Monday, 26 June 2017

Botanic Garden ---- June

During the past two months very few fungal fruiting bodies have been seen as it has been so dry.  However in Trawscoed wood there were a few.

A few of these greenish Russula --- all eaten by slugs.  I have not looked propersly so might be one of several ---  R aeruginea is the most likely,  generally with Birch or R virescens with Beech, Oak.

The day was dull with drizzle so light was very poor for photographs ---- plenty of these Marasmius rotula but the 'wheel-like' gill attachment does not show well in the photo.

On a rotten log were several clumps of a Polypore, presumably P squamosus although this usually has a much larger fruiting body.

Just a single Leccinum scabrum Brown Birch Bolete, again the slugs have been attacking this.

Very few fungi to find but good to see these in this small patch of wood.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Flowers that must have a fungal partner.

Yellow Bird's Nest Monotropa hypopitys found at the Ashpits (between Burry Port and Pwll) in the last week. The flower has no chlorophyl (no leaves of any kind) but depends on a mycorrhizal fungus for 'sugars'.  The fungus (at this location) is Tricholoma cingulatum Girdled Knight which is mycorhizal with species of Willow.
As the flower has no leaves it does not need to seek the light so may be found in dense vegetation ---- more likely to be found by those looking for fungi than botanists!

There are four scapes (= a leafless flowering stem) in the photo --- one on the R (stick pointing), one in the centre by dead leaf and two by the curved stick on the left.  
I have not seen the flower nor the Tricholoma in the area for several years but assumed both had 'gone'.  If the fungus goes, the flower goes as it is unable to obtain sugars independently.

This was a photo from the Ashpits some years ago with new scapes and some old ones with seed capsules.

One scape with some Girdled Knight, Tricholoma cingulatum --- note the feeble ring on the stipe of the fungus.  Few Tricholoma have a felty ring and T.cingulatum is the only greyish one --- others are more brown and larger species.


Yellow Bird's Nest has 'dust seeds' with no food reserve to feed on for germination so the dust seeds need to meet its fungal partner to germinate and then throughout its life.  This form of existence is called 'mycoheterotrophy'--- dependent on fungi throughout life for sugars.  Other flowers have dust seeds --such as Witergreens --- Pyrola species as the Lesser Witergreen, Pyrola minor, above, also present at the Ashpits. As I got up from lying down to take the above 'close-up' I found my hand was almost touching another Yellow Birds-nest scape which I had not noticed.  Pyrola's do have green leaves so can photosynthesize once leaves have formed --- mixotrophs. 
 Orchids,such as the Twayblade Listera ovata, below, also have dust seeds so depend on meeting a fungus for germination.  Orchids without green leaves, such as the Bird's-nest Orchid - Neottia nidus-avis (sometimes seen at a spot at Gelly Aur) are 'mycoheterotrophs' needing a fungal partner throughout life.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Otidea onotica n---- Hare's Ear

After a long dry spell we have had some rain.  This cup fungus was at the Ashpits woodland between Burry Port and Pwll.  Three 'clumps' quite close together.  I have seen these here from time to time.  Much of this area had thinning of trees to 'improve biodiversity' but all this has done is increase light level to the ground so Bramble and Ivy dominate everything.
If wishing to visit this site, the best place to enter is by the Electricity sub-station (just down from the roundabout on the Llanelli side of Burry Port) and keeping to narrow paths on the left side.  I intend to add a 'post' about other finds in this area ---- Ashpits as the ground is composed of pulverised-fuel-ash from the former coal-fired power station.  The area closer to the sea has been 'improved' to make it a section of the Millenium Coast Park but the part 'inland', between Burry Port and Pwll, has mainly self-sown willow and birch.

Enteridium lycoperdon

How this slime mould changed over time.

Mum was fascinated to see how this slime mould changed over time and recorded it from 17/03/17 to 03/06/17!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Sandbanks finds.

Sandbanks finds.

13/04/17- 06/06/17

It's been a bit quiet on here lately, apologies for not posting these sooner.
18/04/17 Hypholoma fasciculare.
(Sulphur Tuft)
18/04/17 Rust on Euonymus europaea
22/05/17 Laccaria laccata
 (The Deciever)
03/06/17 Fuligo septica
(Slime mould)
03/06/17 Stemonitis fusca
(Slime mould)
06/06/17 Polyporus sp?
06/06/17 Panaeolus sp?
06/06/17 Any ideas...?
22/05/17 Bolete sp.
18/04/18 Polyporus squamosus
(Dryads saddle)
13/04/17 Lycogala terrestre
(Wolfs milk slime mould)

03/06/17 Calocera cornea
(Small stagshorn)

Monday, 8 May 2017

A busy October this year.

