How little we know

If you follow this blog, you know that I focus a lot on Wellington and the surrounding area at the bottom of the North Island of New Zealand. This area is serviced by the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) who at the end of 2018 published Forest Ecosystems of the Wellington Region. This an amazing resource that identifies and maps the extent of pre-European ecosystems, describes their biological and physical characteristics, and gives an estimate of how much of each ecosystem still exists.

I recently read Ngā uruora: The Groves of Life. Ecology and History in a New Zealand Landscape by Geoff Park (1995). I was particularly taken by his chapter on the Kaipiti / Horowhenua coastal / lowland forests where he talks of the extent of the pre-European forest, how quickly it was cleared and how little is left today.

Geoff Park’s writes of “subtropical lushness that cloaked Horowhenua’s low country. … Mātai, tōtara and rimu wooded the drier flats and sand dunes, kahikatea and pukatea the swamps and lake margins. ‘Shaded with lofty forest … banks clothed with beautiful evergreens to the water’s edge, studded with lovely wooded islets … fringes of raupo alternating with overhanging bush.’”

Of interest to me is the kahikatea, pukatea swamp forests which are considered critically endangered in the Wellington region as they have been reduced to 1% of their pre-European area. It now only exists as remnant pockets of forest. One remnant is Ngā Manu nature reserve in Waikanae. I first visited Ngā Manu 35 years ago, when it was first established, and it seemed at the time to be this isolated piece of bush in the middle of no where. Today its surrounded by urban development and motorways.

Nga Manu, Waikanae [Google maps]

We know very little about the fungi of this coastal plain and even less about the fungi that are associated with this swamp forest ecosystem. A list of fungi was drawn up by Jerry Cooper after the Fungal Network of New Zealand annual foray in May 2009. The list consisted of about 69 collections (not species).

Campanella vinosolivida (FUNNZ2009/1667)

Jerry wrote:

The list contains predominantly indigenous fungi which is unusual for an urban locality and emphasizes the unmodified nature of this reserve. The obvious introductions are Amanita muscaria, Favolaschia calocera, Leratiomyces ceres and Phragmidium violaceum. The first two are known fungal weeds of indigenous forests. The third is a cosmopolitan wood chip species originating in Australia, and the last is an introduction from Europe by way of Australia and specific to Rubus fruticosus, itself an invasive weed.

The remainder of the list are reasonably common, except Melanotus vorax, currently only known from two other collections and Campanella vinosolivida which isn’t especially common. The highlight is a very distinctive Macrotyphula growing on dead Phormium leaves alongside the board walk. No name has been found for the fungus and its presence on a common host indicates a potentially locally restricted and nationally uncommon taxon.

Melanotus vorax (FUNNZ2009/1689)

This report is very much a snapshot of what was collected in one afternoon and does not represent any systematic sampling. I’m keenly looking for funding to support systematic sampling and to develop a management strategy to ensure the survival of the fungi that naturally occur in this “critically endangered” ecosystem

So, watch this blog.


Cooper J 2009. Fungal Network of New Zealand (FUNNZ) 23rd Annual Foray, Waikanae, May 2009. Site List for Nga Manu Reserve, 12th May 2009.

Singers N, Crisp P, Spearpoint O 2018. Forest Ecosystems of the Wellington Region. Greater Wellington Regional Council, Publication No. GW/ESCI-G-18-164, Wellington

But, who was E.H. Atkinson?

Cortinarius porphyroideus was a fungus we thought we knew well. It was first described as Secotium porphyrium and later becoming Thaxterogaster porphyreus before its most recent transfer to Cortinarius.  But, as usual, as new techniques and more species are discovered older species concepts are being reviewed. This revision includes Cortinarius porphyroideus and it was found that the type material had not weathered its almost century in storage well and it was almost impossible to extract DNA from it. Now, it so happens the type locality, that is the place that the type specimen was collected from, is in Wellington and I was asked if I could try and collect a fresh specimen of Cortinarius porphyroideus.

Cortinarius porphyroideus, at the type location York Bay, Wellington [photo Geoff Ridley]

G.H. Cunningham described Secotium porphyreum, in 1924, based on a collection made by himself and E.H. Atkinson sometime in 1922. I had first encounter E.H. Atkinson’s name on a number of collections when putting together a list of the larger fungi of the Wellington region part of which, the East Harbour Regional Park list, was used in the  in the Department of Conservation’s Native Plants of the Eastbourne Hills report.

