The Fungi Group
- Those from 2009 and subsequent years can be seen in published copies of the Bulletin.
Some of our previous meetings are described on this page.
Fattingpark Copse Fungus Foray, Sunday 30th September 2012
We had a total of eighteen people for our foray this time. After an unfortunate start, we proceeded along the old railway track behind the Crematorium and into Fattingpark Copse. The very wet weather of the preceding Sunday has finally kick-started the foraying season and we had a productive time this morning. Most of the finds were of frequently found fungi but this is not uncommon at the start of the season.
Our first find was a little ink-cap, one just emerging and a second fully open. It was the Hare’sfoot Inkcap, Coprinus lagopus.
An early find was a fungus which mystified us but, back at home on microscopic examination it very clearly keyed out to the Goldleaf Shield, Pluteus romellii, growing on buried dead wood.
Mike appeared with a long branch covered in fine material of a resupinate fungus forming light round patches developing blunt teeth or folds. This was the Toothed Crust, Basidioradulum radula.
An interesting discovery was the Redlead Roundhead, Stropharia aurantiaca, with bright orange cap, white scaly stipe and dirty, greyish-brown gills. This is an introduced species, possibly from Australia, which in recent years has spread extensively in this country on wood-chip mulch flowerbeds. We find it regularly in Ventnor Botanic Gardens but it was a surprise to find it in an ancient semi-natural woodland site, away from cultivation.
We found an acorn and cup with tiny white stalked cup fungi growing on the outside. This was Hymenoscyphus fructigena, which grows specifically on oak and hazel.
The red capped Russula under oak was confirmed as Russula pseudointegra from the spore print.
Ros found an interesting bracket fungus with a very fine cinnamon coloured pore undersurface. This was Phllophora ribis (= Phellinus ribis), which grows on spindle and currant bushes. We don’t know the host in this instance although I suspect it was spindle.
All in all, we had a successful foray with around forty species identified. The list below includes English names but these are often not in widespread usage.
Erisyphe alphitoides Powdery mildew on oak
Melampsora euphorbiae Rust on wood spurge
Melampsoridium betulinum Rust on birch
Phoma hedericola Leafspot on ivy
Phragmidium mucronatum Rust on rose
Phragmidium violaceum Violet bramble rust
Puccinia annularis Rust of wood sage
Septoria cornicola On dogwood leaves
Thedgonia ligustrina Leaf spot on privet
Unsinula adunca Powdery mildew on willow
Venturia fraxinii Leafspot on ash
Hymenoscyphus fructigena On acorn & cup
Ascocoryne sarcoides Purple jellydisc
Xylaria longipes Dead Moll’s fingers
Daldinia concentrica Cramp balls
Trametes hirsutum Hairy bracket
Posia stiptica Bitter bracket
Phellinus ribis Bracket on spindle
Basidioradulum radula Toothed crust
Hymenochaete rubiginosa Oak curtain crust
Ramaria stricta Upright coral
Scleroderma verrucosum Scaly earthball
Amanita citrina False deathcap
Collybia dryophila Russet Toughshank
Collybia fusipes Spindleshank
Coprinus lagopus Hare’s foot inkcap
Marasmiellus ramealis Twig parachute
Mycena haematopus Burgundydrop bonnet
Mycena polygramma Grooved bonnet
Mycena speirea Bark bonnet
Mycena stylobates Bulbous bonnet
Mycena vitilis Snapping bonnet
Panaeolus semiovatus Egghead Mottlegill
Pluteus romellii Goldleaf shield
Russula pseudointegra Scarlet brittlegill
Stropharia aurantiaca Redlead Roundhead
St Boniface Down Fungus Foray, Saturday 15th September 2012
It was always going to be a gamble visiting an open grassland site for fungi in September but in previous years St Boniface Down has been productive at this time of year. This year, it was warm and sunny,…and dry, so our expectations were not high as we set off. Nevertheless, it was a glorious day for a walk and butterflies and dragonflies were showing well, even if we found no fungi.
