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.