Looking from the beech forest across York Bay to Lower Hutt, May 2019 [photo Geoff Ridely]

But who was E.H. Atkinson? And why was he collecting fungi with G.H. Cunningham in the 1920s? After playing “connect he dots” on the internet …

Mr Esmond Hurworth Atkinson, photographed circa 1928 by S P Andrew Ltd. [photo held National Library]

Esmond Hurworth Atkinson (1888-1941) is best remembered today as an early 20th century New Zealand artist. The Auckland and Christchurch Galleries New Zealand artists database said that he was an artist and a botanist of York Bay, Eastbourne, Wellington. A botanist!

Baring Head – Afternoon, Wellington [watercolour EH Atkinson]

That he was born in Wellington and that he was grandson to Sir Harry Atkinson. As an aside Sir Harry served as the 10th Premier of New Zealand on four separate occasions. Back to Esmond, his parents where  E. Tudor Atkinson and Ann (née Richmond). So his maternal grandfather was the pioneering New Zealand water-colourist James Crowe Richmond (1822-1898), and his aunt who greatly influenced him was the artist Dorothy Kate Richmond (1861-1935).

York Bay 1927 [watercolour Dorothy Kate Richmond]

This is from his grandson:

When Es was seven years old, the family moved to ‘Rangiuru by the Sea’ near Otaki, where the children spent the next five years ‘messing about in boats’, and Es furthered his interest in painting and the natural world. His schooling included a spell at Wanganui Collegiate School, later returning to Wellington College.

On leaving school, he joined the Department of Agriculture, Biological Section, and studied towards a BSc degree. In 1916, he worked his passage to England to enlist in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. On the way he enjoyed short botanising trips ashore at Albany in Western Australia.

In England, he married Alison Burnett, a long-time family friend, and viewed the works of his artistic heroes, Frank Brangwyn and especially JMW Turner, while in officer training.

As a Lieutenant, he served as a signals officer, first in a seaplane carrier, Riviera, on a Mediterranean voyage, and then on the light cruiser Constance, from the deck of which he witnessed, and later painted, the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in the Firth of Forth.

Lieutenant E.H. Atkinson [photo The Lampstand 2015]

Returning to New Zealand in 1919, he transferred from the Biological Section to the Dominion Museum as official artist, but afflicted by epilepsy, he was retired in 1932.

Metrosideros scandens in New Zealand Plants and their Story 1919 [illustration Esmond Atkinson]

He continued to roam back country New Zealand, often with his wife and two sons, and paint many landscapes, until his death in 1941 from an accident resulting from his illness.

Sunrise, Wellington Heads 1927 [watercolour EH Atkinson]

So, as a botanical artist working in Wellington, the centre of biological sciences at that time, for the Department of Agriculture and the Dominion Museum he was mixing with the founding fathers of mycology, G.H. Cunningham, and botany, Leonard Cockayne.


ANZAC Stories: WWI in Watercolours and Ink. The Lampstand: The Annual Magazine for Old Boys and Friends of Wellington College 25 (November 2015): 20

Atkinson, Esmond Hurworth. Find New Zealand Artists: a database of artist names. This website is a collaborative project between the libraries at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Atkinson, Esmond Hurworth, 1888-1941. The National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa

Cockayne, L. 1919. New Zealand Plants and their Story. 2nd ed. Government Printer, Wellington. Biodiversity Heritage Library

Esmond Atkinson (1888-1941) New Zealand. Australian Art Auction Records

Mr Esmond Hurworth Atkinson. S P Andrew Ltd :Portrait negatives. Ref: 1/1-013441-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22557798

Sunrise, Wellington Heads. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Three Generations: J.C. Richmond, D.K. Richmond, E.K. Atkinson. Cristchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

290, Dorothy Kate Richmond, York Bay, Wellinton. 291, Esmond Atkinson, Baring Head – Afternoon, WellingtonFine and Applied Arts 14 and 15 November 2018. Dunbar Sloane catalogue page 77



Science Sunday at the Wellington Botanic Garden

Wellington Botanic Garden ran a Science Sunday today in the Begonia House. It was an opportunity for Wellingtonians to discover the science behind their Garden and what contributions it makes to biodiversity and other areas of science. It also included releasing the findings of the BioBlitze held in April. And despite the rain I did a wander round to see what, if anything, was fruiting.

