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|A jelly fungus (Tremella cf. fuciformis)|
Jelly fungi are a paraphyletic group of several fungal orders from different classes of the subphylum Agaricomycotina. The name comes from their form, or growth habit. Their fruiting body is foliose or irregularly branched. It looks like 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.
Some jelly fungi can be eaten raw; poisonous jelly fungi are rare. However, many species have an unpalatable texture or taste. However, some species, Tremella fuciformis for example, are not only edible but prized for use in soup and vegetable dishes.
- Deacon J. 2005. Jelly fungi, in Fungal biology. Blackwell.