Saturday 30 December 2017

Omphalina rickenii

Omphalina rickenii

Omphalina are very tiny.  The cap size varying between 0.5-2 cm across.  They are funnel-shaped, usually with decurrent or forked gills and having a central depression in the middle of the cap, thus resembling a tiny umbrella.  The cap margins have a tendency to be wavy and undulating.  Usually found in moss in varying soil types.

I have come across Omphalina rickenni twice in 12 years.  On both occasions this tiny fungus was growing true to habitat in moss.  The first time it was perched amongst moss on a boulder which formed part of a wall.  The second time was on Boxing Day this year.
My brother spotted it first whilst moving his car.  This time the Omphalina was in moss adjacent to a brick wall.  Omphalina rickenni is to be found next to walls.  It is easily over looked owing to its small size.

Below is a series of photographs taken showing the very young through to maturity.

Young showing wavy margin

Showing perspective of small size

Showing wide decurrent gills

Showing funnel-shaped cap at maturity with undulating margin

Characteristics: Cap 0.5-2 cm being greyish/brown with undulating margin, the flesh being thin. Gills decurrent, broad and forked and when inspected carefully are interveined.  Stem is concolorous with cap, slim and equal being up to 3 cm tall.
No ring.  To be found in moss in small groups either on or near walls.  Autumn to Winter.

Saturday 2 December 2017

Trichoglossum hirsutum - Hairy Earthtongue

Trichoglossum hirsutum - Hairy Earthtongue

I've mentioned before in previous posts that I enjoy walking around cemeteries looking for fungi as not only are they peaceful places with a good mixture of trees, usually yews, pines and broadleaf but as the grass is not usually treated with weedkillers etc there is usually lots of sphagnum moss and this is a wonderful habitat for fungi.

On a very cold morning recently I visited one of my local cemeteries to see what might be seen. The friend accompanying me pointed out a specific grave of interest and by sheer luck nearby, adjacent to this, I noticed some very small black bumps amongst the moss.  These bumps in fact were a small group of young Hairy Earthtongue.

I have previously encountered Geoglossum cookeianum (post written November 2016), which I discovered in Norfolk and tends to grow in coastal regions.

So it was with great pleasure that I came across Trichoglossum hirsutum in the cemetery.
These were young examples some only just appearing in the moss and others only 3 cm tall. This fungus looks like a spindle with a club-shaped head.

Characteristics: black, between 3-7 cm tall.  The head which is club-shaped (0.8 cm wide) is flattened and this tapers to a stalk which is velvety in texture.  Usually in small groups in grass and sphagnum moss, which is wet. Acid soil. This is seen occasionally in later summer to autumn.  Not edible.

Showing mature example

Showing velvety stem

Showing perspective