The Pinetum

I couldn’t believe my luck as I dropped down the slope from the Herb Garden into the Pinetum. Since 2014 I have been returning here in the hope of finding a Boletus that I found but had not kept a specimen of it. And here it was a single huge fruitbody.

Boletus edulis [photo Geoff Ridley]

Boletus edulis [photo Geoff Ridley]

Boletus edulis [photo Geoff Ridley]

It was growing about 1.5m from the base of a maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) in a grove of this species although, there is a single Pinus radiata as well. This is in all probability edible bolete (Boletus edulis) and has you can see from the dollar coin this fruitbody is the size of a dinner plate.

Boletus edulis – the size of a dinner plate [photo Geoff Ridley]

A few metres further along the path there is a grove of mixed cypresses. At the border between the pines and the cypresses was a sticky bun bolete (Suillus granulatus). Note is yellow, non-bluing flesh and a lack of a ring on the stem.

Suillus granulatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Suillus granulatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Suillus granulatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Suillus granulatus – non-bluing flesh [photo Geoff Ridley]

About a metre away was the yellow flycap (Amanita junquillea). I found this species for the first time in the Garden at the BioBlitz in April.

Amanita junquillea [photo Geoff Ridley]

Amanita junquillea [photo Geoff Ridley]

The West Entrance

Near the West Entrance on Glenmore St is a Sequoia, or is it a Metasequoia (tree number 0645) [see additional note at end of this blog].

Tree 0645 (photo Geoff Ridley]

This tree has wood chip mulch under and as I approached I could see the bright colouring of the scarlet pouch (Leratiomyces erythrocephalus). This has fruited frequently under this tree over the last five years.

Leratiomyces erythrocephalus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Also present was the bluing pouch (Psilocybe weraroa). This is the first time I have collected this species from wood chip mulch.

Psilocybe weraroa [photo Geoff Ridley]

The tree is bare of leaves at the moment and looking up there is a long dead strip running almost two thirds the height of the tree. This has been colonised by the woodear jelly (Auricularia cornea).

Auricularia cornea [photo Geoff Ridley]

Auricularia cornea [photo Geoff Ridley]

Additional note 02.10.2019: This is Metasequoia glyptostroboides or dawn redwood. This specimen tree is recorded in the New Zealand Tree Register. It includes the note that:

A rare tree of this age and species in the Wellington area. This may be the single surviving tree propagated from seed by C. M. Smith (former Director of the Botany Division – DSIR). … ‘Through the good offices of Col. J. K. Howard, … a few small seed samples were sent to New Zealand by Dr. E. D. Merrill, lately of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University. From these seed samples, I secured about a tablespoon of partly cleaned seed for trial sowings. … Smith also send seed to A. W. Wastney in Nelson. Both men germinated their seeds in October 1949. Smith was successful in cultivating only one seedling and Wastney was fortunate enough to obtain three seedlings from his efforts. … No record has been found to establish where Smith planted his tree but he did have an association with the Wellington Botanical Gardens and it is assumed he may have planted it here. The tree would have been of sufficient size to have been planted out in the spring of 1951.

The Register also records the tree’s health as:

In very good health 2009. The increasing numbers of native kaka in the Wellington area are stripping bark from this and other significant trees in the gardens (2010).

The long dead strip in the main stem might be associated with kaka damage?

The First Photo

Last month I took possession of set of approximately 300 slides that were part of the Levin Native Flora Club slide library – E.F.A. Garner fungi collection. The oldest photograph in this collection is from 1964. This got me wondering what was the oldest photo of a New Zealand mushroom. So, I went looking but with the criteria that the photo had to :

  • Be of what is often called the “larger, fleshy fungi” so excluding brackets and corticioid fungi
  • Have the mushroom as the subject
  • Be of a fresh mushrooms and not of dried herbarium/fungarium specimens

So, going through my books and papers the oldest photos that I know of are in G.H. Cunningham’s The Gasteromycetes of Australia and New Zealand published in 1942. This book contains a number of black and white photos that fit the criteria. There are twenty-five plates/pages of photos taken in the laboratory, and not in the field, and in many cases, it is difficult to tell whether they are fresh or dried. So, I’m only showing the first two plates. In some cases this may be the second publication of a particular photo as Cunningham’s books where compilations of his papers published in the 1920s and 30s. I have noted the earlier dates where I know them and provided the currently accepted name.

