Yellow stagshorn

Calocera viscosa
Jelly fungi (Dacrymycetaceae)

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Calocera viscosa is a species of fungus in the family Dacrymycetaceae. In the UK, it has the recommended English name of yellow stagshorn. In North America it is variously called coral jelly fungus, jelly staghorn, yellow false coral, yellow tuning fork, and jelly antler. Basidiocarps (fruit bodies) are gelatinous, bright golden yellow, and branched. It grows exclusively on logs and dead wood of conifers. Calocera viscosa is a common species throughout Europe and has also been recorded from North America, Asia, and Australia.


The species was originally described as Clavaria aurea by the German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt in 1793, but the name is illegitimate since it had already been used for a different species. The species was legitimately described as Clavaria viscosa from Germany in 1794 by South African born mycologist Christiaan Hendrik Persoon. It was transferred to the genus Calocera by the Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries in 1827.

A white species, Calocera cavarae, was described from Italy in 1896, but later studies suggested that this is no more than an aberrant form of C. viscosa lacking yellow pigments.


Calocera viscosa forms bright golden to orange-yellow (rarely white), firmly gelatinous fruit bodies up to 10 cm tall, with a paler stem and coral-like branches.

Microscopic characters

Hyphae lack clamp connections. The basidia are two-spored and typical of the Dacrymycetaceae. The spores are weakly allantoid (sausage-shaped), 8 to 12.5 by 3.5 to 4.5 μm, thin-walled, becoming tardily once-septate.

Habitat and distribution

Calocera viscosa is a wood-rotting species, found on logs and dead wood of conifers. It was originally described from Germany and is common throughout Europe, but has also been recorded from North America, Asia, and Australia.




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Calocera viscosa [L.]
Calocera viscosa [L.]
Calocera viscosa [L.]
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