Monday, 17 October 2016

Common puffballs ?

Came across this group in Pembrey Forest a couple of days ago. At first, because of their papery skin,  took them to be a group of common puffballs. When I took one home I found the spores were huge at about 12 ┬Ám, whereas puffball spores tend to be a lot smaller. Also as can be seen the spores have a reticulated network covering them, which from the literature would tend to suggest they were in fact an earthball called Scleroderma bovista, the Potato Earthball. The Scaly Earthball, s. verrucosum also has a papery skin (unlike the usual tough, leathery skin that the common earthball has), but the spores of s. verrucosum do not have a reticulated network.

- perhaps they may still be there for our foray on Sunday?

Spores of s.bovista, some showing a network of ridges across them

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Green Castle Woods on Saturday

Many thanks to Philip for organising a foray around Green Castle Woods on Saturday. This was the annual link up with the Wildlife Trust and over 20 people had turned up at 2.00pm to enjoy an afternoon's foraging. The weather has been unusually dry for a few weeks, which isn't good for fungi, and so there were very few large, photogenic mushrooms on show. However it did rain heavily in the morning, which helped us a bit, and there were plenty of pairs of eyes on the ground so we did end up with a sizeable haul.

In the end, before rain stop play about 4.00pm, we had gathered over 25 different species (Click here for a list.) - the more interesting perhaps were a Tawny grisette, Amanita fulva, a Stinkhorn egg which must have been the size of a tennis ball and another which had recently "hatched" and a tiny ballerina waxcap, Hygrocybe calyptiformis, which should have been living on the moorland rather than the middle of a wood.

Don't forget our Foray around Pembrey next Sunday - this time with Llanelli Nats.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Dinefwr Park

Under a Yew tree at Dinefwr Park ,the cap was approx. 6-7 inches and had a soft feathery feel. It looked like a Lepiota but they  mostly have White or Cream gills .

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Fungus Day

Bruce educating some young fairies.

What a great day! Many thanks to Bruce and his team for organising another superb Fungus Day event at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Excellent walks and talks. Another success was Tony's Table, which again this year attracted many species, most of which ended up with a name. How many exactly Linda?

As it did last year, the table seemed to act as a focal point for the whole day and will hopefully become a regular feature from now on. Once again well done.!

Some of the many species of fungi on Tony's Table.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Geastrum lageniforme ---- Flask Earthstar

 Geastrum lageniforme --- Flask Earthstar.

The small photo was taken on a very wet morning last week. It is good to see Earhstars starting to 'show'.  This is similar to G triplex -- Collared Earthstar but is much smaller. The rays are thick and look as if they may split but do not form a 'cup' as with triplex. It is very uncommon and a RDL species. This has been seen at the same spot in Pembrey Country Park for several years (not in 2015 which was a bad year for earthstars in Pembrey).

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Hope you can make it to our annual UK Fungus Day event at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
I'm specially keen to see lots of fruiting bodies on Tony's Table (in tribute to the much missed Tony Ivens) so feel free to bring some with you, identified if possible but don't worry if not. There are three walks on the day 11-12, Waxcaps with David Mitchel, 12.30-1.30 with me, and 2-3 Tree Lichens with Ray Woods. There'll be a lovely display of Beatrix Potter fungi illustrations too, done by Kate Jones.
Here're all the details -

Monday, 3 October 2016

Forthcoming Events

Following on from Philip's email forthcoming events are listed below:

Saturday 8th October. 10.30 am.
Meet at Pont Felin Gat for a foray to look for specimens for the "Fungus-Table" at tomorrow's Fungus Day event.

Sunday 9th October. 10am.
Fungus Day at the National Botanic Garden of Wales 10am - 4pm

 Saturday 15th October. 2.00pm
Green Castle woods, Llangain (SN392164). This walk was to be led by Tony but Philip will do it.  A joint meeting of Wildlife Trust + Llanelli Naturalists.  Please come if you can!