Plate 7 has five photos: 1 & 2) Phallobata alba (as Hysterangium lobatum), first published in 1926. 3) Clavogaster virescens (as Secotium virescens), previously published?, 4) Rhizopogon rubescens, previously published?, and 5) Rossbeevera pachydermis (as Gautieria novae-zelandiae), not previously published.

Plate 7 [from Cunningham 1942]

Plate 8 has four photos: 1 & 2) Cortinarius porphyroideus (as Secotium porphyreum), first published 1924, 3) Leratiomyces erythrocephalus (as Secotium erythrocephalum) previoudly published?, and 4) Clavogaster virescens (as Secotium virescens), previously published?.

Plate 7 [from Cunningham 1942]

The next photo was published by the French mycologist Roger Heim who visited New Zealand in 1949. The photo is small and part of a plate of three photos published in 1951. They show Cortinarius elaiochrous (as Cuphocybe olivacea) and Cortinarius alboroseus (as Cuphocybe alborosea) having been collected and laid on log for the photo. This is at The Paradise, north-east of Glenorchy on Lake Wakatipu in beech forest.

[from Heim 1952]

The next photo is from a paper by John Gilmour in 1954. Its shows a cluster of Armillaria sp, probably A. novae-zelandiae but labelled a A. mellea as it was thought at the time, at the base of a eucalypt. The photo is interesting in being the first field photo. I like it as it uses a coin for scale but interestinging a British penny (with Britannia) rather than a New Zealand penny which would have had a tui perched in a kowhai. In the same paper, there is also photos of Armillaria disease symptoms where he uses a New Zealand half crown for scale.

Armillaria sp. [from Gilmour 1954]

The use of and availability of photo of fungi is a recent phenomenon that can be attributed to the easy availability of digital cameras and mobile phones. Before that you hardly ever saw a photo of a fungus in New Zealand.

Plasticity of form

“…  arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of death. … the forest eats itself and lives forever.” – Barbara Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible

For those that follow this blog you will know that tree stumps appear regularly. Because they are still rooted in the ground rising damp tends to keep them moist and usually guarantees a good show of fungi. These photos were taken by Glenda Leete in Wallaceville, Upper Hutt.

A stump with leathery brackets [photo Glenda Leete]

Glenda’s photos feature two leathery bracket fungi. But they also show the plasticity of form that bracket fungi have in the relationship to their substrate and their orientation to gravity. Ingold in his little book, which he calls an essay, on Dispersal in Fungi (1953).

Polyporus betulinus … produces its fruit-bodies on the trunks and limbs of dead trees … Gravity has a profound formative influence on the sporophore. The young fruit-body first appears erumpent as a small, undifferentiated spherical knob 2-3 cm. across. If this is on the main vertical trunk, it then grows out horizontally … to form a firm, more or less semi-circular structure, with a radius of 15-20 cm. and about 3 cm. thick, attached laterally to the trunk (Fig. 49A). If, however, the original spherical primordium is on the under side of an approximately horizontal branch, the fruit-body develops a roughly circular form with a central attachment to the tree (Fig. 49B). Fruit-bodies do not normally arise on the upper of a branch, but if a dead tree bearing primordia is felled, those on the recumbent trunk may continue their development. A primordium thus exposed on the upper surface of a fallen trunk grows out on one side only, more or less at right angles to the pull of gravity (Fig. 49C).

[from Ingold 1953]

It is, apparently, gravity also that determines the formation of the hymenial pores on the under surface of the fruit-body. These pores are at first very shallow, but throughout the life of the sporophore (8 months) they grow by means of an active zone around the mouth of each pore, so they gradually become longer. The direction of growth is conditioned by gravity so that the tubes produced are orientated precisely in the vertical direction. … In bracket polypores geotrophic growth achieves the desirable results of vertical hymenial surfaces, but if these, once formed, are slightly displaced from the vertical, there is no mechanism of readjustment in the pores.

[from Ingold 1953]

In Trametes gibbosa (Fig. 50), so common as a saprophyte on beech stumps, the morphogenesis of the sporophore is similar to that of Polyporus betulinus. Here the fruit-bodies arising on the more or less vertical surface of the trunk are of the bracket form, whilst those on the transversely cut surface of the stump are radially symmetrical with a broad central attachment.

