Jelly baby

Leotia lubrica

''Leotia lubrica'', commonly referred to as a jelly baby, is a species of fungus in the family Leotiaceae. The species produces small fruit bodies up to 6 centimetres in height, featuring a "head" and a stalk. Ochre tinted with olive-green in colour, the heads are irregularly shaped, while the stalk, of a similar colour, attaches them to the ground. The appearance can be somewhat variable and is similar to a number of other species, including ''Cudonia confusa'', ''C. circinans'', ''L. atrovirens'' and ''L. viscosa''. ''L. lubrica'' was first validly described by Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, but it was later transferred to ''Leotia'' by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon. Its relationship with other members of the genus, of which it is the type species, is complicated.

Growing in woodland among moss, plant detritus or other habitats, the ''L. lubrica'' fruit bodies are typically found in large numbers, though they can grow in tight clumps or even individually. The species feeds as a saprotroph. The youngest fruit bodies are small and conical, but the fertile head quickly grows from the stalk. It is often described as inedible, despite its common name, but has also been reported as edible and even good. ''L. lubrica'' has been recorded in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia.