Jelly fungi

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Heterobasidiomycetes
Jelly fungus, Tremella sp.
A jelly fungus (Tremella cf. fuciformis) (enlarge)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Fungi
Division:Basidiomycota

Template:Taxobox subdivisio entry

Class:Heterobasidiomycetes
Orders

Tremellales
Auriculariales
Dacryomycetales

The Class Heterobasidiomycetes or jelly fungi is a paraphyletic group of several fungal orders: Tremellales, Auriculariales, Dacryomycetales. These "mushrooms" are so named because their foliose to irregularly branched fruiting body is, or appears to be, the consistency of jelly. Actually, many are somewhat rubbery and gelatinous. When dried, jelly fungi become hard and shriveled; when exposed to water, they return to their original form.

A number of the jelly fungi can be eaten raw; poisonous jelly fungi are rare. However, many species are not of a texture or taste that one would want to consume. They may or may not be sought in mushroom hunting due to their taste, which is described as similar to that of soil. However, some species, Tremella fuciformis for example, are not only edible but highly prized for use in soup and vegetable dishes.

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