These photos of Glenda’s shows tiers of brackets of Trametes versicolor growing on the vertical surface of the stump.

Trametes versicolor [photo Glenda Leete]

Trametes versicolor [photo Glenda Leete]

While this photo of the cut surface shows the brackets growing from a central attachment as a simple rosette.

Trametes versicolor [photo Glenda Leete]

If Trametes versicolor can have the appearance of a complex rosette if it colonises a narrow short stump as in the case of the photo, by Christine Harper, taken at Ohope.

Trametes versicolor [photo Christine Harper]

Just to complete this story some bracket fungi decompose the wood of dead trees and appear to sprout from the ground as a large rosette, in this case the size of a large cabbage. These photos where taken by Cary Moore in the Tararua Range. This could be Bondarzewia (berkeleyi ?) if it has distinctly amyloid and warted spores. Other possibilities are Ryvardenia campyla or Grifola.   [see Jerry’s comment below re Bondarzewia kirkii]

[photo Cary Moore]

[photo Cary Moore]

Glenda’s other fungus, Cerrena zonata, also formed tiers of brackets on the vertical surfaces of the stump.

Cerrena zonata [photo Glenda Leete]

Cerrena zonata [photo Glenda Leete]

Ingold also talked about pores and there orientation. There is a marked difference between the two species on Glenda’s stump. Trametes versicolor has pores on its under surface and it produces spores on cells lining the pores.

Trametes versicolor [photo Glenda Leete]

In contrast Cerrena zonata has spine, teeth and ridges on its under surface with the spore producing cells covering the surface of these.

Cerrena zonata [photo Glenda Leete]

Glenda’s last photos shows night visitors on a foraging trip to the stump.

Slugs and snails visiting [photo Glenda Leete]

PS: Peter Buchanan’s comment below reminded me of an illustration he published in the New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science in 1989. It showed all the forms that bracket type wood decay fungi can take.



Ingold CT 1953. Dispersal in Fungi, Oxford at the Clarendon Press.

Nothing changes

Yesterday I gave a lecture, well at least an animated conversation, on fungi at Nga Manu Nature Reserve in Waikanae. This I will come back to in a later blog. At the end of the lecture I took possession of set of approximately 300 slides This was the E.F.A. Garner fungi collection and had been part of the Levin Flora Club slide library. A little digging found that the full name was the Levin Native Flora Club and I assume was the local botany society. Again, I’ll revisit this in a later blog.

When I got home I started to dig but got waylaid by discovering a website “New Zealand Regional Botanical Society Journals” that had databased all the journal/newsletter/bulletins of the Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago botanical societies. As I couldn’t help myself I searched the Wellington Botanical Society Bulletin for fungi and discovered small articles written by Greta Cone (AKA Greta Stevenson). I have blogged about Greta before as she laid the foundations for the study of agarics and boletes in New Zealand between the end of WWII and 1964. Here is a short item she wrote for the Wellington Botanical Society Bulletin 16: 8, August 1947:


The exhibit of larger fungi which were gathered by several members for display at our reception on May 19th made a very colourful ‘Fungus Garden’. The bright shades, beautiful shapes and great variety of these plants are surprising to many people. They are abundant in the bush only at the time of year when few folk are abroad for they fruit during autumn and winter. They grow very fast but last for a short time and so are easily missed.

Cortinarius porphyroideus, York Bay [photo Geoff Ridley]

Many of them like the brilliant purple puffball, Secotium porphyreum [Cortinarius porphyroideus = Thaxterogaster porphyreus] and the small dainty clubs, Clavaria spp. of all colours, may fruit half-hidden in the litter of the forest floor. When one has developed an eye for fungi one can spot these shy specimens and unearth them, often to the surprise of others who would walk past the same place seeing nothing particular. There is often something of a camouflage effect when the fungi are growing in the bush.

Clavaria zollingeri, Wellington Botanic Garden [photo Christopher Stephens]

When they are gathered up and many put together the bright conspicuous colours are striking, but in their natural haunts they harmonise with their surroundings. A few always shout their presence. The common puffball, Secotium erythrocephalum [Leratiomyces erythrocephalus = Weraroa erythrocephala], can seldom hide its brilliant red head, and the introduced scarlet toadstool, Amanita muscaria, is always a startling sight.

