Friday, 27 March 2015


Coprinellus micaceus - Glistening Inkcap

I was thinking, just this morning, that it's April next week and maybe we should start to see things coming through now that Spring is arriving. Walking the dog in the wood this afternoon I came across this troop of Inkcaps, probably around 20 fb's. They must have known what I was thinking!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Today at the National Botanic Gardens.

Ganoderma sp. Possibly Southern Bracket (g.australe)
 Did the usual Tuesday walk with the wildlife volunteers at the Botanic Gardens at Llanarthne. The most interesting finds were around a large, previously-felled beech tree near the waterfall at the end of Llyn Canol.  Apart from being surrounded by Scarlet Elf cups and Turkey Tail, the beech log was also covered with a Ganoderma sp, probably Southern Bracket (g. australe) and Brittle Cinder fungus (Kretzschmaria deusta).

Ganoderma sp. Possibly Southern Bracket (g.australe)
One group of these Ganoderma brackets was in a different place and looked a lot thinner than the other, so on a future visit will try and collect some spores to have a look at, as perhaps one may be a different Ganoderma sp.

The other fungus looked a bit obscure at first - being just a black blob. But then checking on the internet, it  seemed to fit Roger Phillips' description of  k. deusta fairly well:

Brittle Cinder fungus (Kretzschmaria deusta).
"Fruit body forming irregular wavy cushions or encrusting the substrate, greyish white in the early stages soon becoming brittle enough to crush between the fingers, finally black and very brittle resembling charred wood."

Managed to get a photo of some spores by powdering a small piece of fungus, and these also seemed to fit the bill, being smooth, very large (~32 x 8um), with a germination cleft.

Kretzschmaria deusta,  is a seriously worrying tree pathogen, of great concern to foresters. This ascomycete causes soft rot by consuming both cellulose and lignin.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Gyromitra (Discina) ancilis

 This brown blob in Pembrey forest was almost stepped on.  There were just two fb's a yard or so apart.  A look at the spores confirmed this was Gyromitra ancilis.  The micro-photo of spores was taken by David Harries (Pembs) and shows the pointed appendages at each end of the spore.  
 The group on the left were found  last February about 800m from the present find but none have been seen at this spot so far this year.  There were about 40 fb's.  One specimen was sent to Kew as this is an uncommon species.  David took the microphoto last year. 
Most records are from Scotland although there are several records from east Anglia and a couple from Radnorshire.  The generic name should probably be Discina but FRDBI and CATE list them under Gyromitra.

This is Gyromitra esculenta the False Morel  from Swiss Valley reservoir in 1973.  This was present at this site for about five years.  This has convolutions like brain tissue and another name is Brain Gyromitra.  The stipe with this species is obvious but with G.ancilis it is short and remains hidden in the soil.  G.esculenta is poisonous although it was once sold in Scandinavian markets when it was thought the poisonous properties were removed by boiling and throwing away the liquid.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Resupinate Fungi

Armed with my new acquisition, A Field Guide to the Resupinate Fungi of Hampshire, I headed out into the wilds of Pembrey Forest in search of something to identify. The book is very good, however, even with its help, I still find resupinate fungi a challenge as many as so similar with nothing much in the way of identifying features. I did come across this polypore species on the underside of a pine branch. It peeled off very easily so that I was able to take it home for a good look and take a spore print.

It would seem to me it could be a Diplomitoporus species, as it was smooth, poroid with a fibrous margin and loosely attached to the branch. The white  spores were smooth and sausage shaped, and as they measured ~ 8um x 3um it would possibly be d. flavescens rather than d. lindbladii.

Are there any other fungus groups this may be in? Any help appreciated.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Flammulina species on willow.


Tony wondered about the species found on willow in his woods (March 2nd blog).  Spores from this find are long, I made them to be up to 11.5 - 12µ long which would be consistent with F.elastica.
Spores of F.velutipes are only up to 9.5µ long.
The photos above are of F.velutipes growing on gorse, the first with snow was taken in Jan 2010 and the second one in Jan this year.  They look exactly as the fb's in Tony's blog ---- the gills of velutipes are possibly more closely spaced.    

The small fb's in the lower two photos were taken on 11th March and were growing on the cut ends of a willow. The spores of these were only 8µ long so clearly fit F.velutipes.  Tony has searched the literature on the web and finds there is another Flammulina, F. rossica,  with long spores like elastica and also from salix but not mentioned in the Field Mycology 12 (2) p39, 2011 article by Geoffrey Kibby.
These Flammulina species all look alike so finds growing on willow, at least, need to be examined by microscopy to determine which species.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Today at the National Botanic Gardens

Nothing much of note as we walked around the gardens this morning with the wildlife volunteers, just the usual common species for this time of year. However, we did come across this example of spalted wood on a recently-felled tree.  The following is an extract from the internet

"The thick black lines that appear to artistically meander through the wood actually mark out fungal war zones! Formed by heavy deposits of black melanin pigment and hardened combinations of fungal filaments and wood, zone lines are used by antagonistic fungi of different species or even genetically distinct fungi of the same species to protect their own territory and resources. The intricate swirls of bold lines, unexpected splotches of color and random patterns are a wood-sculptor's dream."

Monday, 2 March 2015


Velvet Shank

Walking around the wood with Philip last week we came across what, on the face of it, appeared to be Flammulina velutipes.
A little more research on the subject revealed that there are in fact three Flammulina spp.
The fb's were definitely growing on Willow, which suggests that it might well be the much rarer Flammulina elastica which is only found on Willow.
I'm afraid it's beyond my abilities to separate the two. Any offers?