The Orange Peel Fungus (Aleuria aurantia) is probably harbored in the memory of the average gardener or outdoor hiker. Such a vivid orange color is bound to be noticed when surrounded by somber colors of leaf litter or hard-packed soils. The shallow orange cups gradually expand and open up, resembling orange peelings. Some collectors say that it has a good flavor.
Unlike most mushrooms, which spread their spores from beneath caps, this fungus has spore-producing structures that line the upper surface of a cup. As the cup ages, a magnifying glass will reveal fine hairs along the paler outer edges of the fungus.
(See also other mushrooms.)
Copyright © 2001–2002 William T. Hathaway.