Monday, 4 March 2019

Panaeolus semiovatus - Egghead Mottlegill - revisited

Panaeolus semiovatus - Egghead Mottlegill

I wrote a post about the Egghead Mottlegill in 2013.  I was in Angus Scotland and it was my first sighting.  I was struck by its simple beauty - clay coloured, the egg-shaped cap and the shiny, somewhat, creased texture.  This mushroom is usually found in or near dung.  This past weekend I was out walking and came across some superb examples of this mushroom and this time in England rather than Scotland!  In this post I have included some photographs below of it growing in its various stages.

Showing young emerging - greasy texture

Showing dry texture

Showing maturity and black spores

Friday, 8 February 2019

Crucibulum laeve - Common Bird's Nest

Crucibulum  laeve - Common Bird's Nest

A fungus belonging to the family of Nidulariaceae.  These usually grow on dung, wood or other plant material with a tendency to grow in large groups. Bowl-like structure usually less than 1 cm in diameter.  The bowl has at maturity tiny hard seed like peridioles. About 5 in the genera.

This fungus is difficult to find and is therefore easily overlooked. I found it by chance as I had paused during a conversation and just happened to be staring at the ground.  It was growing on chip bark in a flower bed at the University Park Campus, Nottinghamshire.

The fruit body is up to 12 mm across and 15 mm tall.  Bowl shaped.  The outer texture is felty and greyish/dull yellow.  The inner bowl is silver/grey and smooth. At maturity it contains several minute 'eggs'.  Firstly is it covered in a membrane which peels away to reveal the 'eggs'.  Mealy sweet smell.
This example found on bark chippings in a group of 30 or so.
To me they looked like minute Yorkshire puddings though some books describe them as tiny souffles!
I was thrilled to have come across it as it was my first sighting.

Showing membrane covering the eggs
Showing group on bark chippings

Showing 'nest' structure with eggs

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Peziza vesiculosa - Blistered Cup

Peziza vesiculosa - Blistered Cup

I wrote a post about this fungus previously but thought I would revisit the subject.

The last time I saw Blistered Cup was on a visit to Exmouth.  I spotted a small group, mostly immature growing in a horse-manured rose bed.

More recently (November) I was out walking in my local area (Nottinghamshire)  and spied a huge pile of steaming horse dung near to the hedgerow which meant I could easily take a look.  Always on the look out for fungi which habitat dung, I had to investigate.  Not the most pleasant of tasks, tramping around steaming dung, horse dung is preferable to cow!, but when something is found, of course it is well worth the effort.

This pile of dung held a nice surprise - it was full of Blistered Cup including some huge specimens at maturity.  It was also nice to see this fungus growing in its natural habitat,  rather than having been moved to a rose-bed as mentioned above.

Although this fungus is common this is only my second sighting.

Characteristics:  Bowl-shaped up to 8 cm across.  Light tan to buff.  On close inspection creased grooves can be seen on the exterior cap.  Minute granules can also be seen.  The margin is in-rolled when immature.  When dry it can become brittle.  This fungus can withstand frosts.  In large groups in horse dung and well-manured soil.  All year but more so in Spring and Autumn.  Common.

Below some photographs.

Showing perspective in horse dung

Showing Close-up

Friday, 26 October 2018

Coprinus picaceus - Magpie Inkcap

Coprinus picaceus - Magpie Inkcap

I found Magpie Inkcap last week. Bunny Wood, Nottinghamshire.   This Inkcap is uncommon and mostly to be found in Southern Britain.  There have been a few recordings in the county of Nottinghamshire (4), so was thrilled to have come across this - especially as I have been on the look out for it for over a decade.  It was solitary and growing next to a Hawthorn tree.  Unusually, it was growing on its side and was still attached to the ground as seen in photographs below.

Characteristics:  Cap up to 8 cm high, firstly conical then bell-shaped in maturity.  Initially white and then turning hues of grey, finally black and covered in patches of remnants of veil which can vary between pink to clay.  The gills are crowded, pinkish and with maturity black.  The stem can reach heights of 30 cm and has a white woolly base which is bulbous. Deliquescing with age.  Late Summer to Autumn in mixed woods but mainly beech.

