April saw a significant break in what has been described the worst drought in 30 years for New Zealand. However, as the MetService pointed out for Wellington the rain came but it just didn’t come very evenly.
The rain that has arrived in April, along with the cooling temperatures, has seen a flush of mushrooms. The pictures below followed the two days of rain that fell in Marlborough, 20-21 April 2013. They are two species of coprinoid mushrooms that had in the past been known as Coprinus but now are placed in the genera Parasola and Coprinellus.
Parasola plicata (Japanese-unbrella inkcap): Generally recorded from lawns and grass you can see that in these photos that it also occurs in the garden amongst exotic shrubs and bulbs such as grape hyacinths. This is a small, up to about 20mm diameter, delicate mushroom. They usually appear overnight and can be gone within a few hours.
Coprinellus micaceus (glistening inkcap): I um’ed and ah’ed over this one as it can be very difficult to make an identification from a photo. I finally came to the conclusion that it was the glistening inkcap and that it is probably growing on dead woody roots under the grass. Normally you would expect to see glistening mica-like particles on the cap surface however these can be quickly lost especially during rain as in this case. What really threw me was the third photo which I think was taken without a flash so that the brown colours are lost and the hygrophanous drying (the paling of the cap) is emphasised. Initially, I thought that this might be a third species.
As this is my first full mushroom blog for the 2013 season here is a catch-up of some of stragglers that have been about over the last month.
Agaricus campestris (horse mushroom): This large mushroom was growing in my backyard at the seep line at the base of a garden retaining wall. Marie Taylor (1981) describes the ring as “double, and consists of a smooth upper membrane with a circle of thick, cottony patches marking the tips of a cogwheel pattern”. These cottony patches can be clearly seen in the photo of the overturned mushroom.
Paxillus involutus (birch rollrim): This common fungus is found associated with the roots of birch (Betula pendular). It is easily recognised by its slightly funnelled shape cap with the rolled under margin, its gills running down the stem (decurrent), and its brown spore print. This group was growing in the garden above the horse mushroom.
Leucoagaricus naucinus (smooth parasol) [= Leucoagaricus leucothites]: This all white species including a white spore print was growing a well-mulched flower bed. These are common but usually only in ones or twos.
Thelephora terrestris: This little fungus was given to me by Ricardo Palma, Curator of Insects at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington. It was growing on his lawn in Waikanae 4m from a liquidambar (Liquidambar styraciflua) and a northern hemisphere beech (Fagus sp.). It is known to be associated with the roots (ectomycorrhizal) on many species including birch. This specimen is also old and ratty looking and has split into many lobes compared to the one at the Californian fungi website which has a perfect margin. This is one of the many problems in identifying from photos in guidebooks and website as the old and the ratty seldom get their photos published.
Taylor, M. 1981. Mushrooms and Toadstools. A.H. and A.W. Reed Ltd: Wellington, New Zealand.