Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A nice meal if you had a ladder!

This Chicken of Woods fungus ( Laetiporus sulphureus) has taken advantage of a broken branch on an old oak alongside the Tywi, finding a way through the tree's defences.  This fungus however is not quite the death sentence that the Dryad's saddle was to our sycamore tree previously, as the fungus tends to attack the heartwood and the tree could last many years. Chicken of the Woods is considered a good edible fungus and from the size of this example it could feed a family!

Culinory  notes from

A popular way of cooking this fungus is to cut it into slices, brush them with oil, and then fry them in breadcrumbs; serve with lemon juice. The taste is quite like chicken; however, although most people find this a good edible species a small minority find that it causes feelings of nausea. If frozen (uncooked), this fungus retains most of its flavour, and so it is a good species for storing in preparation for the winter months.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Pembrey Burrows

Walking along the track on Pembrey Burrows there were a number of small puffballs, the largest being about 2.5 cms in diameter, which I take to be Grey Puffballs (Bovista plumbea).

"Unlike Lycoperdon puffballs, Bovista species are stemless and they are attached to the soil by white mycelial cords that fracture at maturity, allowing the wind to blow the spore-filled fruitbodies along; in this way spores are distributed widely." - See

 The smaller one with the darker spores actually broke away when I touched it, but it was soon captured and taken off for its untimely demise! I've included a picture of the spores because I think they look so attractive.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Mynydd Mawr Country Park

Beginning to see a few more fungi about as autumn approaches. Included were a nice group of boletes (Suillus sp.- with their slimy brown caps). Probably a Larch bolete as the gills bruised to a rusty brown, but a forgot to check what sort of tree they were under - must add that to my "to do" list next time!  

Another nice example was a Blackening waxcap (Hygrocybe conica). It was strange to see the waxcap alongside a path in the middle of the woods rather than in the surrounding fields.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Tiny Puffball Fungus ??

Went for a stroll around Troserch Woods today, nothing much about except this tiny puffball fungus. There were a pair of them on an old conifer log and they only measured about 5mm across. When you touched them they gave off a cloud of dark pink spores. Checked afterwards and the spores were circular with a diameter of around 8.5 um. Any ideas??

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Another Dryad's Saddle.

Another example of Dryad's Saddle fungus (Polyporus squamosus). This time growing near Paxton's Tower, Llanarthne. Restricting itself to a dead branch, it has not grown as large and certainly  not caused as much damage as the one at Cilsan bridge - see our earlier post.  At Cilsan Bridge the infected sycamore tree has now completely given up the ghost.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Great Burnet Rust

Last week when I was visiting Ynysdawela nature park near Brynamman I spotted this very bright rust on the back of a leaf of Great Burnet that was growing in the grasslands. I took a photo, which I sent to Nigel Stringer (who else of course!) and it turns out that it is a rust which goes by the name of Xenodochus carbonarius. It is an uncommon rust with 200 records for the UK, 80ish records for Wales and under 20 for Carmarthenshire. As Great burnet is out in all its glory at the moment then it might be worth keeping an eye out for it!


Monday, 9 June 2014

Sycamore tree alongside Cilsan Bridge

It would seem that this poor sycamore tree, standing in the field alongside the Tywi at Cilsan Bridge, is a bit worse for wear following the unwelcome arrival of its fungal partner. The bracket fungus could possibly be Dryads Saddle, Polyporus squamosus, (or possibly not), but either way would appear to be a death sentence for the tree.