Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Ash Killing Bracket

Just found this bracket fungi growing out of an ash tree trunk on a barely used country road in Bird's Hill, Llangathen. All signs (including a velvety top) indicate that it's Inonotus hispidus (Shaggy Bracket), a fungus that can kill ash, apple and walnut trees.
I've checked its frequency on the NBN Gateway and there are hardly any records for Wales, certainly not for this inland part of Carmarthenshire.
I know that this doesn't necessarily mean it hasn't been seen round here before, just not recorded. So, has anyone else seen this in Carmarthenshire before?

Monday, 15 September 2014

Giant Fungi Models in Botanic Garden

Three new fungi sculptures have been specially made for this year’s Wales (UK) Fungus Day that is being held in the Garden on Sunday October 12th. Created by two Brechfa-based artists Tina Ashdown and Laura Vettori, the wooden structures make large the tiny fungi that feed off, and rot, wood.

Bonnet (Mycena sp.) mushrooms have bell shaped caps on long delicate stems that you’ll find growing out of the top of fallen logs in our Pont Felin Gat woodland. The fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) is the iconic white-scaled red topped mushroom which artists and storytellers have used to decorate their depictions of a magical fairy world. Least well known, but perhaps even more amazing, is the fluted bird’s nest fungus (Cyathus striatus): this begins as a brown ball that opens up gradually to reveal a white interior containing spore sacs that look like beautiful bird’s eggs. Tina  and Laura, with help from visitors to the Wales Tree Festival, have inscribed the words of a poem onto their fluted bird’s nest fungus. This newly commissioned Welsh and English language poem has been written by Ammanford based Eisteddfod Bard Einir Jones, who will be making her first public reading of the poem on Wales Fungus Day, next to the sculptures which are sited in the Garden’s Trawscoed Wood. The sculptures will then form part of the Garden’s Magical Mystery Tour, a children-centred leaflet that takes families around the odder parts of the Garden.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Carmarthenshire Grassland Fungi Survey

• The Carmarthenshire Biodiversity Partnership are launching a grassland fundi survey this autumn. • Can you take a close look in your local cemetery, well-established lawn, or old unfertilized grasslands and let us know what you find? • Look out for bright coloured mushrooms, sometimes with bizarre fingery shapes. The amazing range of colours may surprise you: the green Parrot, pink Ballerina, red Splendid, orange Honey and white Snowy waxcaps; yellow, white and violet coral fungi, olive earth tongues and golden spindles! • It’s easy to report. What we need is:  Who? - your name and contact details,  What shape and colour? – a photo would be great!  Where? – a grid reference or postcode,  When? – the date. • Send your records to: Biodiversity Officer, Carmarthenshire County Council, Conservation Section, Planning Department, Civic Offices, Crescent Road, Llandeilo SA19 6HW; IMacho@carmarthenshire.gov.uk; 01558 825390.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Alder Tongue

This strange growth on an alder cone is actually a fungus with the rather apt name of Alder Tongue (Taphrina alni). The fungus grows out of the ripening cones of alder trees, after the female flowers have been pollinated in the spring. Initially green in colour, it forms a gall that changes to orange and then dark brown as here. This particular example is from the Cynheidre Open Cast Site where alder trees abound. Once you get your eye in its amazing how many Alder Tongues you can come across.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Beefsteak is Back

A beefsteak fungus Fistulina hepatica fruits every year on the same piece of fallen oak on Waun Las NNR. Good to see it back again today.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Apricot Jelly Fungus

Came across this odd little mushroom yesterday on the old Cynheidre Open Cast Site. According to some websites the mushroom is unmistakeable because of its rather unique shape so I hope I'm not putting my foot in it when I say it is an Apricot Jelly Fungus. It has also been called Candied Red Jelly Fungus, but I think the apricot name suits it better!

As regards a scientific name you seem to be spoilt for choice as it has been known as  Phlogiotis helvelloides, Tremiscus helvelloides, Guepina helvelloides amongst others.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Found this strange mushroom under a Larch tree in Mynydd Mawr Country Park yesterday. The cap was 5 cms accross but it had a very long stipe that measured around 15 cms, making it look all out of proportion. There were small red droplets appearing on the cap and stipe.

 The gills were decurrent with a black spore print. The spores were also quite large measuring about 20um x 7 um.

Checking through, Gomophidius maculatus could fit the bill but would welcome any other suggestions.