Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Fungi Since the New Year

This isn't the best time of year to see many fungi species but there are always some about. One species in particular; Flammulina velutipes/Velvet Shank is a winter fruiting fungi and very common. It's easy to identify not only because of the time of year it arrives but also its appearance. It's capable of resisting severe frosts, even being frozen and indeed when it thaws out will produce more spores. I've found examples here in Swansea and in Milford Haven.

Flammulina velutipes/Velvet Shank.
  It appears in clusters on dead and decaying deciduous trees. The cap is a rich yellowish orange which is usually a darker orange brown in the centre. The edges are paler and faintly striate as can be seen below. When it's wet the cap looks slimy but when dry it has a shiny appearance.

 The gills are adnexed and when young are an bright ivory white and mature to a dirty yellow. The sample below shows the mature stage. The stipe is curved and tough and dark brown, slightly lighter or yellowish at the apex and velvety looking.

Another very common species that fruits through autumn and winter is Tubaria furfuracea/Scurfy Twiglet. There's been a large group of them emerging from the soil in a stretch of grass and trees by Sainsburys car park that have lasted almost a month. They're not the most exciting to look at but they can be identified partially because the mushrooms come around this time of the year.

Tubaria furfuracea/Scurfy Twiglet.

This species lives off wood which was beneath the soil. At first one can see small light specks along the edge of the cap which get lost sometimes as the mushroom matures and the cap changes colour from a reddish brown to cream when dry. When moist there are clear striations running from the cap edge inwards.
The gills are an orange/cinnamon colour.  As it matures the cap curls inwards.

  Below the velar remains on the edge of the cap can clearly be seen in this young specimen.

 Below the scurfy appearance of the cap surface and striations around the edge is visible.

 As the cap drys it changes from reddish brown to cream. The photo underneath shows the fruitbodies at different stages of drying.

 Below is Dacrymyces stillatus/Common Jellyspot. It lives all year round and is very common..

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