Thursday, 29 September 2016

Postia Caesia and two golf balls

Had a walk around Troserch Woods yesterday. Didn't find many fungi  - there may have been more about but with the drizzle misting up my glasses I could hardly see where I was going. Came across a nice conifer blueing bracket Postia caesia, and two very similar golf-ball like fungi within a few yards of each other. The first however had a very hard, leathery skin - a common earthball, Scleroderma citrinum, whereas the second had the texture of a shell-less chicken's egg and was about to turn into a stinkhorn fungus, Phallus impudicus.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Gamundia striatula

Gamundia striatula has no common name! It has a drab colour so a chance find on the woodland floor in Pembrey Country Park.  An uncommon species, found once before in the area. The cap has a deep central depression, 'umbilicate', and greasy feel.

Geastrum lageniforme ---- Flask Earthstar

Geastrum lageniforme has the English name 'Flask Earthstar' as the developing fungus is shaped like a flask or onion.  It is small, the spore-sac just 15mm diam. and the fb. 35mm across.  Geastrum triplex is much larger and develops a collar.
It is very seldom recorded but was found at the same spot in Pembrey Country Park two years ago. It is a 'near threatened' RDL species.
The photo is not very sharp as the weather dull and wet!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Sphaerobolus stellatus ----- Cannonball fungus.

 Sphaerobolus stellatus -- has very many 'English names', Cannonball, Artillery fungus, Shooting Star.
It is very common although this is the first time I have spotted this 2mm diameter species. It is a Gasteromycete (puffball/stinkhorns etc). It is said to grow on rotten wood, decaying herbaceous stems/grasses and also dung.  This was on a cow-pat in a 'cattle-compound' at Pembrey saltings.

The 'sphere' containig spores is shot out 20ft horizontally and 14ft vertically.  It seems there is a build up of osmotic pressure from various sugars giving energy to propel the spore-mass. 
It is responsible for 'patches' of golf-links and the spore mass has been blamed for dirty spots in rooms/wallpaper when the fungus grows in plant pots.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Insect victim...

This hymenopteran was found at WWT Penclacwydd yesterday (23/9) and it seems to have been truly impregnated by a fungus!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Amanita citrina var alba -- False Deathcap (white variety)

Amanita citrina  False Deathcap has a yellowish cap but this find is quite white.  Kibby says that var alba seems restricted to Fagus but in Pembrey Country Park this was under Willow and Pine.
Kibby (the genus Amanita) describes what features to look for to help with ID.  With citrina and var alba there is a prominent bulb at the base of the stipe. The top of this bulb forms a 'gutter-shape' as in the photo.
This is the first time I have found any Amanita species in the Country Park/forest.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Tuesday at the Botanical Gardens.

Some of the volunteers took a stroll up Waun Las yesterday, looking for waxcaps but with little success. However walking back for lunch things started looking up. Firstly a large agaricus was spotted - didn't pick it for checking in the hope it may still be there for Fungus Day, but presume it was Agaricus urinascens, with its huge spores as it was in the same place last year.

The car-park gave us a large troop of Boletes with red stems, which seemed to key out as Boletus calopus and a mass of Stropharia rugosoannulata, a very recent migrant to Wales, which has arrived with the wood-chip used in the gardens.

Peter, our intrepid scout then led us into Trawscoed woods to inspect his finds of last weekend, which included another Bolete, which keyed out as Leccinum pseudoscabrum, Amethyst Deceiver, Chantrelle - the forked "gills" were inconclusive but it had very large basidia. The "Hedgehog" mushroom was also inconclusive as regards the arrangement of spines but, as the cap measured 7.5 cms and the spines were 6mm rather than 4mm, it would perhaps tend to favour Hydum repandum.

 There were also a number of smaller mushrooms that never made it onto the identified list. As Peter said, with Fungus Day coming, hope they haven't all arrived to soon!