We have a pretty busy month this October, please make a note of the events we have listed below, but as always check for details again nearer the time as things could change.

October 5th Thursday: Ynysdawela, a nature reserve near Brynamman. Isabel has kindly offered  to take us around, what is probably a new area for all of us. More details of time and location will be posted nearer the day.
October 7th Saturday: Sandbanks, Llanllwch: Fungus-finding walk. Meet at the Carmarthen 'Park-and Ride' off the A48 west of Carmarthen, SN 382190, 2.00pm. Walk by kind permission of Di and Emily Ivens. Joint meeting with Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales
October 21st Saturday: Pembrey Country Park: Fungus-finding walk. Leader Philip Jones. Meet at the Sidan Restaurant, SN405006, 2:00pm. Country Park entrance charge applies.
October 29th Sunday: We have penciled this in as the date for  our regular visit to the Black Mountains, which usually turns out to be quite productive. Weather is always a factor up in the wilds of the Black Mountain so please check again around the time.
October 15th Sunday: Fungus day at the Botanical Gardens of Wales. Shall be looking to Bruce to provide another excellent day out for everyone - no pressure Bruce!
October 14th Saturday: An outing to look for items for Tony's Table at the Gardens tomorrow. Last year we went around Pont Felin Gat, but this year we will probably have to look elsewhere because of the improvements going on there.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Calocybe gambosa ---- St George's Mushroom

I know Colin recently posted pictures of this from his patch,  I stumbled across these, partial ring, at Pembrey Old Harbour.  The grass is extremely thick and long so fungi were hidden away.  Even so the grass seemed even thicker along the ring.  I have also seen the patch at the public FP along edge of Ffrwd although these were (today) in a state of decay.

Impossible to see fungi along line of my stick (centre of picture).

Monday, 17 April 2017

Dune Brittlestem psathyrella ammophila

Dune Brittlestem psathyrella ammophila

Dune Brittlestem (psathyrella ammophila), found growing on the sand-dunes of Pembrey beach. It would appear that this little fungus survives by absorbing what it can from the dead roots of marram grass and other sund-dune plants.

Monday, 10 April 2017

St. George's Mushroom, Calocybe gambosa.

Calocybe gambosa, St. Geoge's mushroom.

Every year around this time a patch of grass in the park at Five Roads will offer up a small collection of Calocybe gambosa, and this year was no different. It is commonly known as St.George's mushroom because of its habit of arriving around St' George's Day every year (23rd April), and is supposedly a much sought after delicacy.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Reticularia lycoperdon ---- False Puffball

Reticularia (Enteredium) lycoperdon --- the False Puffball is a Slime mould (Myxomycete).
Colin put a younger looking specimen on Blog (18.3.2014) and there was a comment asking ---- if it might be dangerous.  Not dangerous but I was very suspicious of this deposit on a conifer stump as it looked much like a 'dog-deposit' so touched with care!  When cut into the powdery spore mass was obvious and microscopy confirms this species.  The French common name for puffball is 'vesse de loup' or 'woolf's fart' and for this Myxo is exactly the same as the English = 'fausse vesse de loup'.  there are other 'common names' such as 'Caca de luna' = Moon's excrement so it is not surprising that I was suspicious.    

Friday, 7 April 2017

Strobilurus tenacellus --- Pine Conecap

Strobilurus tenacellus --- Pine Conecap can be found in Pembrey (and elsewhere under pines) in Feb -March.  There are three species which all  look similar, the other two -- S.stephanocystis and S. esculentus, so which do we have.  Emily and Tony put on the Blog (10/4/2015) pictures of ones they found in their wood.  The taste of the cap is said to be bitter for S.tenacellus but Tony did not find any trace of bitterness so wondered if it could be one of the others.  This year I tasted several fb's and none were bitter.  This feature  seems to be important as the Key in 'Funga Nordica' divides 'bitter' from the mild-taste ones which are the other two!  Time of year for 'fruiting' is said to help --- S.tenacellus = early spring to summer, S.esculentus = early spring to autumn and S.stephanocystis = early spring to autumn but 'peaks' said to be differnt.  Not much help!  S.tenacellus found on burried cones of Pine but also Picea (Spruce), S. stephanocystis on Pine cones and S. esculentus on cones of Picea. 
The most reliable way to tell which species is to do microscopy --- the cystidia are quite distinctive.  These are cells on the edge or sides of the gills.  Microscpy shows those of S.tenacellus ---- at last!
The fungus grows from a buried cone ---- either near the surface or deeply buried so can have a very long rhizomorph (don't know if that is the name!) joining the cone to base of stipe. How does the cone get the spores to start 'infection' when the cone can be 5cm or more beneath the soil surface?  I presume the spores --- released in springtime float up to the tree canopy to start life by attaching onto a female flower which would be open at the same time of year.  Cunning!  Any ideas?

