Friday, 24 October 2014

Pembrey Country Park Fungus Foray.

Dr. Jones and the merry band of foragers.

Over 20 people turned out last Saturday to follow Dr. Philip Jones through the wilds of Pembrey Forest on a Fungus Foray, jointly organised by The South & West Wales Wildlife Trust and The Llanelli Naturalists.

Over the previous weeks, after all the dry weather, fungi throughout most of Carmarthenshire had been conspicuous by their absence. Thankfully however, on the day there were plenty around to find, to the delight of  everyone and to the relief of Dr. Jones.

A full list will appear shortly once it has been compiled but a couple of highlights were Peziza badia and Pseudohydnum gelatinosum  or Toothed jelly fungus, images of which are shown below:


Don't forget the Waxcap Walk!

This Sunday (26th October), Bruce and Isabel are leading a Waxcap Walk on the Black Mountain above Llangadog. Meet in the Car-Park (SN 7222 1940) at 1.00pm.

Monday, 20 October 2014

How old is a fairy ring?

Hygrocybe pratensis. Photo John James
Could a fairy ring be the oldest living thing at the National Botanic Garden of Wales?
Last week, with the help of John James, Marie Evans and Michael Isaac, I measured a couple of partial fairy rings of meadow waxcap Hygrocybe pratensis on two meadows on Waun Las NNR.
The first one measured 5m 30cm - not bad for a meadow which until this year showed no previous mycological interest.
But in our Waxcap' meadow, the ring in the photo measured 8m 43cm in diameter.
Myself and Michael Isaacs in the waxcpa field measuring the meadow waxcap fairy ring. Photo John James
I contacted Dr. Gareth Griffiths at Aberystwyth University to ask him how old it might be. A few years ago, Gareth conducted a six year experiment of meadow waxcap rings. From this, he suggests that they spread less than 2cm a year. That could (and this is VERY speculative) make this ring over 200 years old.
Should we start carrying out our own experiments on fairy rings in Carmarthenshire?

Friday, 17 October 2014

 Things starting to happen in the last few days - lots of fungi starting to popup. This Lactarius is neither rare nor unusual, but it's the first time I've seen it in my wood! So another new species to add to the list

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Peniophora laeta ----- continued

Peniophora laeta.      
 This was an interesting find by Keith Crowden.  Neither David Mitchel nor Pat O'Reilly, proper mycologists, who led walks on 'Fungus Day' remember having seen this previously.
 As Hornbeam, Carpinus is native to south-east England, the majority of records are from here although the first British record in 1884 was from Cumbria.
 The formation of peg-like structures lifts the bark.  However the fungus starts on the bark surface as a blueish crust and, for a long time was considered a different fungus, called Peniophora pseudonuda.   The image below shows the fungus on bark but this has grown bumps showing how variable the species is.   Hornbeam is present in Spring Woods and Trawscoed Wood (and probably elsewhere in the Botanic Garden) so, once you got your 'eye-in' the fungus could be found easily on fallen branches.                                                                       

Sorry this image is of a different species!
This is Phlebia radiata Wrinkeled Crust.  This may be found throught the year but mainly over the winter months, Autumn to Spring.
These two species were close together on the ground, and as there was some similarity in colour, I jumped to the wrong conclusion.
I added the comment below.

Wales First Record for fungi on branch

Last week, whilst looking for fungi fruiting bodies, the Botanic Garden's Volunteer Wildlife Recorders (Keith Crowden to be exact) found an odd looking brown fungi on a dead hornbeam branch in Spring Woods.
An image was sent to Philip Jones who named it as Peniophora laeta and tells us it's a fungus of SE England that hasn't been recorded in Wales before. This may be because the Botanic Garden has a large number of hornbeam trees, unusual for Carmarthenshire and anywhere outside of the SE of England. 
Thank you Philip and thank you to photographer John James.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Suillus grevillei and S viscidus with Larch

 Suillus grevillei

 This very common bolete is associated with Larch so has been called the 'Larch Bolete'.  A slug enjoying the viscid-glutinous surface.

The pores are large and there is a distinct ring just below the dull yellow tubes.

This was found at the forestry walk at Keepers, Brechfa forest at the end of September.
Suillus viscidus

This is a less common species but is also associated with Larch. It also has a viscid-glutinous cap surface and given the common name 'Sticky Bolete'.  In fact the common names could apply to either of these species!

This species has an overall grey colour with medium sized pores.  The ring soon collases and darkens.  

I was surprised to see this in Pembrey forest as this is planted with Corsican Pine Pinus nigra var maritima and did not, at first, see any Larch as this was hidden by a Holm Oak with dense foliage, pines and bramble.  The tree must have been 10 to 15 m from the fungi showing how far mycorrhizal fungi can be from their symbiotic host.