Hypocrea gelatinosa

Scientific name:  Hypocrea gelatinosa (Tode ex Fr.) Fr.
Derivation of name:  Gelatinosa means "gelatinous" in
reference to the soft, jelly-like texture of the fruit body.
Synonyms:  Creopus gelatinosus (Tode ex Fr.) Link
Common name(s):  
Phylum:   Ascomycota
Order:   Hypocreales
Family:   Hypocreaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate:  Saprobic; scattered to
densely clustered on decaying wood; July to October.  
Dimensions: Fruitbodies are 1-3 mm wide, cushion-shaped
to nearly spherical.    
Description: The soft, gelatinous, translucent fruit bodies are
pale yellow at first. Green dots appear at the surface and
mature into dark green, protruding perithecia.
Edibility: Unknown.
Comments: At maturity, the smooth surface of the fruitbody
is roughened by the protruding necks of the perithecia
embedded in the fruitbody. The perithecial necks are green
due to the green ascospores produced within. 



Figure 1. Hypocrea gelatinosa is quite small as evidenced
by the small whitish dots on this decaying branch. One
must get really close to see the fruitbodies. Photo © Gary
Emberger.
    

Figure 2. As is true with so many tiny things on wood,
getting close and pulling out a hand lens is well worth the
effort. Close observation of the small fruitbodies in Figure 1
reveals the green dots of the developing perithecia. Photo ©
Gary Emberger.


Figure 3. As the green ascospores mature, they fill the
necks of the protruding perithecia, resulting in the green
pimple-dotted appearence of Hypocrea gelatinosa.
Photo © Gary Emberger.


Figure 4. Hypocrea gelatinosa often grows in dense
clusters. Photo © John Dawson.


Figure 5. This photo clearly shows the rounded shape of
the fruitbodies and the manner in which the perithecia
protrude from the fruitbodies. Photo © John Dawson.

 

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