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Yellow Fieldcap (Bolbitius titubans)

Yellow Fieldcap   (Bolbitius titubans)

With a little help from Fungus UK, it would seem that this delightful little fungus, found in Pembrey Forest yesterday is Yellow Fieldcap, Bolbitius titubans,  also known as the Egg Yolk Fungus. The First Nature website says:

 This colourful little mushroom of rich grassland and roadside verges  is one of the shortest-lived of all mushrooms. It goes from a yellow 'egg on a stick' via a pinkish parasol stage to a mid-to-dark brown or, in hot dry weather, light ochre mushroom in less than a day.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Common Morels in Pembrey Forest.

There were several Common Morels (Morchella esclenta) scattered along the sandy paths in Pembrey Forest this morning, plus about half a dozen other species.

Monday, 3 April 2017

This year's Fungus events with Llanelli Naturalists

October 7th Saturday: Sandbanks, Llanllwch: Fungus-finding walk. Meet at the Carmarthen 'Park-and Ride' off the A48 west of Carmarthen, SN 382190, 2.00pm. Walk by kind permission of Di and Emily Ivens. Joint meeting with Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

October 21st Saturday: Pembrey Country Park: Fungus-finding walk. Leader Philip Jones. Meet at the Sidan Restaurant, SN405006, 2:00pm. Country Park entrance charge applies.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Polyporus (Lentinus) brumalis ---- Winter Polypore

Lentinus (Polyporus) brumalis --- Winter Polypore --- Emily put this species on the Blog on 14th March when I said I had not seen this for some years!  I have just seen that it has changed its name --- just to confuse us further.  These were in Pembrey CP on a fallen bit of Birch. This was pictured yesterday but seen on same bit of wood two weeks ago (day after Emily saw her ones). 

A very similar looking polypore is Polyporus leptocephalus ---- Blackleg Polypore --- shown below which were photographed by Paul Aubrey (the recently appointed warden at Pembrey CP and saltings who is mainly a 'bird' man but looks at everything) on Willow which is the most common host.  The english name 'blackleg'  is obvious but the black can be just the base of stipe (foot) or all the way up.  The cap surface of these polypore (and many other) species get browsed by slugs, snais and beetles so cap colour has completely gone.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017


First of the season at N.B.G.W. Coprinus I think but not sure about species -comatus perhaps ?

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Caloscypha fulgens

Caloscypha fulgens --- no common name.  Found by Stephanie Thomas on March 11th in Pembrey Forest (SN 388 020).  There are just 21 collections on FRDBI records and is a RDL species.  So a great find. This is a quite distinctive 'cup-fingus' from the shade of yellow which turns greenish with age and on handling.

Caloscypha fulgens

Stephanie also took a habitat photo which is very useful as this shows Birch at the side of a path.  The main tree in the forest is Pine (var maritima).  As there are so few records, books give a variety of associated trees/shrubs.

In 'Fungi of Switz' 1(plate 97) they say Otto Baral (one of the foremost European mycologists) considers it as mycorrhyzal with Abies (Silver Fir)--- but this was 1981!

Colin  has done microscopy --- below ---- which shows the round spores and that the ascus tip is not blue in iodine stain  -- Meltzers iodine --- and, last picture there is one of the 'paraphyses' and these ar 'Y'-shaped.

Polyporus brumalis

Winter polypore.


After a caving trip filled with amazing formations I found a group of these beauties on some fallen Ash branches just outside Llygad Llwchwr 2 cave (in a sink near the source of the river Loughor).
I always love finding Polypores, there is something great about turning a cap and stemmed fungus over and finding pores.
Pleased to say I even did the microscopy! Cylindrical to sausage shaped spores so not the uncommon Polyporus ciliatus.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Sarcoscypha austriaca var lutea

Just an update on Emily's “not so Scarlet Elf Cup”, found in Di's wood near Llanllwch.

Phillip has checked over previous issues of “Field Mycology” and notes:

“This is a splendid find ---- last Tues I dug deep into my memory but did not reach the folder/file in time. Vague memories of a 'white' Elfcup. This is Sarcoscypha austriaca var lutea first described from Austria 1999 -- first UK record from N.Wales 27.2.2005 then N.Somerset in Jan 2008 and Denbeigh, n.Wales 2011. No other records I can see. I expect 'birders' would call this a 'leutistic' form as it seems to be a lack of certain chemical pigments (carotein etc) that would give the 'scarlet' colour otherwise just like a 'normal' fb. ”.

Philip has the relevant volumes of “Field Mycology”, should you be interested, and well done to Emily and Di.

I have put the species name in the post title above and have listed the photos again below - in case anyone out there in cyberspace should be looking for examples.

The Orange and Scarlet forms together.