Monday, 8 November 2010

GFG Foray: Gethin Wood

Gethin Wood is not far from Merthyr Tydfil. It's a large sprawling forest with every tree type possible. The area that we forayed in was predominately oak and to be honest we could spend everyday looking for fungi for a month and easily find something new everyday. Most of the fungi we found today was growing on wood and whilst it felt at the time that we didn't record a lot, we found a great deal.

On the way there, at the Salisbury's in Swansea I found Melanoleuca, below.

In the car park, growing on bark mulch was a sea of  Leratiomyces ceres (=Stropharia aurantiaca)/Redlead Roundhead. Hundreds of them all fruiting together. This patch has been producing mushrooms for two months now.

There was also Tricholoma terreum/Grey Knight growing in the grass, under conifers.

In the car park at Gethin there was a large fungus growing on birch. It's  one of the Inonotus family, possibly Inonotus radiatus/Alder Bracket, which also grows on birch like this one was. This genus of fungus often exudes liquid in humid weather, rather like Postia stiptica/Bitter bracket. It looks like it's sweating.

On a dead tree trunk nearby we found Trametes versicolor/Turkeytail which is a very common species but also there was also one that I can't identify but none the less fascinating to look at. In the photo below the complexity of the fruitbody can be seen. In this specimen the colour is lilac. It almost looks likes it's been knitted. (Click on the photo to see its intricate stucture).

We found plenty of Mycena and below is Mycena galericulata/Common Bonnet. It's one of the easiest bonnets to identify. It's large, the edges of the cap are always lighter than the centre. The margin of the cap is always striate. The stipe is always darker at the base, lighter at the apex, this can be seen below.
It's often in clusters and usually found growing on wood and fallen branches of broad leaved trees.

In the photo below is Laetiporus sulphureus/Chicken of the Woods.  It's dramatic sulphur yellow colour and size makes it stand out in any wooded area. This specimen wasn't in the best of conditions but the sulphur yellow colour can still be made out. This particular tree was growing at an angle and the fungi has responded to this by keeping it's fruiting bodies constantly horizontal as it grows, a process called geotropism.

When picking mushrooms it's important to try and get under the stalk so the base can be examined and as importantly see what the mushroom is growing on because it help determine a species like Pluteus which grows on wood or wood debris or specific species like Mycena for example.
The best find of the day can be seen below.
This fungus however was not growing on any vegetation. It was sprouting from the body of an insect. It's a Cordycep; a particular type of fungi that attacks insects. The fungi enters the body and replaces the insects insides with its mycelium, the fruit body then emerges from the body.
This one is Cordyceps militaris/Scarlet Caterpillarclub and lives on dead larvae and pupae of butterflies and moths.

Below is fungi that grows on wood. Exidia glandulosa (= E. truncata)/Witches Butter. If you click on the photo, you may see the warty surface more clearly. The photo has changed the colour somewhat; it's usually blackish brown to black. The fruitbody is cushion shaped with small warts on the underside surface (which is in the photo). It's finely granular on the upper surface.

Foray 07-11-10
Sainsburys Swansea
Leratiomyces ceres (=Stropharia aurantiaca)/Redlead Roundhead
Tricholoma terreum/Grey Knight

Gethin Wood
Cordyceps militaris/Scarlet Caterpillarclub
Amanita rubescens/The Blusher
Laetiporus sulphureus/Chicken of the Woods or Sulphur Polypore
Hypholoma fasciculare/Sulphur Tuft
Piptoporus betulinus/Birch Polypore or Razorstrop Fungus
Coprinus micaceus
Scleroderma citrinum
Schizopora paradoxa/Split Porecrust
Clitoctbe fragrans
Panellus stipticus/Bitter Oysterling
Crepidotus variabilis/Variable Oyterling
Leucopaxillus giganteus/Giant Funnel
Russula ochroleuca/Ochre brittlegill
Mycena stylobates/Bulbous Bonnet
Mycena galericulata/Common Bonnet
Rickenella fibula/Orange Moss Cap
Ascocoryne sarcoides/Purple Jellydisc
Exidia glandulosa/Witches Butter
Armillaria mellea/Honey Fungus
Trametes versicolor/Turkeytail
Stereum hirsutum/Hairy Curtaincrust
Stereum rugosum/Bleeding Curtaincrust
Laccaria laccata/The Deceiver
Xylaria hypoxylon/Candlesnuff Fungus or Stag's Horn
Daldinia concentrica/Cramp Balls or King Alfreds Cakes
Inonotus radiatus/Alder Bracket?
Tremella mesentericaPluteus cervinus
Melanoleuca melaleuca

+ Four unidentified species

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