Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Over the past few weeks I’ve spent several days out and about looking to see what fungi I could find. It’s probably a bit early yet but I did manage to find a few. However, for the most part, they had already been ‘found’ and nibbled by the slugs and squirrels, so not many pristine examples.
I also noticed, on more than one occasion, that where fungi have appeared close to footpaths they had been kicked over and destroyed. I fail to see what pleasure, when they’ve obviously come out to walk in and enjoy the countryside, people derive from doing this sort of thing and destroying what they’ve come out to see?
Something else that I noticed was how dry the ground is at the moment, especially in the woods, normally when I’m out photographing fungi I usually get wet and muddy knees and elbows…all they’re getting at the moment is dusty. Out of interest I dug down into the leaf litter and it was about 10 to 15cm down before it started to get really damp, and that’s before the imminent new fall of leaves.
Amethyst Deceiver (Laccaria amethystina) The colour of this common fungi is more noticeable in young specimens as it quickly fades to a light tan colour. Grows to about 10cm tall, usually in small groups in deciduous woodland. It’s also quite common for the cap to be misshapen. Edible, but not a culinary delight.
Club Foot (Ampulloclitocybe clavipes) A flat topped fungus with a distinctive club shaped stem. Grows to around 7cm tall with a brown cap of about 8cm across in deciduous and mixed woodland. Edible, but can cause a very severe reaction if consumed with alcohol.
False Deathcap (Amanita citrina) This common fungus grows in deciduous and mixed woodland. 8cm tall with a 10cm diameter cap. It has a strong smell of raw potatoes and is mildly poisonous.
Honey Waxcap (Hygrocybe reidii) This small red to orange/red fungi is commonly found in pasture and grassland. Reaching a height of 5cm the 5cm diameter cap flattens out with age and sometimes cracks appear around the edges. As it’s name would suggest it smells strongly of honey and is edible, but of poor quality.
Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare) This very common yellow/orange fungus is most notable for forming dense and spectacular clumps on dead and decaying wood of both deciduous and coniferous trees.
Beechwood Sickener (Russula nobilis) This poisonous brittlegill is the deciduous woodland relative of the Sickener (Russula emetica) that is found in pinewoods. Mostly bright red in colour ( all white specimens have been noted) with a white stem. Grows to around 5cm tall with a cap diameter of 7cm. It has a faint smell of coconut.
Grey Spotted Amanita (Amanita excelsa) Grows in deciduous and mixed woodland. The grey/brown cap with patches of grey spots grows to around 10cm in diameter and flattens out with age. The stem is white to grey in colour and 12cm tall.
Blackening Waxcap (Hygrocybe conica) One of the most common waxcaps, seen in various colours from yellow through orange to red however, the irregular shaped cap discolours to black and becomes dry and cracked with age. Can be found in grassland and reaches a height to around 10cm.
Bitter Bolete (Tylopilus felleus) This large greyish brown fungus is found in deciduous woodland and occasionally with conifers. It has a stout club shaped stem growing to around 10cm long, yellowish in colour and covered with a coarse brown net. The cap. up to 12cm in diameter, matures to a flat shape with a dark brown coarse/cracked texture. As the name suggests it has a very bitter taste.
Unknown (help needed) This one I found in mixed woodland but so far it has eluded any of my attempts at an ID. so, if anyone has any ideas?……
Notes/ Disclaimer…Although I have given indications of taste and edibility of some of the above fungi I would strongly advise that, unless you’re 100% sure of what you’re doing, you DON’T attempt to taste/eat any fungi/mushrooms that you may find. Just admire their beauty, they look much better growing in the wild than they do sizzling in a frying pan!