Back in 2004 I wrote a paper on why English language names for larger fungi were useful, note not common names, and suggested a systematic way in which to form them. In the paper I also created names, using this system, for all of the mushrooms in Marie Taylor’s book Mushrooms and toadstool of New Zealand.When Don Horne and I wrote the Mushrooms and other fungi of New Zealand I used the names already developed in the 2004 paper as well as created new ones for those not dealt with in that paper. One of these names was the bald webcap for an unnamed Cortinarius species. This was derived from the thatch of course fibrils which covered the young mushroom cap but were then progressively lost as the cap became increasingly bald. To my knowledge this Cortinarius remained formally undescribed and unnamed, i.e. no Latin binomial.
Recently Steve Reekie wrote to me suggesting that the balding webcap might be Cortinarius rhipiduranus published in 2008, two years after our book. Steve’s beautiful photos can be found here [single, group].
The rhipiduranus is in reference to the colouring of the mushroom being reminecent of the colouring of the tīwaiwaka or fantail [Rhipidura fuliginosa]; fanciful connection without being useful as an aid to identification.
Steve’s mushrooms do look like the same one as Don and I called the balding webcap but whether or not they both represent Cortinarius rhipiduranus still needs to be determined.
Gasparini B, Soop K 2008. Contribution to the knowledge of Cortinarius [Agaricales, Cortinariaceae] of Tasmania (Australia) and New Zealand. Australasian Mycologist 27(3): 173-203. Link here
Ridley GS 2004. A system for the development of English language names for agarics and boletes in New Zealand (and Australia?). Australasian Mycologist 23(1): 27–30. Link here
Taylor GM 1981. Mushrooms and toadstools. AH and AW Reed, Wellington.
In 1989 Rachel and I moved to Dunedin where I was to lecture in the Botany Department at the University of Otago. Here I met the retired former Professor of Botany Geoff Baylis for the first time. He generously let me use a bedsit at his George St house while we house hunted. This was one of two huge old houses Geoff owned and Alan Mark wrote in his biography of Geoff:
Rachel and I, along with our just beginning to walk son Nathaniel, were invited to dinner at ‘Threave’. A lasting memory is walking into the two storied vestibule of Threave with its massive wooded staircase and think our modest two bedroom bungalow would easily sit in this space. Geoff’s apartment was on the second floor and included the second floor of the two storied turret that dominated the south-west corner of the building and gave sweeping views across South Dunedin to the ocean. Here in the turret he plied us with pink gins. The dinner was ham, salad and boiled potatoes and Rachel saying later it was a real bachelor’s dinner – something he did well and often. Geoff had dabbled in mycology his whole career and had hosted Egon Horak on one of his many trips to New Zealand to collect mushrooms. In a booklet created for the mycologist Barbara Segedin on her retirement from the University of Auckland Geoff contributed this:
Geoff had many close friends and was renowned for his frequent hosting of parties. These were mostly at his spacious flat in the Victorian mansion, ‘Threave’, at 367 High St, originally designed (by famous architect R. A. Lawson) as a retirement home for early Central Otago run-holder Watson Shennan. He later bought, restored and maintained the several flats in this spacious house to a very high standard. Being an admirer of stately homes, he later also acquired and restored another at 521 George St, with its impressive garden fronting Dunedin’s main street. Geoff spent many of his outdoor hours in Dunedin, relaxing and engrossed, tending the gardens of both properties, with their remarkable range of native and exotic plants. Many of Geoff’s parties were preceded by garden tours, often at the guests’request. His house restoration efforts were duly recognised with an Historic Places award in 1979.
Geoff’s pouch [Nivatogastrium baylisianum] has been an elusive species but recently has been recollected from the original collecting site in the Rock and Pillar Range in Otago [collected by Kathy Warburton and identified by Jerry Cooper]. No doubt there will be a name change as the molecular data unravels the true relationships of the pouch fungi [see my blog Pouch, secotioid, or sequestrate? and The scarlet roundhead]. There are four species in the genus Nivatogastrium. The type species Nivatogastrium nubigenum was described from North America whereas the other three species, including Nivatogastrium baylisianum, are all from New Zealand. Nivatogastrium nubigenum is closely related to the mushroom genus Pholiota and Jerry Cooper’s preliminary work suggests that Nivatogastrium baylisianum is closer to the mushroom genus Deconica. I’ll let you know the outcome.
The cap must fit
When Egon and Marianne Horak were collecting in Otago they stayed with me, I showed Egon a little gasteromycete from tussock grassland for which I could find no name.
It duly became Nivatogastrium baylisianum.
On a class excursion I saw one and could not resist saying “That little fungus is named after me.” One of the girls was obviously puzzled but her frown cleared when she compared the little tan-coloured dome in the grass with my sunburnt bald head, “I can see the resemblance” she said.
