22 April 2014
In March I started to record the fungi that I was seeing in the Bolton Street Memorial Park (aka Bolton Street Cemetery) and in particular mushrooms on a stump on the Carr Path. I saw another flush of crumble inkcap [Coprinellus micaceus] on the 22 April 2014 but it had already began to collapse. While on the other side of the stump was a cluster of small wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea].
Crumble inkcap [Coprinellus micaceus]
Wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea]
Not far from the stump, further along the Carr path, growing on the edge of native bush but within the root zone of radiata pine [Pinus radiata] was a group of Psathyrella candolleana. This small mushroom has a blackish spore print.
23 April 2014
The Bolton Street Memorial Park is cut in half by the Wellington Motorway. The fungi above were seen on the low half of the park or city side of the motorway. The next day I walked around the upper park.
Sociable inkcap [Coprinellus disseminates] – This was growing on the roots and stump of a dead tree Lyon path.
Hebeloma crustuliniforme – This was growing on a grave between the Seddon and the Holland Memorials at the top of the Robertson Way path. Richard Seddon was Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1893 until his death in 1906, and Henry Holland was Leader of the Labour Party from 1919 until his death in 1933.
4 May 2014
Scarlet flycap [Amanita muscaria] – Two mushrooms were growing on a grave next to the one on which I saw the Hebeloma a couple of weeks ago. The scarlet flycap, a mycorrhizal fungus, was within the root zone of root zone of ‘old man’ radiata pine [Pinus radiata]. The Holland Memorial is in the background. Read more about scarlet flycaps here.
A few meters further down the Robertson Way path at the junction with the Observatory path there is a group of kanaka trees [Kunzea ericoides]. Within there root zone was a group of cocoa boletes [Tylopylus brunneus] as this is a mycorrhizal species. If you bruise the pale yellow pores on the underside of the cap the tissue will ‘blue’ (read more about blueing here).
Back in the lower Park the stump I have been watching has again wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea] and tree swordbelt [Agrocybe parasitica]. But there is a now a new wood decay species, sulphur woodtuft [Hypholoma fasciculare].
Sulphur woodtuft [Hypholoma fasciculare].
Porcelain slimecap [Oudemansiell australis] and wood-ear jelly – These species were growing on dead karaka trees, read more here. Most of the dead trees were heavily colonised by the wood-ear jelly but one was largely colonised by porcelain slimecaps.
Red-edged roundhead [Psathyrella corrugis] – No photo but read more about this species here [as Panaeolus sp.].
Grey-gilled chalkcap [Russula inquinata] – This a mycorrhizal species found growing in association with 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.
Cocoa bolete [Tylopylus brunneus] – The cocoa bolete will, if in good condition blue when bruised or cut (see here).
Sociable inkcap [Coprinellus disseminatus] – Growing on a beech stump.
Smooth parasol [Leucoagaricus leucothites] – This species was growing in a garden mulched with gravel. There are a couple of photos of the smooth parasol I took in Marlborough last year here.
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. The ruby helmet also occurs in Australia and there is an excellent photo, by Heino Lepp, at the Australian Botanic Gardens’ Australian Fungi website (here).
Brown birdsnest [Crucibulum laeve] – Growing on woodchip.
Fluted birdsnest [Cyathus striatus] – This larger birdsnest is easy recognised by the dark brown hairy cup with a shiny fluted interior. This is the first record of this species at Otari-Wilton’s Bush.
Fragrant parasol [Lepiota cristata] – Growing in woodchip and the first record of this species at Otari-Wilton’s Bush.
A webcap [Cortinarius sp.] – This species took me by surprise by growing in a gravel bed as it is a mycorrhizal genus. A quick look around showed several kanuka trees within a couple of meters.
Scarlet roundhead [Leratiomyces ceres = Stropharia aurantiaca] – Read more about this species here.
A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – One of many species of Lepiota present in New Zealand.
A shanklet [Marasmius sp.] – This was growing on the bark of a living kahikatea [Dacrycarpus dacrydioides] in the podocarp / kauri grove by the information centre.
Garlic shanklet [Mycetinis curraniae] – Read more about this species here.
A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – Another parasol in need of a name.
A mushroom [Agaricus sp.] – we recorded this unnamed Agaricus species for the first time at the 2013 foray. It was growing about 3 meters away, on the opposite side of the board walk from where it was found last year (see here).
Olive honeycap [Armillaria novaezelandae] – The olive honeycap was growing on a moribund tree in the Fernery.
Harefoot inkcap [Coprinopsis lagopus] – growing in wood chip mulch.
Split gill [Schizophyllum commune] – this little wood decay was growing on logs used to edge the paths in the Fernery.
Wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea] – Read more about this species here.
Orange poreconch [Favolashia calocera] – Read more about this species here.
A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – small pure white parasol found in the bush.
