Orange Earth Tongue

One more mushroom from along Burney Creek in McArthur-Burney Falls State Park (CA) and then on to other topics:

Orange Earth Tongue (Microglossum rufum) is a small mushroom with an orange to yellow club-shaped fruiting body. The enlarged, fertile “head” or spore sac has a pore at the tip through which the mature spores are forcibly ejected into the air. The “head” is slightly flattened. The stalk is cylindrical. Under a microscope the spores are colorless.

Orange earth tongues are found scattered or clustered together in sphagnum moss, on rotting logs and in leaf litter throughout North America.

Orange earth tongues are another mushroom that is too small and too tough to be worth collecting for the table.

The genus name, Microglossum, translates as “small tongue” while the species name, rufum, means reddish.

I love these mushroom “oddities”.

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