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Monday, 23 October 2017

Strange fungus on rhododendron

One of our Botanic Garden horticulturalists, Ayshea, spotted these ghostly white fruiting bodies on the roots of a Rhododendron vaseyi that had been dug up from the Botanic Garden's Double Walled Garden.
I put the image on Twitter and got a great response from Brian 'Lost and Found' Douglas. He sent me a paper that explained that ericas and rhododendrons don't have hairy roots but instead are often wrapped in mycelium. This may be Clavaria argillacea which may be providing phosphorous to the plant. Has anyone seen these before? I've been asked to send a sample to Kew.


  1. A nice find and glad Brian Douglas (lost/found project) at Kew interested. Widespread but uncommon. I think I have seen this (but sadly kept no 'record' as uncertain) from Cefn Sidan dunes.

  2. There are far more records for this in the UK, and for SW Wales than for Amanita virosa. Couldn't find pictures in my ID books though so maybe it's one that keen gardeners get to know. I might ask Ivor Stokes about it as he's a rhododendron expert.