As we descended the slope of the down, Lesley found our first find of the day. It was clearly an ink cap, but which one? We identified it as a Snowy Ink-cap (Coprinus niveus) from its size, white colour and loose flocculose fibrils on the cap surface. It was growing on much decayed dung.
As we approached the top edge of the holm oak woodland, Jillie found our first big fungi – two very fine specimens of a bolete. This was the Rooting Bolete (Boletus radicans), a distinctive species with a pale cap and yellow pores, bruising blue. These specimens were probably growing in association with the roots of holm oak but later we found specimens in the open grassland which were growing associated with clumps of Rock-rose (Helianthemum).
One of our target species was the rare Bearded Amanita (Amanita ovoidea) for which St Boniface Down is the only permanent site in the country. It is really a more southern, Mediterranean species and in good years specimens of this large white Amanita are easy to find. This time, we struggled and had almost given up when Jillie found a young specimen pushing out of the chalk under the holm oaks on the wrong side of the fence. The specimen was collected for all to see but the slugs had beaten us to it and there wasn’t much to look at!
We then found an old, dried specimen of a Brown Puffball (Bovista nigrescens) followed by several specimens of our second Amanita, the Solitary Amanita (Amanita echinocephala), probably growing on Rock-rose. We didn’t find any good specimens to properly appreciate the pointed warts on the cap surface; ours were either very young or very old.
That was about it for macro-fungi for the day but our visit was enlivened as we sat and watched the Ryde Harriers St Boniface Fell Race as they scrambled up the slope and then hurtled back down.
Although our list of macro-fungi was short, David was at hand to add to the list with micro-fungi growing on other plants. These included the very common Violet Bramble Rust fungus (Phragmidium violaceum). On one plant, we saw two stages of the same fungus growing together, orange urediospores together with black teliospores growing from red blotches on the leaf.
It was also novel to see a fungus growing on a lichen. David showed us black patches of a lichenicolous fungus, Xanthoriicola physciae, growing on the bright orange yellow lichen, Xanthoria parietina which was itself growing on a twig.
In total, we found just 12 fungi, although they did include some unusual ones which we don’t usually see. We missed finding Marasmiellus carneopallidus, an extremely rare fungus looking like a fairy ring champignon but growing on rock rose. It was found here as new to the country a few years ago and has been spotted several times since.
Amanita echinocephala Solitary Amanita
Amanita ovoidea Bearded Amanita
Boletus radicans = B.albidus Rooting Bolete
Bovista nigrescens Brown Puffball
Coprinus niveus = Coprinopsis nivea Snowy Ink-cap
Coleosporium tussilaginis Rust on Sow-thistle
Phragmidium violaceum Violet Bramble Rust
Puccinia annularis Rust on Wood Sage
Puccinia coronata Rust on grass leaves
Puccinia astruin-epilobii Rust on willow-herb
Venturia rumicis Leaf spot on Dock
Xanthoriicola physciae (a lichenicolous fungi)
Parkhurst Forest Fungus Foray, Sunday 2nd September 2012
A keen group of fifteen met in the main car park at Parkhurst Forest for our first foray of the year.
Despite the wet summer, fungi haven’t really got going yet this year and our expectations were not high for our first event; those expectations were duly met! Nevertheless, it was enjoyable to get together again and David was able to find and name quite a collection of leaf spots and mildews to add to our list.
Walking up the main drive, our attention was caught by a number of earthballs (Scleroderma citrinum) pushing through the ground. I picked up one of these to show the others and was delighted to find that it had attached three very young specimens of the parasitic bolete, Pseudoboletus parasiticus growing from the base. An excellent start to the foraying season.
As is often the case, a careful search revealed a few other fungi in the same area. A small, unidentifiable bolete was trodden into the ground before it could be identified but we were able to admire a young specimen the The Sickener, Russula emetica, pushing up though a clump of Polytrichum moss.
Sadly, it was some time before we found any more large fungi in the form of a group of Plums & Custard, Tricholomopsis rutilans growing from a conifer stump, by which time the rain (not forecast) was setting in.
