Witches Butter Mushroom

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Witches butter mushroom.png Witches' Butter Mushroom (Tremella mesenterica)


Witches Butter is bright orange (though sometimes a bit yellow) and shaped like a brain.  It can be found on decaying wood in moist climates and grows in small clusters.  Clusters can be as small as a dime to a mass the size of an adult's palm.


Witches Butter is harmless to eat, although fairly flavorless and watery. To quote David Arora in Mushroom's Demystified "it is mostly water. My one attempt at cooking them was a failure: most of it evaporated!".

Other Facts

  • After a rain storm, these mushrooms swell up and become slimy which makes for fun touching!
  • Witches Butter's common name has its origins in folklore. In some Eastern European legends it is thought that Witches Butter found growing on your gate means that a witch has cast a spell on you. The only way to break the spell is to prick the fungus with a needle and to let the goo inside drain out.
  • The scientific name of Witches Butter, Tramella mesenterica, means trembling intestine.


The Hikers Notebook: http://www.sierrapotomac.org/W_Needham/Witches'Butter_070205.htm

Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora

Photo by Lily Martin (Class of 2012)