enlarged in upper part, (Redhead), spores 11-18 x 1.5-3 microns, narrowly elliptic to cylindric or slightly club-shaped, single-celled or two-celled with a septum, smooth, colorless, (Bessette)

Habitat / Range

gregarious, single to cespitose, in shallow water, on decaying wet needles, scales, twigs, leaves, or fruits of Acer saccharinum, Alnus rubra, A. rugosa, Fagus grandifolia, Liquidambar styraciflua, Lysichitum americanum, Osmunda cinnamomea, Pinus monticola, P. strobus, Quercus borealis, Q. prinus, Thuja occidentalis, T. plicata, mats of Calliergonella cuspidatum and Sphagnum recurvum, and logs, mud, algal mats, or other unidentified vegetation, April to September, (Redhead), scattered or in groups in shallow water on decaying leaves, needles, twigs, and debris in woodlands and bogs, April-August, (Bessette for northeastern North America)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links



Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Redhead(42), Bessette(2)*, Barron(1)*, Trudell(4)*, Arora(1)

References for the fungi

General References