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Monday, 2 April 2018

Geopora sumneriana - Cedar Cup

Geopora sumneriana - Cedar Cup

As the common name suggests this fungus is most likely to be found under or near Cedar trees, although it can appear sometimes near Yew trees, suggesting that formerly Cedar trees might have been nearby.  It is to be seen from late Winter to late Spring. It develops as an underground sphere and then slowly becomes visible as it pushes through the soil. 

Below is an image of a young sphere just becoming visible as it emerges in the soil.


Young sphere

This fungus can easily be overlooked as it tends to blend in with the soil.  It is also a challenge to photograph.

Cedar Cup is uncommon.  It has patchy distribution, tending to be found in the south of the UK, in fact south of the Severn to the Humber.

Below is a sequence of images showing the Cedar Cup is varying stages of development and showing its characteristics.


Showing young starting to open up




Showing the cup starting to split into eventual rays




Showing interior and hairy texture


Characteristics: Cup up to 7-8 cm across.  Firstly a sphere lying just below the soil.
It breaks through in small groups, sometimes very close together and even over-lapping.  At maturity it splits into several rays.  The exterior is light to medium brown and is covered in dark hairs.  The interior is smooth and pale buff or cream.  Not edible and is uncommon with patchy distribution mostly in the south of the UK. To be found with Cedars.

With grateful thanks to JP for allowing me to photograph this fungus in her garden and also to Howard Williams for undertaking the spore print analysis, adding the details to the CATE National Database, and sending me the three images below showing details of the spores.


Showing the splitting into rays at maturity
8-spored uniseriate asci with smooth spores



Showing coarse septate surface hairs
A very good result as this is, I believe,  a first recording for South west of Nottingham.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Clavulina Rugosa - Wrinkled Coral Fungus

Clavulina Rugosa - Wrinkled Coral Fungus

Strolling around the University Park, Nottingham University I was pleased to come across Wrinkled Coral Fungus again.  Although this fungus is common this is only my second sighting.  This time I was able to photograph it just emerging through the soil, and also found a young example.  For those out there looking for it - I must say that when in the 'just emerging stage' it is very easy to overlook.  It lies flat to the ground and looks like cauliflower florets.



Showing fungus just 'emerging' 




Showing the wrinkled texture




Mature fungus


On close inspection it is easy to see how it acquired its common name as the wrinkles are so apparent.

Characteristics:

White or cream the fruit body is 5-10 cm tall and wrinkled in appearance.  It is branched towards the tip, then blunt.  The texture is soft and flexible and its fragility can cause bits to break off.  There is no obvious stem.  To be found in small groups on soil and mossy grass in or near leaf litter next to trees.  Summer to Autumn.  Common.