Seventy(!) or so people met for the annual fungal foray walk through Otari-Wilton’s Bush today, Sunday 26 April 2015. And it was a typical Wellington day – windy and overcast.
Garlic shanklet [Mycetinis curraniae]
Grey-gilled chalkcap [Russula inquinata]A small grey Mycena sp. on old punga
Ruby helmet [Mycena viscidocruenta] note the cluster of three tiny white Mycena sp.
Ruby helmet [Mycena viscidocruenta]
Brown birdsnest [Crucibulum leave]
Haresfoot inkcaps [Coprinopsis lagopus]
A mushroom [Agaricus sp.]
Brown-umbrella inkcap [Parasola leiocephala]
Scarlet roundhead [Leratiomyces ceres = Stropharia aurantiaca]
Possibly a roundhead Psathyrella microrhiza
Possibly a roundhead Psathyrella microrhiza
Wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea] and, although not in the picture, there was a single mushroom of the porcelain slimecap [Oudemansiella australis].
Sociable inkcap [Coprinellus disseminates]
A mushroom [Agaricus sp.]
Orange poreconch [Favolaschia calocera]
Bush shank [Heimiomyces neovelutipes]
Tree swordbelt [Agrocybe parasitica]. These specimens had seen better days but one eagle yeyed little bou spotted a nice fresh specimen.
Native shiitake [Lentinellus novae-zelandiae]
A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – small pure white parasol
Scarlet pouch [Weraroa erythrocephalus = Leratiomyces erythrocephalus]
Cloudy funnelcap [Clitocybe nebularis ]
Giant-bush parasol [Macrolepiota clelandii]
Wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea]
Wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea] youngAnother lager Hohenbuehelia sp. growing alongside the wood-ear jelly
Had my first foray to Otari-Wilton’s Bush last Sunday, 19 April 2015. The drought has broken but the rain has been episodic and torrential so not the best to the best conditions for mushrooms.
This small mushroom, the garlic shanklet [Mycetinis curraniae] is a perennial find growing on the bark of a living totara [Podocarpus totara] just by the information centre.A single mushroom of a small white parasol [Lepiota sp.] growing at the base of a totara [Podocarpus totara]. Only a few centimetres from the white parasol was this buff coloured parasol [Lepiota sp.] with a scaly cap. I have recorded this one before but still have no name for it. Near the Information Centre there is a stand of karaka [Corynocarpus laevigatus] which were ringbarked two or three years ago. These standing dead trees have produced large fruitings of wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea] There was a small group of grey-gilled chalkcap [Russula inquinata], a mycorrhizal species, growing under black beech [Nothofagus solandri]. Taste is a useful characteristic to separate Russula species tasting either acrid/hot/peppery or mild. The grey-gilled chalkcap is mild. All through the mulched gardens where harefoot inkcap [Coprinopsis lagopus] The orange poreconch [Favolaschia calocera] are only just begin to fruit and not as extensively as in previous years. Just off the track in the fernery I came across these small Melanotus sp. on dead branches. There is one particular log that regularly produces bush shank [Heimiomyces neovelutipes] however there was only one poor specimen on it this time. These big but old tree swordbelt [Agrocybe parasitica] were growing out of the base of a tawa [Beilschmiedia tawa]. The big log off the track near the fernery continues to produce its perennial crop of native shitake [Lentinellus novae-zelandiae]. Weeping widow [Lacramaria lacrymabunda]. Scarlet pouch [Weraroa erythrocephalus = Leratiomyces erythrocephalus]
The little white spored mushroom was growing on woodchips. At this stage I haven’t worked out what it is.This little helmet was growing in the litter in the bush near the fernery. For want of a better name to give it I am going to tentatively refer it to Mycena parabolica as described by Marie Taylor. I don’t normally record bracket fungi but this bright orange Pycnoporus coccineus caught my attention. The tea chalkcap [Russula novae-zelandiae] is mycorrhizal and was growing under kanaka [Kunzea ericoides]. This is the bush giant parasol [Macrolepiota clelandii] and the first time that I have seen it at Otari-Wilton’s Bush. It was growing in a small group under tawa and rewa rewa [Beilschmiedia tawa and Knightia excels] Cloudy funnelcap [Clitocybe nebularis ]
It is time to stop the denial and admit the drought is over and the fungi season has started! Walking home from work yesterday dispelled that idea when I ran into a lot of old friends.
This large, 12cm across, birch bolete [Leccinum scabrum] growing under silver birch [Betula pendula] in the Bolton Street Memorial Park.About 50cm away from the birch bolete and under the same tree was this group of red-cracked bolete [Xerocomus chrysenteron]. Although I have seen this species before it is the first time I have seen it here in this park. Note the blue staining on the bruised pores and on the cut tissue of the cap and stem. Just beyond the Lady Norwood Rose Garden, in the Wellington Botanic Garden, on the steep bank between Anderson Park playing field and Glenmore St was this group of scarlet flycaps [Amanita muscaria]. The reason I am including this common species is that it usually ectomycorrhizal on exotic hardwoods or conifers. In this case it is growing under pohutukawa [Metrodideros excelsa] and totara [Podocarpus totara] – neither of which are ectomycorrhizal. The only exotic hardwood in the mix was a stunted hawthorn [Crataegus] however on a the edge of the playing fields is a row of small trees that I did not recognise. Turns out they are southern live oak [Quercus virginiana] and they are likely to be the mycorrhizal partner of the scarlet flycaps and an association I have not seen before. Just beyond the Puriri Lawn in the formal garden was the first of the coral jelly [Tremellodendron sp.] on the ground under sugar maple [Acer saccharum]. The flowers are puriri [Vitex lucens]. Next to the sugar maple is a grove of European beech [Fagus sylvatica] and English oak [Quercus robur]. Growing under these was the oak chalkcap [Russula sororia] The last stretch of the path up to the west entrance on Glenmore St there is a row of silver birches and fruiting under them was the birch rollrim [Paxillus involutus]. Also growing from the base of a silver birch, on dead wood, was the crumble inkcap [Coprinellus micaceus] .
