On my last foray to Otari-Wilton’s Bush I said that it had been a dry cool summer and autumn was not much better. The rains have now arrived and the Wellington region has had two very wet periods in the last two weeks. Here is the rainfall data for the Karori Sanctuary (aka Zealandia) which is a few kilometres to the south of Otari but in the same catchment. (Rainfall graph generated at Greater Wellington Regional Council website.)
Otari-Wilton’s Bush has a canopy walkway through the treetops. About 18 months ago the decision was made to kill some of the karaka trees [Corynocarpus laevigatus] although native they are not native to this bush and considered invasive. These trees are long dead, have lost their leaves and are now prime fungi habit. Following the recent rain, these trees are festooned in wood-ear jellies [Auricularia cornea].
Although there were many species fruiting they were not abundant and often only one or two mushrooms. However, there were several species that I had not seen before: a parasol [Lepiota sp.], brown-umbrella inkcap [Parasola leiocephala]; ruby helmet [Mycena viscidocruenta], olive-stemmed helmet [Mycena olivaceomarginata], Parachute conch [Campanella tristis] and tea chalkcap [Russula novae-zelandiae].
A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – This was growing in the leaf litter under the podocarp-kauri stand next to the Information Centre band and was first recorded in April 2013.
Another parasol [Lepiota sp.] – This species was growing in the same habit as the previous species and is the first record for the Otari.
Dark cavalier [Melanoleuca melanoleuca] – Again under the podocarp-kauri stand was a group of three ageing and beginning to decay mushrooms which I have tentatively identified as the dark cavalier.
Garlic shanklet [Mycetinis curraniae] – On the bark of living totara [Podocarpus totara].
Brown-umbrella inkcap [Parasola leiocephala] – the brown-umbrella inkcap, growing on woodchips, was segregated from the Japanese-umbrella inkcap. The latter tend to be smaller and paler than the brown-umbrella inkcap.
Red-edged roundhead [Psathyrella corrugis] – Growing on woodchips. I need to check this identification.
Harefoot inkcap [Coprinopsis lagopus] – Growing on woodchips.
Charcoal flycap [Amanita nothofagi] – Beneath black beech [Nothofagus solandri]. [Note it has snapped at the base and is lying on its side.]
Sociable inkcap [Coprinellus disseminatus] – growing on dead woody roots.
Weeping widow [Lacramaria lacrymabunda] – Growing on woodchips.
Ruby helmet [Mycena viscidocruenta] – This small red Mycena was growing on woodchips. Young fresh specimens have a clear layer of slime on their stems but this disappears as the mushrooms age or if conditions are dry.
Brown birdsnest [Crucibulum laeve] – Growing on larger pieces of woodchip.
Scarlet roundhead [Leratiomyces ceres] – Growing on woodchips.
Olive-stemmed helmet [Mycena olivaceomarginata] – This little Mycena was growing on the Cockayne Lawn.
Wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea] – This was seen many times on rotting wood. This specimen, at the base of a dead tree, was growing in the bush below the Fernery.
Olive honeycap [Armillaria novaezelandae] – growing on a living tree in the Fernery.
Orange poreconch [Favolaschia calocera] – This was as common as the wood-ear jelly growing on nearly every dead branch in the bush.
Common scabbards [Volvariella gloiocephala] – Growing on woodchips. The cup or volva at the base of the stem can be seen quite clearly.
Parachute conch [Campanella tristis] – This little, greyish conch, has poorly defined gills with ridges running between the radial gill ridges to give a reticulated pattern. This was growing on dead wood and this photo shows the underside of the mushroom.
White mushroom – growing on the dead rachis of a mamaku / tree fern [Cyathea medullaris] frond. I am wondering whether or not this is porcelain slimecap [Oudemansiell australis]. I need to do some work on this one.
Tea chalkcap [Russula novae-zelandiae] – This tea coloured chalkcap, an ectomycorrhizal species, was growing under kanaka [Kunzea ericoides]. A useful characteristic in Russula is taste. Cut a small piece of tissue, about 2x2x2mm, from the internal flesh or from the gills. Put this piece of mushroom flesh on the tip of your tongue and chew it with your front teeth. Some Russula species are hot/peppery and some mild (have a glass of water handy to rinse with. The tea chalkcap is mild.