Showing perspective

Showing the clay/pink remnants of veil on the cap

Showing gills at maturity

Monday, 1 October 2018

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii - Plantpot Dapperling

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii - Plantpot Dapperling

I recently received an email from a volunteer at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh who required some help with fungi identifications.  He also sent me a photograph of a fungus found in a Research Glasshouse that was growing in a plant pot next to an Amorphophallus paeoniifolius.  

Plantpot Dapperling or Flowerpot Parasol is a tropical fungus that can be found in heated glasshouses or greenhouses all year round.  It is uncommon and its characteristics are:

Cap up to 5 cm across, firstly ovate then bell-shaped and at maturity flat with an umbo.  Its colour can vary from bright yellow to greenish yellow/pale yellow and when dry more brown.  The texture is dry/mealy/minutely scaly.  In some mature examples the margin edge can be striate.

The gills are free, yellow and crowded.  The stem is slender but can have a slightly bulbous base.  A small ring may be seen high up on the stem and also there may be remnants of veil.  Although the ring can  disappear.  It should not be eaten.

With kind regards and thanks to Robert Jones and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for allowing me to use this photograph.

Plantpot Dapperling

Friday, 14 September 2018

Coprinus niveus - Snowy Inkcap

Coprinus niveus - Snowy Inkcap

This fungus grows specifically in dung - usually horse or cow.  The example I found was solitary in horse dung in a grass verge.  As the name suggests this fungus is white, and the cap is covered in chalk-white meal.  In fact, it looks as though it has been coated in fine, dry, white snow.  A rather captivating mushroom actually.  Very visible when appearing out of dark coloured dung.  I was fortunate to capture this one in its prime.


Cap up to 3 cm high.  Egg-shaped to conical firstly and then bell-shaped at maturity. White and covered with chalky white meal. Also with maturity the margin edge splits and can roll back.  The gills are firstly white, quickly turning grey, then black and deliquescing.  The stem is rather tall up to 9 cm with a cottony base and scurfy texture.
It tapers slightly from bottom to top. It has no strong odour.   Usually in small groups on horse or cow dung.  Summer to Autumn.  Quite frequent.  Not edible.

Showing perspective

Showing the chalky white mealy texture

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Melanoleuca verrucipes - Warty Cavalier

Melanoleuca verrucipes - Warty Cavalier

On a lovely May morning walk to a local large park namely Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire, I was wandering through very long grass and came across a small cluster (approx 10-15) whitish fungi.  I took a series of photographs and a sample.  The stem struck me as being very distinctive - blackish and spattered with dark scales, and the smell being a mix of almonds and faint aniseed - fruity indeed.

I could not find this fungus in any of my books.  I duly sent the sample off to Howard associated with Notts Fungi Group for a positive identification via spore print analysis.

I could not find this fungus in my books because it is in fact rather rare.  It is called
Melanoleuca verrucipes - Warty Cavalier and belongs to the Tricholomataceae group.  This fungus was first discovered in the UK in 2000 in Highgate Woods, North London, according to the FRDBI records held by the British Mycological Society (BMS). There are 47 records to-date, the last being in 2015.  My record will be recorded by Howard where appropriate.

Below is a series of photographs which show in detail this fungus, and also at the end of this post is a description of my observations.

Showing perspective

Showing warty stem

Showing cap

Showing wooly texture at base

Showing urticoid cystidium with crystals

Observations and characteristics:

Found in long grass with mixed trees including Lime and Beech, bark chippings present.  In a small cluster up to 10-15. Cap white, slightly striate margin, up to 8-10 cm diam.  Depressed centre with ochre spot.   Gills crowded and close and the same colour as the cap.  Stem up to 8 cm white with very distinctive dark brown to black scales.  Base slightly bulbous and wooly at base.

With grateful thanks to Howard Williams for confirming the identity of this mushroom via spore print analysis and for providing the photograph of such.