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

Ascocoryne sarcoides (Jacq.) J.W. Groves & D.E. Wilson
purple jelly-drops

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #70138)

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Distribution of Ascocoryne sarcoides
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Species Information

Also listed in Cups category. Ascocoryne sarcoides is not normally considered with Jelly fungi (it is an ascomycete). Features include a top-shaped to disc-shaped or cup-shaped fruitbody that is purple to pink and gelatinous, stem that is lacking or short, tightly clustered growth on wood, and microscopic characters including ascospores 10-19 microns long that are nonseptate to 1-septate. Breitenbach(1) say it can be separated from Ascocoryne cylichnium only by the spore size, and gives the same macroscopic description for both species, word for word. Breitenbach(1) also say that it is not rarely encountered in its conidial stage which usually differs only insignificantly from the ascus stage, and Dennis says that fruitbodies are almost invariably accompanied by a similarly colored conidial state.

Ascocoryne sarcoides occurs in CA (MykoWeb), throughout North America (Lincoff(2)), ME to OR and probably throughout North America, Europe, and the West Indies, (Seaver). The University of British Columbia has collections from BC and the University of Washington has collections from WA and New Zealand.
Fruiting body:
0.5-1(2)cm across, spherical when young then turbinate [top-shaped] to cup-shaped or disc-shaped, or cushion-like with central depression, usually irregularly undulating, spore-bearing surface flesh-pink to violet-pink, smooth to somewhat wrinkled when mature; exterior the same color and smooth; flesh gelatinous; stemless or with very short stem, (Breitenbach), up to 1cm across, cup-shaped, disc concave or flattened, often irregular and lobed; reddish purple; exterior usually minutely scurfy, the same color as upper surface; sessile or short-stemmed, (Dennis), no particular odor or taste (Lincoff(1)), "eventually the cup surface becomes irregular with a distinct dark edge", (Trudell)
spores 12-16 x 4.5-5 microns, elliptic, smooth, colorless, with single septa when ripe, with two droplets; asci 8-spored, 114-125 x 8-10, uniseriate to biseriate, amyloid; paraphyses cylindric, forked, with few septa, some rather thickened toward the tips, (Breitenbach), spores 10-19 x 3-5 microns, elliptic to inequilateral, often biseriate, "at first non-septate with 2 oil drops, becoming usually 1-septate, occasionally 3-septate, sometimes germinating within the ascus"; asci 8-spored, up to 160 x 10 microns, cylindric-clavate; paraphyses "slender, often abruptly swollen to 4 microns at the tip", (Dennis), when young may produce only asexual spores (Trudell)

Habitat / Range

usually in tight clusters, forming a surface sometimes as large as a hand, rarely single; on rotting branches and trunks of trees on ground, as well as stumps, (Breitenbach), clustered on stumps and fallen logs, (Dennis)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Coryne sarcoides (Jacq.) Tul. & C. Tul.
Meruliopsis taxicola "(Pers.: Fr.) Bondartsev in Parmasto,"
Xylomyzon taxicola Pers.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Breitenbach(1)*, Seaver(2) (as Coryne sarcoides), Lincoff(2)*, Lincoff(1)*, Trudell(4)*, Sept(1)*, Dennis(1), Desjardin(6)*

References for the fungi

General References