What Colenso might have seen

Mt Bruce is a legendary in New Zealand biology as it was the place that the takahe, thought extinct but rediscovered in 1948, was brought back from the brink of extinction. It also legendary as being one of the last remnants of the Seventy Mile Bush. The Seventy Mile Bush was a name I occasionally came across but didn’t fully appreciate what it was until I started reading about William Colenso and his mycological collecting there:

IN the autumn of this year I again sent a lot of Fungi to Kew, London (with other plants, both Phænogams and Cryptogams), which I had discovered at various times during the last four years in my visits to the dense forests and deep glens of the Seventy-mile Bush district, County of Waipawa [Colenso, 1890]

The Seventy Mile Bush [from Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand]

The Seventy Mile Bush [from Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand]

A forest lost

The Seventy Mile Bush was a huge area of dense forest stretching from Masterton to central Hawkes Bay and across the east coast. Most of it was cleared for farming. In the 1870s the New Zealand Government bought the 942 ha Mt Bruce block as a forest reserve [administered by the Forest Service], with 55 ha being designated a native bird reserve under the control of the Wildlife Service. The government restructures of the late 1980s saw many of the government agencies responsible for conservation rolled into a single Department of Conservation which became responsible for the reserves.

Five Mile Avenue, circa 1875, Eketahuna [photo James Bragge, from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa]

Five Mile Avenue, circa 1875, Eketahuna [photo James Bragge, from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa]

In 2001 the entire Mt Bruce block, of 942, was reunited into a single reserve. And then in 2013 its running passed to a community based charitable trust – The Pukaha Mount Bruce Board is a charitable trust.

Bioblitz 2016

In late February of this year Pukaha Mount Bruce held a bioblitz. I was going to go and help along with some other mycologist, Barbara Paulus and Di Batchelor. But because of the drought we decided it would better to wait until the autumn. Barbara and I finally got to there 5 June and here is what we found that day [note that I still have some work to do on the identifications].

The fungi

Mycena sp. in tawa forest – on fallen log. Note: Maybe close to Marie Taylor’s Mycena dorotheae.

Mycena sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena pura (?) in tawa forest growing in leaf litter.

Mycena pura ? [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena pura ? [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hypholoma acutum in tawa forest on fallen log. Note: Rubbish photo, sorry.

2016.06.11 Hypholoma acutum

Hypholoma acutum [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hypholoma brunneum in tawa forest – on fallen log. Note: on same log as Hypholoma acutum.

Hypholoma brunneum [photo Geoff Ridley}

Hypholoma brunneum [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena roseoflava in tawa forest – on stump.

Mycena roseoflava [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena roseoflava [photo Geoff Ridley]

Nidula candida in tawa forest – on fallen wood.

Nidula candida [photo Geoff Ridley]

Nidula candida [photo Geoff Ridley]

Nidula candida [photo Geoff Ridley]

Nidula candida [photo Geoff Ridley]

Gyronemma sp. in tawa forest – on rotten tree fern rachis.

Gyronemma sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Gyronemma sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Armillaria novae-zealandiae in tawa forest – on fallen logs.

Armillaria novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Armillaria novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Armillaria novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Armillaria novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Favolaschia calocera in tawa forest – on fallen brances. Note: The orange colour has washed out in the photo.

Favolaschia calocera [photo Geoff Ridley]

Favolaschia calocera [photo Geoff Ridley]

Crinipellis procera in tawa forest – on leaf and twig litter.

Crinipellis procera [photo Geoff Ridley]

Crinipellis procera [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hygrophorus sp. in tawa forest amoungst litter.

Hygrophorus sp [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hygrophorus sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Psathyrella sp. in tawa forest – on leaf litter.

Psathyrella [photo Geoff Ridley]

Psathyrella sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Psathyrella sp. - black spore print [photo Geoff Ridley]

Psathyrella sp. – black spore print [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena  mariae or parsonsii (?) in tawa forest – on stump.

