An advantage of not going into the office each day is recreational walking. I am lucky that I live close to some original bush remnants and areas of regenerating bush. In my case the two I bog about frequently are Otari-Wilton’s Bush and the Wellington Botanic Garden. Being at home means that most lunchtimes I can go to Otari and look and see what is new or to make serial observations of a specific mushroom. In this case, over the last eleven days I have been watching the development of a Gandalf’s flycap (Amanita sp.2 = Saproamanita sp.).
I think that almost all the observations of Gandalf’s flycap, either my own or other peoples’, have been of mature open caps. I don’t think I have ever seen young developing mushrooms. Until last week when I saw these oddly shaped fungi growing in a wood mulched garden. I suspected Gandalf’s flycap but decided to wait and watch. What follows is daily photos over eleven days.
14 April 202015 April 2020 16 April 2020 17 April 2020 18 April 2020 – I collected the small mushroom (right back) see the photos at the end of blog 19 April 2020 20 April 2020 – at this stage it is about 25cm high Looking under the cap the ring (all that fluffy stuff covering the gills) is just starting to rupture at the cap margin 21.04.2020 Compared to yesterday the ring has pulled away from the stem and forms large fragment hanging from the edge of the cap 22.04.2020 The cap has expanded further since yesterday and the ring fragments are further reduced 24.04.2020 – This is the last day of observation and the cap is fully expanded – about 25 cm across I collected I young fruit body 18.04.2020 (see above) and bisected it Note the tissue between the gills and the stem (the ring) and watch what happens to it in the photos above as it expands and tears apart