Mitrula elegans

Hiking up to the Snoqualmie Tunnel today I came across a patch of Mitrula elegans growing in the water alongside the trail. Though small, their bright orange tops peeking out of the water were easy to spot against the dark brown leaves and green algae they were growing in. Their hollow whitish-grey stem is thin and translucent topped with a slightly wrinkled yellow-orange spore producing body.  They are not very big. The ones I provided pictures of are all less than an inch in height. This fungus is typically found in swamps or marshy areas and usually grows in or near slow moving water.  Due to its appearance and habitat, Mitrula elegans is sometimes called “Swamp Beacon” or “Bog Beacon”. Another name I’ve seen for these is “Match-stick Fungus” though I don’t think they look much like matches.

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