Leratiomyces erythrocephalus, Wellington Botanic Garden [photo Geoff Ridley]

Amanita muscaria, Wellington Botanic Garden [photo Geoff Ridley]

In order to get for our show some perfect specimens of this very decorative species, one of our members hunted long to find some which had not been handled and broken by someone else. She crawled into a dense thicket in the middle of a place where they were growing in abundance, collected the elegant toadstools and safely made away out with the fragile load which duly appeared in the fungus collection. Greta B. Cone.

What is interesting is that I talked about the same species in my lecture at Nga Manu. Nothing changes.

Otari Wilton’s Bush Annual Foray 28 April and 26 May 2019

The annual foray has proved to be so popular that this year we decided to run two walks a month apart. Below are the are the two photo lists of these walks.

April Foray

Parasola leiocephala [brown-umbrella inkcap] – Growing on wood chip in mulched garden. iNaturalistNZ link

Parasola leiocephala – brown-umbrella inkcap [photo Geoff Ridley]

Tylopilus brunneus [cocoa bolete] – Growing under black beech in the southern beech grove. There was some sign of bruising blue but the specimen was badly insect damaged. iNaturalistNZ link

Tylopilus brunneus – cocoa bolete [photo Geoff Ridley]

Agaricus sp. [a mushroom] – Growing in wood chip mulched garden under kanaka. iNaturalistNZ link

Agaricus sp. – a mushroom [photo Geoff Ridley]

Favolaschia calocera [orange poreconch] – Growing on fallen branch in the Fernery. Common throughout Otari. iNaturalistNZ link

Favolaschia calocera – orange poreconch [photo Geoff Ridley]

Leucoagaricus sp. [ a parasol] – Growing on wood chip mulched garden in the Fernery under a canopy of native broadleaf trees. It has a white spore print. iNaturalistNZ link

Leucoagaricus sp. – a parasol [photo Geoff Ridley]

Gymnopus sp. – Growing on a treefern log lining the track. Stipe cartilaginous. White spore print. iNaturalistNZ link

Gymnopus sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Crucibulum laeve [brown birdsnest] – Growing on wood chip in mulched garden. iNaturalistNZ link

Crucibulum laeve – brown birdsnest [photo Geoff Ridley]

Gymnopus possibly subpruinosus – Growing on wood chips in mulched garden. Cap is hygrophanous. Stipe cartilaginous but drying more solid looking. Spore print white. iNaturalistNZ link

Gymnopus possibly subpruinosus [photo Geoff Ridley

Cruentomycena viscidocruenta [ruby helmet] – Growing on wood chips in mulched garden. Usually found in this area of the garden. iNaturalistNZ link

Cruentomycena viscidocruenta – ruby helmet [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycetinis curraniae [garlic shanklet] – Growing on the bark of a living totara in the native conifer grove on the north side of the visitor centre. Growing from ground level to about a metre above ground. I have seen this here on this tree every year for a decade. It smells of garlic when crushed between the palms of your hands. iNaturalistNZ link

Mycetinis curraniae – garlic shanklet [photo Geoff Ridley]

Leratiomyces ceres [scarlet roundhead] – Growing in garden mulched with wood chip. A common fungus in these gardens. iNaturalistNZ link

Leratiomyces ceres – scarlet roundhead [photo Geoff Ridley]

Lacrymaria asperospora [weeping widow] – Growing in a wood mulched garden. It has been fruiting annually in this area for the last few years. iNaturalistNZ link

Lacrymaria asperospora – weeping widow [photo Geoff Ridley]

Agaricus sp. [a mushroom] – This is a frequent find in the native conifer grove (rimu, totara, kauri) on the north side of the visitor centre. See previous observation notes and iNaturalistNZ link

Agaricus sp. – a mushroom [photo Geoff Ridley]

Stropharia sp. Hebeloma victoriensis – This was growing in the native conifer grove (rimu, totara and kauri) on the northside of the visitors centre. It’s tan to yellowish colour has made me doubtful about the identification. But it clearly has a pinkish/brown spore print and robust ring on the stipe which puts it in Hebeloma. Note: since writing this I have discussed what this might be and we have come to the conclusion that it sits close to Stropharia and is an undescribed species. iNaturalistNZ link

Hebeloma victoriensis [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hebeloma victoriensis – spore print [photo Geoff Ridley]