But there were other compensations. We found the lovely little white slime mould, Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa growing on rotten wood. It only reveals its beauty under a hand-lens.
Natalie found what I took to be a second slime mould but when I took it home to look at more closely, I wasn’t quite so sure. I’m still trying to find out what this could be; I think I’m going to have to ask our colleagues over in Hampshire!
Easier to see was the Green Elfcup (Chlorociboria aeruginascens) which stains the wood in which it is growing green and was once used as a decorative inlay in furniture manufacture. The specimen which Leslie found displayed one or two beautifully coloured fruiting bodies, which we don’t always get to see.
We also saw a number of the so-called woodwart and tarcrust fungi that grow through the bark of dead twigs. Those pictured are Beech Woodwart (Hypoxylon fragiforme) and Common Tarcrust (Diatrype stigma).
Lichens are fungi, although we don’t generally record them on fungus forays. They are a very specialised collection of fungi that grow symbiotically in association with an alga. We saw several pixie-cup type lichens (Cladonia) during the afternoon but I was particularly delighted to find a luxuriant sheet of an unusual Cladonia lichen growing on a large dead tree stump, which proved to be Cladonia incrassata. Not only is this a first for the Island but it is a quality species. It is nationally scarce, and mostly occurs in the north and west. It has a stronghold in southern England in the New Forest and Dorset heaths growing on rotting wood and old cut surfaces of peat. So, yet again we have a species growing in Parkhurst Forest with links to the New Forest. It is easy to forget that when Parkhurst Forest was more extensive and before it was planted with conifers, that it shared many similarities with a small version of the New Forest as we know it today.
Amanita rubescens Blusher
Armillaria mellea Honey Fungus
Scleroderma citrinum Common Earthball with Xerocomus parasticus Parasitic Bolete
Russula ematica Sickener
Russula ochroleuca Ochre Brittlegill
Tricholomopsis rutilans Plums and Custard
Chlorociboria aeruginascens Green Elf cup
Daldinia concentrica King Alfred’s Cakes
Diatrype stigma Common Tarcrust
Erysiphe alphitoides Oak Mildew
Erysiphe aquilegiae var.ranunculi
Hypoxylon fragiforme Beech Woodwart
Melampsoridium betulinum Birch Rust
Phragmidium violaceum Violet Bramble Rust
Rhopographus filicinus Bracken Map
Trochila ilicina Holly Speckle
Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa (Slime Mold)
After a very anxious wait the rains arrived just in time to make this autumn’s fungus forays very successful. We met every other Saturday from the end of September until the end of November and managed to visit Combley Great Wood, Firestone Copse, Parkhurst Forest, and The Landslip. For our annual foray weekend we hunted around Alverstone and Borthwood Copse, as well as Briddlesford Copse, and our guest Alan Outen managed to identify a very impressive 245 species.
One of our number had photographed many fungi over the last few months whilst walking in Parkhurst and he produced them at the beginning of our meeting at Parkhurst. Amongst them Colin Pope spotted a Red Data List species and asked to be taken to the site to see if it was still there. With many distractions on the way, with just having to identify the many fungi seen, we eventually arrived at the spot to see a very impressive white spined fungus Tiered Tooth, (Hericium cirrhatum) growing on the side of a Beech trunk. This is only the second time our section has seen one of these, and probably the first time for many present on the day.
To round off the season we visited The Landslip and were rewarded with great views of a large Collared Earthstar, (Geastrum triplex). The several species of Earthstars are always a favourite of ours as they are so unusual and not very common.
This group usually meets during the autumn season; from September through to November, as this is the time when many varieties can easily be seen on trees, on the woodland floor and in grassland.
There is such a diverse range to be seen, some very colourful, some with unusual shapes, and you can never be sure what will turn up. Although we are not expert in identification we use field guides and can identify quite a number.
Illustrated is the very rare agaric, Amanita ovoidea, which grows in quantity on St Boniface Down and was identified and described by Derek Reid, who until his recent death was our major source of mycological expertise.