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.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Scalycap Cousins

Two different types of Scalycap fungus were found alongside the cycle track near Horeb. The first would seem to be  Sticky Scalycap ( Pholiota gummosa), which feeds on the buried branches of dead trees; whilst the second is probably Shaggy Scalycap (P. squarrosa), which was growing on the base of an old, but still living, alder tree. Sometimes the Shaggy Scalycap can be mistaken for a Honey Fungus, but all Pholiota species have a brown rather than white spore-print.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Two more spikey ones, Typhula spathulata and an Entomophthora sp + a knobly Onygena corvina

These fungi were found a short distance from the other spikey ones.  Typhula spathulata was found on a small fallen branch but not sure of which tree.   Like the Glyphium it is generally found on small branches at head height and, at the Ashpits Burry Port, was found on Willow.  The short white stems arise from a 'sclerotium' just beneath the bark.  This is an uncommon species.

 Typhula erumpens is very similar with just two recent British records but it is, as yet, uncertain if it is distinct from T spathulata.

I laid the twig on a fallen leaf lying in the sun in order to take a photograph.  Note the white spikey object, central and below the twig.

This is a fungus growing on some species of insect, an Entomophthora, but nothing remained of the beast so impossible to say if it was a spider, aphid, or whatever.  We are more familiar with Cordyceps militaris growing from moth larvae but flies, spiders and many other small creatures suffer from similar fungal attack.

 This tennis ball was found during August in the same area as the 'spikey ones'.  the ball must have been dropped by a dog and was covered in moss and leaves.  Growing on it was a collection of fungi, Onygena corvina.  This ascomycete is uncommon and generally found on feathers, owl pellets or fox dung (containing animal trmains) although a few records are 
from rotten roofing felt, material in a garden or a dead mouse.  

  The records database also lists an O piligena found on an old stocking, hearthrug and old felt hat (in 1898) but this is considered a synonym of O corvina.
Another Onygena is O equina found on horn, skulls and hooves so it is worth taking a look at such things left to rot in fields.  Edith Jones once found this on an old hoof shed by a cow at     Wenallt. 

Calocera cornea and Glyphium elatum --- some spikey-looking fungi.

On a recent morning dog walk I found a series of 'spikey' fungi.  This Small Stagshorn, Calocera cornea, was the first.  On a fallen branch of a small oak.  This jelly-fungus is very commomon and found on wood of various broadleaf tree but rarely on conifer wood.  Another common name is 'Finger Jelly'.

                                                                                          Glyphium elatum

I must have passed by this apple tree in the Country Park on countless occasions but had missed these 'spikes' of an Ascomycete until now.  I have seen them on Willow (Salix) at the Ashpits woodland between Pembrey and Burry Port.  One needs to look at small half-dead branches at eye level.  They remain all year and, in fact, are present on the same branch for many years ---- or until Council staff tidy up low branches !  Each 'spike' is up to 2mm tall, chisel shaped and has very long, thin spores (250-380x2-3ยต).

This is not a very common species but, as it is not conspicuous, it might be more widespread.  Dennis, in his splendid 'British Ascomycetes', 1981, considered it as "one of the rarest European fungi, only found a dozen times in the past century and a quarter, only twice in the British Isles".