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Friday, 21 November 2014

Piggyback Rosegill an exciting find by Tony Ivens.

On 6th November Veronica posted several pictures from Pwll grassland including a Volvariella and I found more of this Stubble Rosegill, pictured on 10th, showing the bag-like base (volva).
Volvariella surrecta, Piggyback rosegill.  Tony sent me these photos taken in his wood near Carmarthen having correctly identified them as this rare species --- which does not seem to have been previously recorded from Wales.  He took care to look at the base of the stipe which has a prominent volval sac and found this was sitting on another decaying fungus.
The lighting was not good for photos so I asked Tony if he could send a fb --- but he did better and went out in the rain to collect some and drove to Burry Port with his 'prize'.

There were several of these under oak and seemingly on old Clouded Funnel, Clitocybe nebularis.

This is the 'offering'.  The caps in this species are smaller than with Stubble Rosegill, whiteish rather than grey.  The volva, seen in the centre, is quite firm and the gills pink (hence 'rosegill').  The gills seen on the right (above) are of the host fungus, Clouded Funnel.  The stipe surface of the central fb seems 'shaggy', possibly affected by the weather but the stipe behind this is more smoothe which is normal.
The Rev Berkley considered this 'a most elegant and curious species'.
This is the most common 'host', Clouded Funnel, Clitocybe nebularis.  I know of a spot at the 'Ashpits Woodlands', Burry Port where these may be found and was fortunate to see a nice large ring of them this afternoon.  It was raining quite hard so photos are not very good.  This is quite a common species.  I do not think it is established if the Rosegill is a parasite on the Funnel or just saprotrophic, feeding on decaying Funnel.  A few other agarics have been recorded as hosts but this is the most common species.  
I am drying the Volvariella in case Kew would like a specimen, being the first Welsh record, and took the remains (of old Clouded Funnel) to see if I could 'infect' the local Clitocybe ring!  If it does work I have no idea how long before we might find Volvariella at the 'Ashpits Woodland' ---- so watch this space.


  1. This reminds me of a Clitocybe nebularis fairy ring Tudor Davies found in the Botanic Garden's Slate beds 2/3 years ago. Some of the funnel caps had what we just thought were mutations growing on top of the fruiting bodies. Didn't think they might be another species. Will go and have a look for them this week.

  2. The frosts of this week have finished off all of mine, so maybe you will have to wait until next year?

  3. Keep looking from year to year as somone who has these said he found them yearly for about 9 years. A similar strategy is used by Dendrocollybia (Collybia) racemosa which goes on Lactarius deliciosus / deterrimus. I found this in Trisarran for about 5years (1970's) until opencast made a big hole where Ffos Las racecourse is now established. Will look out photo of this for Blog. I found a single fb ot this tiny species in Pembrey forest during a BMS foray 1994 ---- always looking but no luck!