Mycena mariae or parsonsii (?) [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena mariae or parsonsii (?) [photo Geoff Ridley]

Not sure what this is yet. In tawa forest in litter.

Not sure what this is. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Not sure what this is. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Not sure what this is. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Not sure what this is. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Xylaria sp. in tawa forest on a fallen log.

2016.06.11 Fingers

Xylaria sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hygrophorus sp. in tawa forest in litter.

Hygrophorus sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hygrophorus sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Coral fungus in tawa forest amoungst litter. Note: I need to do some work on this yet.

Coral fungus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Coral fungus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cyathus novaezelandiae in tawa forest on fallen wood.

Cyathus novaezelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cyathus novaezelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Coprinellus disseminatus in tawa forest – on stump.

Coprinellus disseminatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Coprinellus disseminatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Morganella compacta in tawa forest – on fallen log.

Morganella compacta [photo Geoff Ridley]

Morganella compacta [photo Geoff Ridley]

Leratiomyces erythrocephalus [= Weraroa erythrocephala] in tawa forest – in leaf litter.

2016.06.11 Leratiomyces

Leratiomyces erythrocephalus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Conchomyces bursaeformis in tawa forest – on standing dead trunk.

Conchomyces bursaeformis [photo Geoff Ridley]

Conchomyces bursaeformis [photo Geoff Ridley]

2016.06.11 Unknown 3

Conchomyces bursaeformis [photo Geoff Ridley]

2016.06.11 Unknown 2

Conchomyces bursaeformis [photo Geoff Ridley]

Clavogaster novozelandicus Psilocybe weraroa [= Weraroa virescens] in tawa forest – in leaf litter.

Clavogaster novozelandicus [photo Geof Ridley]

Clavogaster novozelandicus [photo Geof Ridley]

Cortinarius sp. in red beech forest.

Cortinarius sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Lepiota sp. in red beech forest – in leaf litter.

Lepiota sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Lepiota sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hebeloma  mediorufum (?) in red beech forest.

Hebeloma  mediorufum (?) [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hebeloma  mediorufum (?) [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hebeloma mediorufum (?) spore print [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hebeloma mediorufum (?) spore print [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus in red beech forest.

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Russula sp. in red beech forest.

Russula sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Russula sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Galerina patagonica in tawa forest – on fallen log.

Galerina patagonica [photo Geoff Ridley]

Galerina patagonica [photo Geoff Ridley]

Chalciporus piperatus in Douglas fir stand. Note:  Amanita muscaria also present but very rotten.

Chalciporus piperatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Chalciporus piperatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Futher reading 

Colenso, W. 1890. An enumeration of fungi recently discovered in New Zealand. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 23: 391-398.

 

 

 

 

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8 Comments on “What Colenso might have seen”

  1. Clive says:

    Your Psilocybe weraroa looks more like Clavogaster novozelandicus to me 🙂

    • Thanks Clive you are absolutely right. My id as Weraroa virescens was correct but I connected it to the wrong new name. I think that there is a blog in that 🙂
      Cheers
      Geoff

      • Conor says:

        I’d be interested in reading a post on that – especially because I’ve always seen it called C. virescens rather than C. novozelandicus!

  2. Olwen Mason says:

    Very interesting, thanks.

  3. mothwing says:

    Hi Geoff, what a fascinating piece of history about the 70 Mile Bush. I love the beautiful old photo of Five Mile Avenue.

    It’s nice to see that winter fungi are abundant in the area. Coming from North America many of the native species are new to me, although some seem closely related to ones I’m familiar with. Your Mycena mariae or parsonsii looks similar to Mycena haematopus. Do you have the latter here in NZ?

    Lovely Psathyrella spore photo!

    • Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Its been a funny season. We have had a long summer / autumn drought with very few fungi about. Then a wetter but very mild winter so rather than missing the season it has just happened later. At least for the lower North Island. Strange.

      We don’t have Mycena haematopus but we do have species that bleed when the stem is cut. Mycena mariae [the brown-blood helmet] bleeds red-brown and Mycena ura [the crimson helmet] bleed red.

      Cheers
      Geoff


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