Tuesday 29 December 2015

Hypocreopsis rhododendri - Hazel Glove Fungus

Hypocreopsis rhododendri - Hazel Glove Fungus

During November 2015, I received a pleasant email from a lady who had discovered my website.  She very kindly sent me some photographs of a fungus called Hypocreopsis rhododendri - Hazel Glove Fungus.  Aptly named as it resembles tiny rubber gloves.

This fungus is most likely to be seen on the west coast of Ireland, Scotland and possibly Devon and Cornwall in the UK, but also in South West France and the Appalachian Mountains in the US.  The lady who sent me the photographs found this one on the West Coast of Mull.  It grows on Hazel trees. It can be found between August and March and reaches a diameter of 4-8cm.  It is classed as rare and threatened.  

Facts extracted from: Scottish Fungi.

Photograph kindly supplied by Sue Wilson.

I have been prompted to write this blog as I read an article over the Christmas period about a fungus called Willow Glove Fungus, the Latin name being Hypocreopsis lichenoides.  This was found in April 2015 at Gordon Moss, Scottish Borders on a willow bush.  The Willow Glove Fungus is even more rare and is classed as critically threatened and is listed in the Red Data Book.  This fungus apparently "resembles a tiny hand with gloved fingers clasping a stem".  Source: The Berwickshire News.

Hazel Glove Fungus will feature on in the future.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Tulostoma brumale (Winter Stalkball)

Tulostoma brumale (Winter Stalkball)

I felt in need of a break before Christmas so spent 5 days in a new area for me - East Anglia. The exact location being Brancaster which is very near to Wells. Such an enchanting area and so well preserved - the houses - including new build, all in keeping with knapped flint exteriors.

The weather helped which was so kind for November...... raw cold but dry. Empty huge beaches just the tonic. Nice fresh fish to eat, friendly folk and peace and quiet.

Nearby is a beach called Snettisham Scalp which is very close to Hunstanton.

It has plenty of gravel paths and sand dunes.  Surprisingly there was a fair amount of fungi around for such a cold, dry spell.  Amongst the gravel in short grass I found the lovely and uncommon Winter Stalkball.  It is so tiny I thought it was a scattering of gravel. This fungus is very easily overlooked. 

Here are the characteristics:

Cap - up to 1 cm across. This is dark cream to pale ochre and is speckled with minute warts. It has a perfectly circular apical pore which is so tiny it is easily missed, thus allowing the escape of pores.  The stem up to 4 cm tall is quite slender and fibrous, being grey or grey/brown and often covered in sand.  It is found in sandy dunes, specifically with calcereous soil, in moss.  This mushroom is uncommon and not edible.

It is less likely to be seen in northern Britain but can be seen in mainland Europe including southern Scandinavia.

This mushroom will feature in www.fungiworld in the future.

Saturday 1 August 2015

Chalara fraxinea

Chalara fraxinea

Ash Dieback Disease first appeared in the United Kingdom in February 2012. 
In an article I discovered on the BBC website today, the Woodland Trust has given a warning.  The warning is this - we may have to consider a future without Ash Trees.
The areas most at risk are Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, East Sussex and Northumberland.

The Woodland Trust has suggested to landowners that they plant different species adjacent to dying Ash Trees so that they are replaced when they die.

A pilot scheme is being offered offering 1,000 subsidised 'disease recovery packs', each with 45 native trees.

Source BBC.

Monday 25 May 2015

Baeosphora myosura, Scotland

Baeosphora myosura

During early January 2015 I travelled by train to Scotland to visit friends who kindly accommodate me quite reguarly.  They allow me to relax, take me to new places so I can search for fungi,  and enjoy country walks.
The weather forecast did warn of a storm at the end of the week but that often happens so I kept an open mind.  I had purchased an open ticket thus allowing travel flexibility.

On my first full day we visited a new haunt for me called Montreathmont Forest in Angus. Once Royal hunting ground it is now Forestry Commission land with walking tracks. A bitterly cold day, with a dry atmosphere not ideal fungi weather but one always lives in hope! 

The ground was covered in pine cones some exposed and some half buried.  I found one such pine cone that had 2 or 3 very small fungi growing out of it.  This was an education for me!  Photography was not easy as they were so tiny, it was breezy and the pine cone kept blowing about and my hands were getting cold!

Below is a photograph of Baeosphora myosura .

The chacteristics of B. myosura are:

Cap 1-2 cm, convex then flattened.  Pale ochre.  Gills white, very narrow, very crowded.  Stem 2-6 cm very slender, wavy with hairy rooting base. Late Summer-Early Winter.  Found in pine or pine debris.

Each night we gathered around the TV to watch the weather forecast.  Each evening the warning of a big storm followed by a further even bigger one 24 hours later was given out as a certainty.  The word 'hurricane' was mentioned with travel disruption and structural damage.  Oh dear all brewing for the day I was to travel home. 

The 'hurricane' did come on the Thursday night at 10.00 pm. It roared like a lion all night long.  At one point it blew the kitchen door open and literally came into the kitchen complete with rain drops scattered all over the floor.  After about four hours sleep at 6.00 am I switched on my ipod to check out the situation.
The wind had abated to a normal winter strength.  Bad news the winds had been recorded at 140mph at Stornaway not so far away, 96mph on the Tay Bridge  Edinburgh, and Scotland had no trains!  All services out of Scotland were suspended until trees and lines were declared safe.  There was a window of 12 hours before another storm came.  I really did need to get home. At 9 am, we decided to try Arbroath Station to test things out for news.  No trains.  We then decided to travel to Dundee further south and try there.  If no luck I would have to just sit things out. Dundee station was surreal.  No passengers, no trains, no announcements, no anything. I was told that in one hour there would be one train to Kings Cross then may be nothing due to the next storm.  I decided to take it.  For a further hour things stayed the same and I sat alone in an empty, large, city railway station waiting room, at a huge empty station, devoid of trains, staff, people, just silence and me.   I don't think I will experience that again!