Amanita sp. [Noddy’s flycap or Gandalf’s flycap] – This is Amanita (Saproamanita) 2 Ridley. It was growing in the mulched native plant garden below the Cockayne Lookout. All the other collections from Otari have been in the native forest. The notable thing about this species is when you handle it the powdery volva remnants on the cap and stipe stick to your hands and to the paper you wrap it in for transport. You can see bits of it, from the cap margin, forming a ring around the white spore print. It’s also noticeable in the soil when digging the fruitbody up. iNaturalistNZ link 

Amanita sp. – Noddy’s flycap or Gandalf’s flycap [photo Geoff Ridley]

Amanita sp. – Noddy’s flycap or Gandalf’s flycap – spore print [photo Geoff Ridley]

May Foray

Fungal pontification [photo Peter Torr Smith]

Our second foray for 2019 found similar set of fungi. May has been quite dry so there was not a lot to found.

Amanita nothofagi [charcoal flycap] – Growing under black beech (Nothofagus solandri) which is not native to this site. We found a single desiccated and insect damaged fruitbody. iNaturalistNZ link

Amanita nothofagi – charcoal; flycap [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius sp. [a webcap] – Growing under black beech (Nothofagus solandri). A number of shiny, dark purple, immature fruitbodies, turning brown. Stipe and gills purple. iNaturalistNZ link

Cortinarius sp. – webcap [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius sp. – webcap [photo Geoff Ridley]

Agaricus sp. [a mushroom] – Growing on the edge of a gravel path under totara (Podocarpus totara). iNaturalistNZ link

Agaricus sp. – a mushroom [photo Geoff Ridley]

Agaricus sp. – a mushroom [photo Geoff Ridley]

Coprinellus micaceus [crumble inkcap] – Growing at the base of a living kowhai (Sophora sp.) It will be growing on dead wood or dead roots of the kowhai. iNaturalistNZ link

Coprinellus micaceus – crumble inkcap [photo Geoff Ridley]

Leratiomyces ceres [scarlet roundhead] – Growing on wood mulch in garden. This specimen was very desiccated. iNaturalistNZ link

Leratiomyces ceres – scarlet roundhead [photo Geoff Ridley]

Lycoperdon perlatum [a puffball] – Growing on wood mulch on the seep line at the base of a retaining wall. iNaturalistNZ link

Lycoperdon perlatum – puffball [photo Geoff Ridley]

Stropharia sp. [a roundhead] – Growing on wood mulch in a garden with podocarp species and kauri. This was fruiting in the same spot a month ago. See the discussion in the April walk. Initially I speculated it was Hebeloma victoriensis however, discussions with my colleague Jerry Cooper has brought me to an undescribed species of Stropharia. The ever-changing world of fungal taxonomy. iNaturalistNZ link

Stropharia sp. – roundhead [photo Geoff Ridley]

Lacrymaria asperospora [weeping widow] – Growing on the ground in leaf litter in the Fernery under broadleaf / podocarp forest. iNaturalistNZ link

Lacrymaria asperospora – weeping widow [photo Geoff Ridley

Armillaria novae-zelandiae [olive honeycap] – Growing on the dead stumps, fall tree trunks, untreated wood used to form step risers, and garden edges in the Fernery under broadleaf / podocarp forest. iNaturalistNZ link

Armillaria novae-zelandiae – olive honeycap [photo Geoff Ridley]

Coprinellus disseminatus [sociable inkcap] – Growing on a large piece of untreated wood along with Armillaria novae-zelandiae in the Fernery under broadleaf / podocarp forest. iNaturalistNZ link

Coprinellus disseminatus – sociable inkcap with olive honeycap [photo Geoff Ridley]

Lentinellus novae-zelandiae [bush shiitake] – Growing on a fallen hard wood trunk just behind the carpark. Bush shiitake has been fruiting on this log annually for the last 12 years. iNaturalistNZ link

Lentinellus novae-zelandiae – bush shiitake [photo Geoff Ridley]

Clitocybe nebularis [clouded funnelcap] – Growing in leaf litter in broadleaf podocarp forest on the Waterfall track below the Fernery. iNaturalistNZ link 

Clitocybe nebularis – clouded funnelcap [photo Geoff Ridley]

Clitocybe nebularis – clouded funnelcap [photo Geoff Ridley]