Distribution: A. aurantia is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere.
Spores: spores are ellipsoid, 13--24 x 7.5--10 µm
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Edibility: It is edible, but brittle and hard to collect intact, and has little taste.
It is edible, but brittle and hard to collect intact, and has little taste.
Aleuria aurantia does indeed look like orange peels turned inside-out and scattered by a passing hiker or motorist. The inner fertile surface is a brilliant deep orange, the outer surface paler with a somewhat dandruffy texture. The spores are ellipsoid, 13--24 x 7.5--10 µm, and covered by a network of ridges. A. aurantia is very common in the fall, and is especially abundant along gravelly forest roads, in campgrounds, and at trailhead parking areas. It is one of several ascomycetes that will discharge many spores simultaneously when disturbed, producing a visible smoke-like cloud. Sometimes this can be induced by breathing on the cups, at other times it will occur on its own when the fruitbody is removed from its collecting container. A. rhenana Fuckel is similarly colored, with smaller cups borne on stipes and occurring in clusters. It is much less frequently encountered, seemingly preferring old-growth forests.