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Monday, 19 December 2016

Flammulina velutipes, Velvet Shank.

As winter approaches you will see a lot of Velvet Shank, Flammulina velutipes, on broadleaf branches and stumps. On Saturday I went up to the Upper Lliedi Reservoir, where on Salix in different parts of the wood I found the following two fungi.

The pale one had all the characteristics of F. velutipes, but was obviously a different colour so I measured the spores to see if it may be something different. They both gave a white spore print but the spores were different sizes. The trouble was it was the pale one that had the correct spore size for F. velutipes and those for the dark one were bigger. I thought I had got the spore samples mixed up so I re-checked them and it was the dark fungus that had the large spores.  Not thinking a lot more about it I put the pale one on the Fungi UK forum to see if anyone knew of a pale version of F. velutipes. Adam from the Pembs group  came back to say there was a BMS article suggesting that F. velutipes growing on Salix with larger spores was in fact another species altogether namely F. elastica.

F. velutipes from Stradey Woods.

Yesterday I went for a walk around Stradey Woods and there growing on a Beech log was more F. velutipes,  which I then took home and measured the spores. This time they were the correct size. In fact putting the pictures of the spores together the difference is quite noticeable as you can see from the picture below.

Different sized spores from F. elastica and F. velutipes.

What a palaver! I could very well be wrong but from spore sizes alone, what it may be is that the top picture is F. elstica, the second picture is a pale version of F. velutipes and the third picture is a normal F. velutipes.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent and exciting! I have also found some 'Flammulina' on salix so some homework to do ---- will keep you posted once I have done microscopy!