Saturday, 1 August 2015

In search of the Marsh Honey Fungus.

Philip, Peter and Tony seraching the marshes.

Yesterday the Carmarthenshire Fungus Group ventured into the wilds of Ffrwd Fen in Pembrey to search for the Marsh Honey Fungus, Armillaria ectypa. Philip found this rare mushroom here (it only exists in 4/5 locations in the UK) some years ago, and as the species was listed in Kew Garden's new "Lost & Found" project, it was hoped that we could get Carmarthenshire mentioned in dispatches by finding it again.

Marsh Honey Fungus.

In a manner that a Red Indian scout would have been proud of, Philip led us expertly through the wilderness and lo and behold, much to everyone's delight, we actually manged to locate this elusive mushroom. Let's look forward to a lot more successful outings this year. If you would like to join us at any time please let us know.

Hypocreopsis rhododendri

Hazel Gloves

The common name of this rare fungus is somewhat misleading as is the case with the other, even rarer Hypocreopsis, Willow Gloves. It suggests that the species is found on Hazel, or in the case of Willow Gloves (which is one of the Lost & Found species), on Willow. 
 In fact both species are thought to be parasitic on species of Hymenochaete. In the case of Hazel Gloves it is thought to be parasitic on Hymenochaete corrugata, which is often, but not exclusively,  found on Hazel.

The fruiting body in the picture is growing on Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa). I also found it on Elder (Sambuccus nigra). Around 20 of these appeared at the beginning of the week, but many of them disappeared before reaching maturity, presumably eaten by slugs, beetles etc. The smallest specimens could easily have been confused as insect grubs living in the moss and I wonder whether they proved attractive to the many bird species living in the wood.

Hazel Gloves is a Red Data List species described as "near threatened", so I was more than pleased to find it growing in my wood.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Rust on nettle-leaved bellflower

It`s that time of year again....I had this rust, new to Carms, last year on some nettle-leaved bellflower plants in my garden, noticed as I was cutting off the spent flower heads to prevent copious seeding.
Nigel Stringer knows the name of the rust. The rust has obviously re-appeared this year!

Thursday, 23 July 2015


Cercospora depazeoides

Looking at a patch of Blackthorn for Polystigma rubrum (it's a Lost & Found species), I came across an Elder growing amongst them. Although the patches on the leaves were clearly not what I was looking for, there was obviously some kind of fungi growing. My first thoughts were that it was a kind of rust - so pictures went off to our resident rust expert Nigel. 
Most impressively he knew exactly what I had found - not a rust but a species of microfungi. Looking at the records this little ascomycete seems to be found exclusively on Sambucus nigra, Elder. The apothecia (little black "dots" in the photo) were clearly visible with a hand lens.

Another species to add to the list!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Link to UK Fungi Forum

We have just added a link to the UK Fungi Forum to our links section. Definitely worth a click, check it out.

Friday, 17 July 2015

At first glance -----

 At first glance gill attachment of this fungus is 'free', it has dark coloured spores and a weak, transient ring on stipe.  The cap is about 4cm diam and the stipe a little longer. 
Trying to key this to 'genus' leads to Agaricus but no species in that genus is anything like this!

A more careful look shows the gills have neatly torn a portion of stipe apex resulting in a form of collar ---- the gill attachment is 'broadly adnate'.

The spore print is brown and size and shape of spores fit Agrocybe molesta.  This is further complicated by name changes.  Funga Nordica make this a synonym of A.dura but FRDBI does not yet accept this!  Take your pick ----pictures on the web look the same and it has been given a common name, 'Cracked-cap Agaric', which describes the appearance quite well.  Foud on fixed dunes at Pembrey saltings --- in one of the cattle compounds.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Allt-y-Gelli Woods

We (Emily, myself and a friend) went for a walk this morning around Allt-y-Gelli Woods, near Llanybri.
Over the years it has always proved a productive spot for fungi, however when we arrived the woods are now for sale and the contractors have moved in - we had a somewhat less than enthusiastic permission to go in! 

Mutinus caninus

Dog Stinkhorn.

It seems to be a very good year for the Common Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus), they seem to be popping up everywhere.
Less common (in my experience) is it's smaller cousin, the Dog Stinkhorn. It also has the advantage of not giving off the awful smell which it's name nevertheless suggests.

Suillus grevillei

Larch Bolete

Although the photo doesn't show it, these -like all the the Suillus I've come across are really slimy to the touch.
The second photo clearly shows the remains of the veil.

Aminita rubescens

The Blusher

Unlike many of the other Amanitas the volva at the base of these does not seem so pronounced. However the photo clearly shows the remains of the veil.The flesh bruised to a beautiful shade of pink, which I am guessing is where the name comes from?
The books say that when cooked it is not poisonous - afraid I'm not brave enough to try! Although judging by the number of half eaten specimens we found, the slugs clearly find them a delicacy.

In all we found seven different species - so for this time of year a very successful walk through the woods.