Tuesday 27 September 2016

Lycogala terrestre

Lycogala terrestre  

Another post about slime moulds (Myxomycetes).

The Lycogala terrestre is a slime mould that I've encountered only twice in the past decade even though it is classed as 'frequent'. It grows on dead and rotten wood in general.  It is small, has a spongy texture, and has a sheen.  When young it is either bright pink or orange but at maturity it pales and turns more pallid brown or even grey.
It is more easily missed then, as it blends into the structure of the bark.

Dimensions: 0.5-1.5 cm diameter. At maturity the outer surface breaks down like puff balls and emits powder like spores  from an apical pore or a crack might split open. It can be seen mostly all year round. The spores can be pink, salmon or yellow.

Friday 9 September 2016

Young Geastrum triplex (Collared Earthstar)

Young Geastrum triplex (Collared Earthstar)

Last February I wrote about the Collared Earthstar.  I included in the post a photograph of an example which was a little past its best but decided to show it anyway because it's an unusual looking fungus.

I am revisiting this fungus because a few weeks ago whilst out cycling in the Derbyshire Peak District along the Monsal Dale trail, I came across a group of about twenty and these were all in perfect condition.  They were growing on a steep slope (an old railway embankment) in soil and leaf litter with mixed trees. 

Below is a series of photographs showing this splendid earthstar.

The first photograph shows a group and the 'collar' at its best.

The second two photographs show something I've never seen before and may not encounter again.  This is the structure from which the earthstar emerges.  It looked like an unopened tulip bulb or a shallot with a woody type of appearance.  The photograph below shows the unopened structure.

The third and final photograph shows the structure starting to open and the young earthstar starting to emerge.

What can be seen here is the early process of the 'splitting' of the rays before they bend back.