Thank you so much Michael for driving a 20 miles round trip to Dundee. I got home........eventually!............

Photographs of B. myosura can be seen on Browse 5 at

Monday 4 May 2015

Collybia fusipes (Toughshank, Spindle-shank)

Collybia fusipes (Toughshank, Spindle-shank)

A difficult fungi season so far.  The weather had been cold and dry, rather than warm and moist so trying to find new photographic opportunities had been rather difficult.

Went to visit one of my local haunts the University Park, Nottingham (December 2014), where I usually find something of interest. It did not disappoint.  A small cluster of fungi caught my eye in grass near stumps of trees.  The characteristics reminded me of something I'd seen in Scotland called Collybia confluens. Though confluens has a hollow stem and is flesh coloured or grey.  This one had a lovely ruddy-dark red-brown cap.  The whole stem being grooved and twisted. Because I had found it at maturity the gills looked quite spectacular - being grey with olive tinges. I had to ask for help to identify this one so thank you to RR for his thoughts.

The general characteristics of Collybia are:

known as Toughshanks.  Have tough fibrous and flexible stems with no ring. Some have strong smells.
The gills are crowded.

More pictures can be see at Browse 5.

Sunday 19 April 2015

Melastiza cornubiensis

Melastiza cornubiensis

After a hard morning of digging and sorting out my allotment I was walking along a gravel/soil path and literally stumbled on Melastiza cornubiensis.  This bright orange disc like fungus was in a cluster of approximately 20 or so.  The texture felt like brittle wax and they seemed very firmly secured to the path.
This fungus reminded me of something I'd seen a few years previously on a visit to Chester.  That had been a find called Scutellinia Scutellata.  The similarities between Melestiza and Scutellinia are the orange colouring, disc shape and both have fine dark hairs on the margin edge.  The hairs on the Melestiza are very difficult to see with the naked eye.  A magnifying glass would have been helpful!

The characteristics are here:
Dimensions: 0.5-1.5cm.  Surface bright orange-red.  Smooth with outer and lower surface concolorous.  At first disc shaped then becoming irregularly flattened and wavy and more saucer shaped. The margin edge being covered with minute downy hairs.  Flesh becoming brittle and thin with maturity.  No distinctive odour. Spring to Autumn.  Infrequent. Habitat is soil and gravel paths.

 This can now be seen at Browse 5,


Monday 16 March 2015

Stropharia caerulea (Blue Roundhead)

Stropharia caerulea (Blue Roundhead)

Visited one of my local haunts University Park Nottingham.  Always a pleasure to visit on a Sunday morning. The students still being in bed and most other visitors walk around the lake so I can usually roam around undisturbed.

The Blue Roundhead is an interesting fungus to see and photograph.  The cap being between 3-8 cm across.
The most interesting feature is the umbo which is bluish-green to yellow-green. Slimy texture.  The coloured umbo soon changes to a pale straw colour with only a hint of green.  I came across this solitary fungus at the 'hint of green' stage.  A little difficult to capture in a photograph but the colour can still be seen. Despite what you might think, it does not have a distinctive smell.
Its habitat is in grass/leaf litter - late Summer to Autumn.  I found it during December 2014.  It is not common and was my first sighting.  Thanks to RR for confirming the identification from the photograph.

A cold day and it was nice to take refuge in my VW T25 for hot soup and flask of tea.

Below is a photograph showing the 'hint of green' on the cap umbo.
More photographs can be seen on Browse 5 at

Monday 9 February 2015

Macrotyphula juncea (Slender Club)

Macrotyphula juncea (Slender Club)

One Sunday last November 2014,  we set off in my VW Camper Van with the intention of visiting Stanage Edge in the Derbyshire Peak District to look for fungi in the woods below this huge Ledge.

Events turned out rather differently however.  Only 20 minutes after setting out my fan belt flew off.  This meant a call out to Green Flag, various fan belts tried for size and about 2 hours later after the problem was solved it was too late to make the trip and the light was poor too.  I decided to stay closer to home and make the best of a bad day and visit Shipley Country Park which is lovely anyway and has good mixed woods.

There was not much to see and the light was fading fast but I decided to take a look under some yew and conifer trees adjacent to the remains of the Old Shipley Hall.  Amongst leaf litter I spotted a huge group of tall club like fungi.  Fascinating!  So difficult to photograph too, as they resembled tall needles!

It seems, that if what I saw is Macrotyphula juncea,  it has only ever been  recorded twice in the county of Derbyshire. So a thrilling end to a disappointing and frustrating start to the day.

Here is the technical detail of  Slender Club.

3-10 cm tall. 0.5-2mm wide.  Sharp firstly and then blunt at maturity.  Pale ochraceous and quite rigid but not brittle.  Sour smell.  Solitary or in huge groups in leaf litter in broad-leaved woods.  Autumn. Seen occasionally but due to being difficult to find and see is probably an overlooked fungi.

Thanks to RE for his patience during the wait on the roadside for Green Flag,  and for keeping me calm whilst driving and being towed 6 miles along a dual carriageway to get the new fan belt.

This full sized and more detailed photograph(s) can be seen on Browse 5