For ‘Mushroom Monday’ I managed to find another interesting species of jelly fungus growing here at Curbstone Valley, Pseudohydnum gelatinosum, also known as the ‘Toothed Jelly Fungus’.


Toothed Jelly Fungus (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum)

The Toothed Jelly Fungus is widely distributed across North America and Europe, but can be rather rare, or even completely absent in some areas.

As with other jelly fungi, this species has a semi-translucent flesh with a gelatinous texture.  Pseudohydnum gelatinosum is typically found growing on conifer logs or conifer debris, and this particular colony was found on a fallen Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) branch in the middle of our drainage canal.


Pseudohydnum gelatinosum may be found growing in clusters, as seen on this Douglas Fir branch

The cap of this fungus species is 2-6cm across, spatulate to kidney-shaped, flat to broadly convex, and the cap margin is tucked under when young. The dorsal surface is somewhat roughly textured and may be white, tan, or brown.  This species produces a white spore print.


Tiny specimens of Pseudohydnum gelatinosum just beginning to emerge


The cap margin is slightly rolled under in this young specimen


The kidney-shaped cap, and lateral stem, of a mature Pseudohydnum gelatinosum


Note the finely roughened texture of the dorsal cap surface


Although often white when young, the cap may become tan to brown with age

Underneath the cap surface are numerous spines up to 5 mm in length, running down the stem.  The spines are typically translucent white, but may have a bluish cast.


Tooth-like projections beneath the cap surface where the spores are formed (click image to enlarge)

The tooth-like projections of this species resemble the true toothed fungi of the family Hydnaceae, hence the common name ‘Toothed Jelly Fungus’.  The stem is laterally positioned in this species, but stem length varies significantly between specimens, up to 6cm.


The laterally positioned stem of the Toothed Jelly Fungus


Some reports suggest that the stem is more prominent and vertical in specimens observed on the West Coast compared to those seen in other parts of North America.

Pseudohydnum gelatinosum is reportedly edible, although most texts describe it at flavorless.