Bush shank [Heimiomyces neovelutipes] – I have recorded this species several times over the last two years growing on the same log.
Bluing pouch [Psilocybe weraroa = Weraroa novae-zelandiae] – We have known this little dirty white pouch fungus as a species of Weraroa for about 50 years. recent molecular research has seen this genus disestablished and its member species scattered amongst other genera. The placement of this species in Psilocybes is not surprising given the deep blue bruising that occurs when the cap is damaged as can be seen in the photo.
Native shitake [Lentinellus novae-zelandiae] – This species fruits routinely on a number of logs in the bush between the fernery and the car park.
A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – A dark grey to slate blue capped parasol growing in wood chip in the Fernery.
Common scabbard [Volvariella gloiocephala] – no photo
Still working on this little mushroom. Initially I tried to shoe horn it into Hydropus ardesiacus but it has a snuff brown spore print not a white one so I need to start again. It seemed to be growing on the frass in the centre of this cut stump rather than the wood.
Cloudy funnelcap [Clitocybe nebularis] – The cloudy funnelcap has been seen several times over the last few years at different places in the bush.
Tea chalkcap [Russula novae-zelandiae] – I collected this for the first time a week ago and is recognised by its yellowish brown cap, its mild taste, and it’s association with kanaka [Kunzea ericoides]
A doilycap [Pluteus sp.] – I managed to get a very faint but distinctly pinkish/brick spore print from this specimen but not sure what, if any described, species it is.
Parachute conch [Campanella tristis] – growing on a well decayed branch in the bush.
Addendum 4 May 2014
Rita Urry, who was on the foray, sent me the following photos which she took at Otari the following weekend.
Orange poreconch [Favolaschia calocera]
Icicle tooth [Hericium coralloides]
Skull puffball [Calvatia craniiformis ] – see here for more information.
New Zealanders were introduced to the native mushrooms of New Zealand in a series of five papers published between 1962 and 1964. The author was Greta Stevenson who began collecting mushrooms in the late 1940s and through the 1950s culminating in her going to Kew to work in the herbarium and prepare a manuscript for publication. ‘The Agaricales of New Zealand’ series were published in Kew Bulletin with the Nuffield Foundation funding the printing of the coloured plates. Marie Taylor told me that Greta was terribly disappointed in the colour reproduction of her water colours.
In her biography Kay McFarlane says that Greta went to Wellington in 1970 where she worked for ten years as an unpaid research officer in the Botany Department at Victoria University of Wellington. She also says that from 1980 to 1981 Greta worked at the University of Canterbury’s Botany Department where, while undertaking research, she conducted a number of workshops and study courses on larger fungi. This is not totally correct. In her obituary of Greta Marie Taylor noted that “Her characteristic acerbic comment leaves us in in no doubt of her position on controversial topics”. A falling out with the Botany Department in 1980 saw Greta move to the Geology department. In 1981 I attended an extension course on identifying larger fungi run by Greta at Victoria University. Greta used the notes she produced for this course for her book Field Guide to Fungi (1982) which was reprinted after her death as New Zealand Fungi: an Illustrated Guide (1994). Unfortunately Greta fell out with the Geology Department which resulted in her move to Christchurch and then to England where she died in 1991.
In Greta’s 1964 paper she described a small mushroom collected at Butterfly Creek, on the western side of Wellington Harbour, as Marasmius curranii. It was described as growing on the bark of dead wood. The name did not conform to the rules of naming in Latin and was later corrected to Marasmius curraniae. It was not until 1997 that a fuller description would be written by Desjardin and Horak (1997). This description was based on new collections and noted that the mushrooms smelt of garlic and were found growing on the rotting bark of Leptospermum sp. or Metrosideros umbellate. Finally Jerry Cooper reassigned it to the genus Mycetinis as Mycetinis curraniae (2012). Jerry also added an exotic conifer species, Cupressus macrocarpa, to the host list.
For the last five years I have been observing a small mushroom growing on the bark of a living totara [Podocarpus totara] at Otari-Wilton’s Bush which I have been calling Micromphale sp. [garlic shanklet]. Jerry kindly identified it in a previous blog.
Desjardin, D.E.; Horak, E. 1997. Marasmius and Gloiocephala in the South Pacific Region: Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, and New Zealand taxa. Bibliotheca Mycologica 168: 152 p.
McFarlane, K. Stevenson, Greta Barbara. From the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 19 February 2014. http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/4s44/stevenson-greta-barbara
Stevenson, G. 1964. The Agaricales of New Zealand: V. Kew Bulletin 19: 1-59.
Stevenson, G. 1982. Field Guide to Fungi. University of Canterbury Publication No. 30.
Stevenson, G. 1994. New Zealand Fungi: an Illustrated Guide. Canterbury University Press.
Taylor, M. 1991. Greta B Stevenson Cone. New Zealand Botanical Society Newsletter 23: 7.
