Scientific name: Bulgaria inquinans (Pers.) Fr.
Derivation of name: Inquinans means "polluting" or
"staining" perhaps in reference to the dark color of this
Synonyms: Phaeobulgaria inquinans
Common name(s): Black jelly drops; Poor man's
Occurrence on wood substrate: Saprobic; solitary to
clustered on decaying hardwoods, especially oak;
summer through fall.
Dimensions: 1-4 cm wide, about as high; rounded to
shallow cup-shaped, becoming flat topped at maturity.
Sterile outer surface: Blackish-brown to brown and rough.
Fertile inner surface: Black, smooth, and shiny.
More information at RogersMushrooms.com:
Figure 1. Fallen white oak (Quercus alba) log with blackish
fruit bodies of Bulgaria inquinans. Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 2. Bulgaria inquinans at a different location on the
log as pictured in Figure 1.
Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 3. The fruit body of Bulgaria inquinans is not initially
flat-topped. When young, the fruit body is rounded or top-
shaped. The fruit body flattens as the black fertile portion
enlarges and matures. Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 4. The fertile surface of mature specimens is black,
smooth and often shiny. The outer sterile surface is brown to
blackish-brown and rough.
Photo © Gary
Figure 5. Typical specimens of Bulgaria inquinans on wood.
Photo © William Roody.