These "charming" yellow things around BC are not gummies

Apr 28 2023, 5:56 pm

If you’ve even briefly explored the BC wilderness or even parks around Vancouver, you might have encountered these yellow gummies.

You’ve also probably already realized that they’re not gummies, so what are they?

As Bill Nye would say, “Consider the following.”


Are you ready for this Alpine jelly?

yellow gummy

Arty Alison/Shutterstock

There are several names for these yellow gummies and “yellow gummies” is not one of them.

These cute, appetizing-looking things are called heterotextus alpinus or guepiniopsis alpina. More simply, they are referred to as Alpine jelly cones.

We connected with Professor Mary Berbee from UBC’s Department of Botany, who kindly agreed to share her wisdom about heterotextus alpinus.

These gummy-looking things are a type of fungus.

“The fungi are tiny and tasteless but charming in their own way. Children might occasionally nibble on them since they look like candy,” Berbee said.

Thankfully, Berbee added that there are no cases she has heard of when they’ve made anyone sick, and she suspects they’re harmless.

Berbee also shared a map from iNaturalist that shows how prominent these fungi are around the province and Vancouver.

bc yellow gummies


These fungi are commonly found on sticks and small brunches.

“They’re one of many different kinds of jelly fungi, and like other jelly fungi, they swell up and release spores from their top surfaces when it’s moist and then dry down to a shiny layer on the stick when it’s too dry to sporulate. I don’t know why they’re as colourful as they are, but their ability to swell is part of what gives them the gummy bear look,” Berbee noted.

Berbee also says they’re harmless to touch, and if you do get a chance to touch one, you’ll notice that they’re softer than a gummy bear and that the outside surface is much slipperier than the candy.

“They play a role as decomposers and recyclers of wood. The part you see is only a small part of the fungus. The rest of the fungus, the thread-like hyphae, are immersed in the wood, secreting digestive enzymes and then absorbing the dissolved nutrients that the fungus needs to grow.”

Amir AliAmir Ali

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