Jelly Drops

Ascocoryne sarcoides

''Ascocoryne sarcoides'' is a species of fungus in the Helotiaceae family. Formerly known as ''Coryne sarcoides'', its taxonomical history has been complicated by the fact that it may adopt both sexual and asexual forms. Colloquially known as jelly drops or the purple jellydisc, this common fungus appears as a gelatinous mass of pinkish or purple-colored discs. Distributed widely in North America, Europe and Asia, ''A. sarcoides'' is a saprobic fungus and grows in clusters on the trunks and branches of a variety of dead woods. Field studies suggest that colonization by ''A. sarcoides'' of the heartwood of black spruce confers some resistance to further infection by rot-causing fungi. ''A. sarcoides'' contains the antibiotic compound ascocorynin, shown in the laboratory to inhibit the growth of several Gram-positive bacteria.