Sunday 23rd October. 2.00pm.
Pembrey Country Park ----- meet at, what was, Sidan Lounge,cafe (brick building close to caravan site).  Stephanie who ran the cafe did not get her 'permit' renewed by council so no cafe at present ---- she was very keen on fungi and most useful.

Sunday 30th October 12.00pm.
Waxcap outing on Black Mountain. Isobel organised an outing a couple of years ago at a nice waxcap site on the Black Mountains so we will try there again this year. Directions: Drive down from the Black Mountain Quarry car-park towards Llangadog. Just after the hairpin bend take a small road to the left. Follow for about a mile and there is a small car-park on the right. We'll meet there. Please check this website in case weather forces us to rearrange plans.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Strange toothed fungus

Found this strange toothed fungus in Pembrey Forest yesterday. It was pink in colour and measured about 25mm across with a small stem and buried in leaf litter.

Could be a Hydnellum species. Microscopically it has similarities to H. peckii but that lives in Scotland. Any ideas?

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Stradey Woods

Stopped by Stradey Woods for a quick look as I've never been in there before. Seems an interesting place - mainly Beech with a few conifers thrown in. May be worth asking permission for a foray there sometime. Still not masses of fungi about but some of the usual species in a beech wood.

Plenty of Beech Jellydisc, Neobulgaria pura, and beech woodwart, Hypoxylon fragiforme. Trametes orchracea ( has an ochre underside and larger spores than t. versicolor). Also Dead Moll's Fingers,  Xylaria longpipes, similar to X. polymorpha, but with smaller spores.


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!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

I thought I'd got another species to add to my farm list, yesterday,
 but seems to just be orange Hygrocybe chlorophana. Had more typical yellow ones in November 2014 - similar numbers and location.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Cow-pat Fungus.

Checking cow-pats as I walked along near Dryslwyn the other day, as one does, I came across these tiny, orange, Cheilymenia fungi. There are many  species of Cheilymenia but I believe this is Cheilymenia granulata, because a close up picture shows there are no eye-lash type  "hairs" and the outer surface is covered in what resembles tiny granulated sugar crystals. Don't seem to see it as often these days as I seem to remember years ago that most cow-pats were covered in them.

Great Glasshouse NBGW

I 'think' this may be a Dapperling Lepiota cristata but the underside looks very strange to me with stem shape and gills.

At NBGW Trawscoed Woods today

In Trawscoed Woods today (not the fairy woods !) there were many fungi - the group of five had three Russula Brittlegills (Yellow cap,Dark Brown Cap and Mid grey Cap ). There are about 112 species to choose from and I would need at least 111 guesses ). Also some Hydnum refuscens or repandum but looking at Pat O'Reilly's book , I favour refuscens even tho' it is rare. I also saw some Amethyst Deceivers and some very large funnels. I hope these haven't peaked too soon for our Fungi Day - I could try Hiding em! :)

Friday, 16 September 2016

Painting of Hebeloma radicosum --- Rooting Poison-pie

Following my Blog of 12th Sept ---- I found this info:

This splendid painting by a Japanese artist, Sake Takayama is from the 'Mycologist' vol 17 (3) 122-5, 2003.  This clearly shows the fungus growing from a 'latrine'.  It seems fruiting bodies might reappear at the same spot over many years ---- so must post the GPS details sometime!
The article in the Mycologist describes the study of flies using this species ---- the male fly perched on the cap to meet / mate with female flies attracted by the volatile organic substances of the fungus!  Cunning! 
I had noted the 'marzipan' smell also described as an almond smell.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Ear Fungus in Pemrey Forest

Came across this "Ear-type" fungus in Pembrey yesterday. The spores were 11-13um x 5-6um and the asci tips did not turn blue in Iodine so looks like it could be Otidea onotica (Hare's Ear). But the asci however were too
short at 150um rather than 250um. Could it be another genus?

Not a lot more about, but did see a group of  Paxillus innvolutus (brown roll-rim) and a Hebeloma which is probably Hebeloma crustuliniforme (Poisonpie).

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Found in a playground near Sycamore .Is this a Lilac Pinkgill -Entomola porphyrohaeum ? The smell was slightly mushroomy (not unpleasant) .