Sunday, 18 July 2010 08:49

Witch's Butter Fungi - Tremella mesenterica

Written by forestelf
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Witch's Butter (Tremella mesenterica), Broughton - January 2010

Witch's Butter (Tremella mesenterica) is a strange fungi that feeds on other species of fungi. It is usually found on rotting wood which other species of fungi have long colonated. Witch's Butter is a decidedly odd looking fungi and is known by a vareity of names, including Faery Butter, Yellow Brains, Star Jelly and Sun Clumps.

Given its unusual appearance and other-worldly titles, it comes as no suprise to learn that there are superstitions connected with Tremella mesenterica. It was believed that to find this fungi growing near the entrance of your house was a sure sign that you had been bewitched. To rid yourself of the spell, the spell-bound person would need to prick the Witch's Butter with a pin. This would kill the fungi and, in doing so, also bring the spell to an end. In Sweden, it was said that burning Witch's Butter offered protection against evil spirits.

Witch's Butter is edible, though the jelly-like fungi is tasteless. It's use in stews and soups, however, is said to add a distinctive texture to the food.

Read 2125 times Last modified on Sunday, 22 September 2013 13:15

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