Good afternoon team. This week's mushroom is Exidia crenata, the American Amber Jelly Fungus. Until recently this fungus was Exidia recisa but DNA sequencing then revealed E. recisa to be a uniquely European species. It also appears that the genus Exidia may be an artificial genus, in that there hasn't been enough DNA sequencing of the individual species to separate it from other genuses in the family Auriculariaceae. Nonetheless, this jelly fungus is very real.
E. Crenata fruits on recently dead hardwood limbs, especially oaks, and can be seen fruiting across eastern North America fall through spring. This is an iconic winter mushroom of the Ramble and this specimen was found in the Tupelo landscape.
One unique feature is that E. crenata can exist on wood in a dehydrated state for months and then rehydrate during a winter rain. On the left in this last picture is the mushroom when it is hydrated and on the right is the dehydrated mushroom. Quite a difference in shape, size, and texture.
Have a great day and let's hope we really get a full foot of snow this week,