Horak E. 1971. Contributions to the Knowledge of the Agaricales s.l. (Fungi) of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 9: 463-93. Link here
Mark A 2004. Geoffrey Thomas Sandford Baylis. 2004 Academy Yearbook, Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand. Link here
Nature Watch New Zealand 2015. Discovery: critically rare fungus rediscovered. Link here
“You’re not in Guatemala now Dr Ropata” is surely the most famous line in New Zealand television history. Even those who never saw this or any other episode of Shortland Street they will recognise the quote.
I found myself not in Guatemala last week when I was contacted by Ruben Solares with an identification question. He sent me a link to pictures of fungal fruit bodies he had collected from under oaks [Quercus].The collections from previous years showed bright blue colour when the flesh was cut and the large fleshy fruitbodies suggested a bolete. The lack of blueing this year is not significant as I have often found the reaction not consistently reliable. I have no personal experience of the fungi of Central America but flicking through the limited literature that I have I felt Ruben’s find was reminiscent of Luis Gómez’s 1996 illustration of Pulveroboletus ravenellii. Again my feeling is that this is a malformed bolete rather than something typical.
Ruben tells me that normal fruit bodies of Pulveroboletus ravenellii also occur in this area (link here).
I contacted Roy Halling at the New York Botanical Garden as he has expert knowledge of Central American boletes. His response was that this looked like a “deformed, aborted bolete”. Like all species in nature there will always be individuals that for one reason or another cannot reproduce and this is as true for fungi as it is for any other groups of organisms. Using classical morphological methods will not work in the case of malformed fruit bodies as the characteristics that are needed do not form. This is probably a case where molecular techniques might solve the puzzle of what species it is.
Gómez PLD 1996. Basidiomicetes de Costa Rica: Xerocomus, Chalciporus, Pulveroboletus, Boletellus, Xanthoconium (Agaricales: Boletaceae). Revista de Biologia Tropica 44 (Supplement 4): 59-89.
PS The parasitic fungus Hypomyces (apicocrea) chrysospermus on a bolete. (link here)
Having noted the dry conditions for the Otari-Wiltons bush Fungal Foray last Sunday, 26 April 2015, Monday afternoon brought 40 – 50mm of rain across Wellington over the next 24 hour period. Having only seen collapsed and mummified mushrooms on Sunday here is what I saw walking home from the CBD through the Bolton Street Memorial Park and Wellington Botanic Garden.
In the lower section of the Bolton Street Memorial Park under a century old Pinus radiata was this swarm of sticky-bun bolete [Suillus granulatus]. Read my earlier comments on this species here and here.Within a few centimetres of the sticky-bun boletes was the pine chalkcap [Russula amoenolens]. See my earlier comment about this species here. In the upper section of the Park Hebeloma crustuliniforme growing on a grave between the Seddon and the Holland Memorials at the top of the Robertson Way path. On the edge of the Lady Norwood Rose Garden in the Botanic Garden there is a row of silver birches [Betula pendula]. Fruiting under the birches were a number of birch boletes [Leccinum scabrum] and another small group under birches in West Way path. I took both home to see if the internal tissues blued when exposed to air but there was no change – see here for previous discussion of this reaction. The other interesting this about these fruit bodies as the appear to have been scalped by something but I don’t know what. Also growing with the birch boletes were common deceiver [Laccaria laccata]. There was a single scarlet flycap [Amanita muscaria] growing under the pines on the Pine Hill Path. I have included it here to show how variable the fruit bodies can be. Here it is orange on the outer rim of the cap and red in the centre with only a few white warts toward edge of the cap. Compare this with the photos below of another scarlet flycap growing under silver birch on West Way path. Here the whole cap is deep red and thickly studded with white warts. It would be easy to think that we have found two different species. Also growing under the birch on West Way were birch rollrims. Since 1969 we have been calling it Paxillus involutus but recent work in Europe has shown that there are a number of closely related species. It has turned out that the species in New Zealand is Paxillus cuprinus as it did not turn green when exposed to ammonia solution – the test used to separate it from the other species in New Zealand Paxillus ammoniavirescens. Growing amongst the birch boletes were some small dark brown mushrooms that are a species of webcap [Cortinarius] possible somewhere around Cortinarius rigidus. Growing on the grass, on the West Way, but not associated with trees was the field mushroom [Agaricus compestri]. note the pink gills which will turn dark brown as the spores on their surfaces mature. The scarlet pouch [Leratiomyces erythrocephalus = Weraroa erythrocephala] is a native species which taken advantage of the trend to mulch gardens as can be seen here growing on mulch under a specimen tree of Metasequoia glyptostroboides at the end of West Way.
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 disseminatus]
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] youngCrepidotus fuscovelutinus, my best guess at the moment, 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. [Note 27 June 2015: Cystolepiota, possibly C. hetieri] 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. [Note 27 June 2015: This might also be Russula griseobrunnea] 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] .