Sunday, 21 December 2014

Mycena rosea ---- Rosy Bonnet

Mycena rosea Rosy Bonnet.
For a long time this was considered a variety of Mycena pura, Lilac Bonnet (as in Bon 1987, Mushrooms and Toadstools).  Tony Ivens recently sent me a picture, correctly named, taken from 'his woods' which alerted me to the name change.  This photo is of a find on the edge of Ffrwd Fen growing in leaf litter.  The cap has a delicate rose-pink colour and the stem is white.  With M pura the colour is a pale lilac or violet although this is extremely variable (even yellow) so several 'forms' have been described.  The stipe with M pura is generally coloured although almost white with some forms.

John James sent me this photo of a Rosy Bonnet taken at the Botanic Garden a week ago with a pale pink cap and white stem.

Crinipellis scabella ---- Hairy Parachute

  Crinipellis scabella, Hairy Parachute, is an attractive little species growing on decaying stems of various grasses.  Many records are from coastal areas but can be found in poor lawns and waste land. It looks like a Marasmius species but the cap has orange to red-brown hairs and the stipe is also covered with similar hairs.  This species does not revive when moistened following drying which Marasmius species will do.   The third photo is one taken five days later when the orange colours have almost gone .                                         

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Phellinus pomaceus and Fomitiporia hippophaeicola.

 Phellinus pomaceus is a bracket that grows on Blackthorn, Prunus spinosus.  Blackthorn is a very common shrub in our hedgerows but I do not seem to find this fungus very frequently.  You need to look at head-height and it is not very conspicuous but remains for many years as layers of rubes are added each year.
Fomitiporia hippophaeicola grows on Sea Buckthorn, Hypophae rhamnoides and is a similar looking bracket.  This shrub is native to the east coast of Britain but introduced to the Pembrey area when this forest was first planted in the 1920's.  Although there are acres of Buckthorn along the coast, I have found few of these brackets.
This species is described in the latest 'Field Mycology' by Martin Ainsworth who says he finds it to the base of old shrubs although the ones I have found are at head-height.  Considerable effort is being taken by the local council to remove the shrub as it is highly invasive and forms impenetrable thickets.  The shrub has root nodules containing nitrogen fixing actinobacteria so alters the delicate soil chemistry that favours many attractive dune plants.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Cobalt Crust. Terana caerulea

This beautiful blue crust fungus is listed in some of the older books (my Michael Jordan's Enc) as Pulcherricium caeruleum.
I haven't seen it for a few years and when I looked it up it is described as "infrequent". The books say most commonly found on Ash or Hazel as was this specimen, however I have found it in the past growing on Bramble. It can be used to produce an antibiotic named cortalcerone that inhibits the growth of Streptococcus pyogenes, a spherical bacterium that is responsible for an abundance of infections, so one of the more useful fungi.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

A post from Nigel Stringer

Whilst out today in the Whitland area looking for rusts I came across a stack of Big-bale silage adjacent to a track leading to a farm. The bales were contaminated with the "split-gill" fungus - Shizophyllum commune. This fungus totally devastated the silage bales in Ireland in the 1990's and is spreading across the UK.

Just down the road from this site is Bryngwynt Chapel. Even though we have had a few frosts this week there was a fine troupe of waxcap fungi on display in the burial ground.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Dendrocollybia racemosa --- another 'piggyback' fungus.

This is like no other species I know of.  Like Volvarilla surrecta Piggyback Rosegill, this grows on another fungus --- in this case Lactarius deliciosus or L deterrimus, both of which have orange 'juice'.  Some books which have this species say the side branches are 'aborted caps' but they are specialised structures that produce asexual (budding) spores from their tips.  The fungus therefore has conventional spores on gills under the caps and asexual spores from the branches.  Not all 'stipes' have a cap at the top as with some this is missing and replaced by the budding structure.
Each stipe grows from a small 'pea-like' structure, a sclerotium, but these are not seen in the picture.  This is a relatively rare species but cannot be mistaken for any other fungus.  I found it at the same spot for several years at Trimsaran and then just one of these small spikes in Pembrey Forest, where the Lactarius can be found, so it is potentially wherever the Lactarius fruits ---- just keep looking!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Memories of Giant Puffballs

 Calvatia gigantia Giant Puffball.

The blog of Nov 3rd and subsequent comments brought back memories of Noel Tallowin to some of us.  Ian Morgan had a feast of these in c.1975.
These are others from that field as there were very many.
It is interesting that they have been spotted in a field near Trimsaran this year.  As these were from a field on the road from there to Kidwelli about 40 years ago, has it taken this long for them to 'fruit' again?

These are the ones left on my front doorstep by Noel.

If I could work out how old Christopher was, I could confirm the year!  He looks about 12 so that would be 1975.