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12871 Views 4 Replies Last post: Sep 5, 2010 11:53 AM by Araminta RSS
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Aug 29, 2010 10:38 PM

Jelly fungus

This translucent pale green jelly fungus appeared in the recent damp weather, in the yard and on the garden.  First which kind is it?  Second is it likely to be harmful to garden plants?

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    Aug 31, 2010 4:11 PM (in response to Drosophila)
    Re: Jelly fungus

    I think this is Nostoc. Taxonomists seem to have trouble classifying it but the latest thinking is that it's a cyanobacterium. See -

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        Sep 4, 2010 6:38 PM (in response to Drosophila)
        Re: Jelly fungus
        Well best of luck on your new Nostoc diet - I hope you survive the experience. I don't think I'll be following your lead - the stuff used to appear magickly after heavy rain on the bare patches on the met site I used to look after in my last job. Sometimes I used to have to reach through it to get at the thermometers underneath and it felt revolting.
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    Sep 5, 2010 11:53 AM (in response to Drosophila)
    Re: Jelly fungus



    About that recipe.........


    I was wondering if you'd tried eating your Nostoc commune yet?


    That Wiki article you posted pointed to all kinds of interesting things, many about a related species Nostoc flagelliforme (Fat tsei) the gathering of which has led to desertification and a ban in China. I followed up the mention of possible health consequences from eating it (one piece of research only, but by a well-respected scientist) however, this referred to long-term problems, not to occasional consumption.


    Although there were a few vague references for ways of preparing the flagelliforme kind, I found no recipes for commune. I must say, this didn't surprise me


    I loved the Wiki reference to falling stars, so I looked further and found this medieval European description of your specimen: 'The stinking tawney jelly of a fallen planet, or the nocturnal solution of some plethorical and wanton star'. So I guess they didn't fancy eating it much


    There was a whole bunch of interesting stuff on Nostoc in general. If you have some time over a cuppa, try these:


    The URL for the second one is too long, but if you Google the search terms 'Nostoc' and 'Eating', around the fourth one down is a link to some pages from 'The Ecology of Cyanobacteria' by Whitton and Potts. It makes interesting reading.

    I've eaten all kinds of wild fungi all my life without mishap. I know how to ID the edible kinds and the ones that could kill me. But I have no idea about cyanobacteria. Various kinds have been eaten around the world, so it's probably OK, but I'd advise getting in touch with an expert in the field for advice before trying it, just in case. It's always best to be sure.

    If you do try it, please post a culinary review; I'd love to know what it tastes like, and have never seen one like that.


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