Friday, 23 October 2009

Armillaria ostoyae/Dark honey Fungus

This is Armillaria ostoyae; better known as honey fungus. We found some of the 'bootlace' threads that belong to this family of fungi on a tree earlier.
The specimens I took below were found growing amongst low lying bushes and bramble and quite a few feet away from any large tree. I was surprised by the mushrooms' mature shape height and appearence.
There were lots of them in all stages of development which was good for me as that helps identification.

It's been a good experience to identify a fungi using just observation, deduction and quite a few books.
Apparently, the largest fungi in the world is this particular type of honey fungus. It's five square miles in area and maybe 2400 years old. Yet doesn't look a day over 2200! It lives in
Oregon, at the Malheur National Forest.

This is the mature fungi;
The cap here is about 20 cms wide. . The strong burgundy colour on the skin gets darker in the centre. The chestnut brown ,wrinkled part of the cap is dying and drying but the yellow looking gills are still producing spores..till the very end.

The stalk turns sepia/dark sepia and has a bulbous end, like an onion

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