I was down in Ashburton at the weekend and I saw these scarlet flycaps [Amanita muscaria] growing in the garden near the information centre on East St. They were growing under English oak [Quercus robur].Tropical cyclone Pam followed by several fronts moving up off the Southern Ocean has brought significant rain to New Zealand this month. The rain has stirred the fungi in to activity.
Back in Wellington and walking through the Botanic Garden today there was a mixture of birch bolete [Leccinum scabrum, see blog 12 May 2012] and birch rollrim [Paxillus involutus, see blog 30 April 2013].
On Friday and Saturday, 6 and 7 March, Wellington had a couple of torrential downpours. It was probably too much too quickly for much of it to soak into the soil. And the dry warm weather is predicted to continue through MarchThe rain did bring a small flush of mushrooms in the fuchsa border in the Wellingon Botanic Garden. The fuchsia border is irrigated a couple of times a week so was primed and ready to go when the weather turned a bit cooler and wetter last Friday.
The main flush was a Psilocybe. It looks similar to Psilocybe subaeruginosa which is known to fruit in garden mulched with wood chips like the fuchsia border. Here the Psilocybe is fruiting amongst Fuchsia procumbens.These specimens are similar in all features to Psilocybe subaeruginosa (Johnston and Buchanan, 1995)except that it does not bruise blue or green-blue when handled or crushed. I am not sure how universal this characteristic is for the species.
PS: Since publishing this blog Jerry Cooper has suggested that it might be Leratiomyces squamosus. These little brown and black spored species are trying at the best of times. I had considered the genus Leratiomyces as there did not seem to be any substantial ring on the stem and no scales on the cap. I will have to keep an eye out for some new specimens.
Also seen again was the know very old fruitbody of Scleroderma albidum which featured in a blog six weeks ago (see here).And a single mushroom of Harefoot inkcap [Coprinopsis lagopus]. Reference
Donoghue T, 2015. More wild weather expected in central New Zealand Stuff.co.nz Link here
Johnston PR, Buchanan PK, 1995. The genus Psilocybe (Agaricales) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 33: 379-388. Link here
NASA released this incredible photo of New Zealand showing the top of the South Island (to the left in the photo) and the lower North Island (to the right) taken on the 24 of January 2015. Being the land of the ‘long white cloud’ photos like this are rare as much of the country is obscured by cloud. Also the astronauts on the International Space Station are usually asleep when passing over New Zealand!As I have said in earlier blogs New Zealand is deep in drought which is easily seen in this photo I took near Lincoln on the Canterbury Plains while there last week. Not at all mushroom collecting weather. On Saturday we went out along State Highway 72 which runs north-south along the western side of the Canterbury Plains and the foothills of the Southern Alps. We had a brief stop at Stavely and and walked some of the Sharplin Falls track (note: just to the left of the S in satellite photo above). We couldn’t get to the falls due to a rock fall. In contrast the dry plains to the east the foot hills carry native forest including southern beech. Along the track it was black beech (Nothofagus solandi now known as Fuscospora solandri). The forest here was damp underfoot however it is still generally too early for mushrooms. However just to remind me that “seek, ye shall find” I came across this group of mushrooms fruiting from a deep and damp moss mound. It is a false chanterelle. Ross MacNabb named this as a new species, Hygrophoropsis coacta, in 1969. He described it’s cap as slightly curved when young and becoming depressed or slightly funnel shaped when mature, 1.5-5 cm diameter, smooth or at most very finely felted, and pallid yellow, pallid orange-yellow, or pallid apricot. One remarkable characteristic is the gills which run down the stem, are forked, and are orange in colour. Ross McNabb considered it different enough from the European species Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca to be a separate species. However Egon Horak in 1979 did not agree and said that H.coacta was the same as H.aurantiaca, which made H.aurantiaca pan-global occurring on every continent. This seems unlikely and I think that it is worth keeping H.coacta as a separate species until better evidence is available.
Hygrophoropsis coacta does not seem to have been seen often and Shirley Kerr has a nice photo of it at her Exploring the Kaimai Bush website.
Horak E, 1979. Paxilloid Agaricales in Australasia. Sydowia 32: 154-166.
McNabb, RFR, 1969. The Paxillaceae of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 7: 349-362. See here
In my last blog I noted that weather conditions over much of New Zealand were being described as pre-drought. The rainfall data for the Wellington city area as measured at the Karori Reservoir, shows that January 2015 rainfall is the lowest recorded since 1879 (Adlam, 2015). While on the east side of the harbour the Wainuiomata Reservoir recoded the lowest rainfall since 1890.Despite the dry weather I saw the smooth puffball (Scleroderma albidum) growing in the fuchsia beds in the lower garden of the Wellington Botanic Garden (Ludlam Way/Glenmore St.) 28 January. The grandfather of mycology in New Zealand, G.H. Cunningham (Dingley, 1998), first identified this fungus from New Zealand in his 1942 book The Gasteromycetes of Australia and New Zealand as Scleroderm flavidum forma macrosporum. Cunningham notes that he examined seven collections of this fungus from Wellington Botanic Gardens. Four of these collections, from 1922 and 1923, are still held in the fungal herbarium at Landcare Research in Auckland.
Dingley JM 1998. Cunningham, Gordon Herriot, from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Link here.
Post script, 8 February 2015
The dry weather continues and here are the same smooth puffballs (Scleroderma albidum) ten days later, 8 February.