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

Calocera viscosa (Pers.: Fr.) Fr.
yellow tuning fork

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #19170)

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Distribution of Calocera viscosa
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Species Information

Also listed in Corals category. Calocera viscosa is a yellowish coral-like mushroom, with antler-like branching, tough gelatinous consistency, and viscid surface. According to McNabb it is characterized among Calocera species by large, usually dichotomously branched fruiting bodies, 1-septate spores, and lack of clamp connections, and when present a stout rooting base.

The distribution includes BC, WA, ID, NF, NS, ON, PQ, MI, MN, NC, NY, TN, and WI, (Ginns), North America, Europe, and Asia, (Breitenbach), Mexico (Lowy), the British Isles, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Pakistan, Tibet in China, and Australia, (McNabb), Japan (Kobayasi in Reid), and widespread in USSR (Raitviir).
Fruiting body:
up to 10cm high above point of emergence from wood, expanded above a short stem into erect, repeated dichotomous branches that are round in cross-section or flattened, consistency firm-gelatinous, often deeply rooted in the wood by a stout white rooting base; fruiting bodies deep golden yellow or orange-yellow, base of clavulae and stem pallid yellow to white when fresh, (McNabb), 1-8cm, short usually rooting "trunk" and erect forking branches that end in unbranched or 2-branched to 3-branched tips, "branches flattened in lower parts and sometimes longitudinally furrowed", becoming more or less cylindric in upper part, up to 0.1cm thick and then narrowing toward tips, flesh gelatinous, tough, pithy, often hollow; yolk-yellow to orange-yellow; viscid-lubricous when wet; "trunk" is 0.5-2cm x 0.2-0.4cm, often up to several fused together at base; lighter yellow than branches, to whitish toward the base, (Breitenbach), 1-2.5cm wide, 2.5-10cm high, "branching from slender, deeply rooted, white base", upper branches usually forked; golden yellow; slimy; flesh tough and gelatinous, (Lincoff(2)), spore deposit white (Buczacki)
spores (8)9-12.5(14) x 3.5-4.5(5) microns, cylindric to slightly curved-cylindric, "thin-walled with thin septa, faintly tinted, apiculate", becoming 1-septate at maturity, germination by colorless spherical to nearly spherical conidia or by germ tubes; probasidia 23-42 x 3-4.5 microns, cylindric-subclavate, with basal septa, becoming bifurcate; hymenium consisting of basidia and occasionally simple cylindric dikaryophyses; composition otherwise "homogeneous, of thin-walled, septate, typically roughened hyphae, showing in transverse section an organization into three zones, clamp connections absent", (McNabb), spores (7)8-10 x 3.5-4.5 microns, elliptic to slightly allantoid [curved sausage-shaped], smooth, inamyloid, colorless, with drops, with one septum when mature, sometimes forming nearly round secondary spores; basidia 40-50 x 3-4 microns, fork-shaped, without basal clamp connection; cystidia not seen; hyphae 3-5.5 microns wide, "forked and sometimes with anastomoses, septa without clamps, thin-to thick-walled", (Breitenbach), spores deep ochraceous in mass (Martin), spore deposit orange-yellow (McKnight), spores form on all sides of mushroom, (Lincoff(2))

Habitat / Range

single or gregarious on rotten conifer wood, (Breitenbach), on conifer wood (Abies, Picea, Pinus), on old stump, saprophytic on ground, causes a white rot, (Ginns), August to November (Lincoff(2))

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Boletus molluscus Pers.
Cristella mucida (Pers.: Fr.) Donk

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

McNabb(2), Breitenbach(2)*, Ginns(5), Martin, G.W.(1), Lowy(3), Lincoff(2)*, Lincoff(1)*, Arora(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, McKnight(1)*, Trudell(4)*, Raitviir(1), Reid(1), Siegel(2)*, Bacon(1)*, Buczacki(1)*

References for the fungi

General References