P.S. As a social history aside Greta’s father was managing director of the family’s food-processing company, Irvine and Stevenson’s St George, in Dunedin. I remember St Georges jam as a child. The company ceased production in the early 1970s.
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 web site.)
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 recoded 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 aging 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 tends to be smaller and paler then 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 [Favolashia 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.
Twice a day I walk through the Bolton Street Memorial Park aka the Bolton Street Cemetery. So I have decided to keep an eye open for mushrooms and record them here.
At the beginning of the Carr Path there is a stump which I had seen 3 or 4 flushes of the crumble inkcap [Coprinellus micaceus] over the last three months. And of course I didn’t record these! So when I saw something different I decided I should. The something different was the native wood decay mushroom tree swordbelt [Agrocybe parasitica]. This species is often seen growing from the trunk of living trees but as in this case can utilise stumps. This was 23 March 2014.
Three days later, 26 March, the tree swordbelt had shrivelled away to almost nothing to be replaced by a flush a new flush of the crumble inkcap [Coprinellus micaceus]. The second photo shows clearly the ‘mica’ or glistening fragments on the surface of the cap.
It is only a couple of weeks to the annual fungal foray at Otari-Wilton’s Bush. The walk start at 2pm from the Otari Information Centre, Te Marae o Tane, 160 Wilton Road. Cost for Otari walks $3 and free for Trust members. For further information contact the Treehouse on (04) 499 1400. http://www.kennett.co.nz/otariwiltonsbush2/
It has been a cool dry summer over most of New Zealand so I wasn’t expecting to see much today.
When I was here 2 weeks ago there was no sign of the garlic shanklet [Micromphale sp.] but here it is again. I have consistently found it growing on the living bark of a totara [Podocarpus totara] next to the Information Centre in a mixed grove of podocarps and kauri (Agathis australis).
Just below the Cockayne Lawn in the native plant collection garden is a grove of southern beech including black beech (Nothofagus solandri var. solandri). Although native to New Zealand southern beech do not naturally occur on the Wellington peninsular. Beech form ectomycorrhizae with a number of mushroom species and these species only occur where beech or tea tree [Kunzea and Leptopsermum] are growing. I found a single ectomycorrhizal species fruiting – the cocoa bolete [Tylopylus brunneus ].
Much of the plant collection gardens have been mulched in the last year or two with wood chip. I found these smallish common scabbards [Volvariella gloiocephala] growing in the the native plant collection garden below the Cockayne Lawn and in the garden surrounding the Ponga Lawn. They were a little odd in not having very well developed egg like bases to the stem.
Another wood chip fungus is the hares’s foot inkcap [Coprinopsis lagopus]. This was also in the native plant collection garden below the Cockayne Lawn and in the gardens surrounding the Kauri Lawn.
There were a few branches on the forest floor especially in the Fernery that had clusters of orange poreconch [Favolashia calocera].
Walking down the track from the Cabbage Tree Lawn to the stream I came across cloudy funnelcap [Clitocybe nebularis ] at the base of a mamaku / tree fern [Cyathea medullaris] in a grove of mamaku. These mushroom were 15-20cm in diameter. [Note I saw an arc of about 10 cloudy funnelcaps the next weekend, 6 April, in the Wellington Botanic Garden on the slope above the Glen Rd entrance.]
Hope to see you at the foray.
My collaborator in producing the Mushrooms and other fungi of New Zealand, Don Horne, died yesterday. I met Don and his wife Gwen at the first New Zealand Fungal Foray held in Thames in 1986. I was one year into my PhD and with only one season of collecting mushrooms behind me. The Foray was held over a weekend and in the evening there were talks and slide shows. Don’s slide show was the first time I had seen truly beautiful and artistic photos of New Zealand fungi.
Don explained how he took the photo and where he took it and quite often would put a name to the mushroom that he had gleaned from overseas books so were often a good guess but not correct. Don’s photos were artistic and often did not include the necessary detail, such as gills and stem shape, to make an identification which was hugely frustrating to those of us that wanted to know what they were.
Don and I became regular attendees at the annual Forays and over the next couple of years I was able to convince him that he should not only take an artistic shot of the mushroom but also a diagnostic shot, and even better to keep a voucher specimen so a robust identification could be made. Over the next ten years or so Don’s photos appeared in a number of magazine articles on New Zealand fungi but his goal was to produce a book. In the late 90s he persuaded Reed Publishing to do a fungal guide book in its New Zealand nature series. I realised that this was very much Don’s book so when he asked me to help him write it a declined but volunteered to proof it and check the identifications. The book was duly published in 2000.
Don then set his sights on postage stamps. New Zealand had issued stamps based on native flowers, insects, and birds but never on fungi. Don was determined to change this and in 2002 a six stamps featuring his photographs were issued by New Zealand Post.
Now Don was ready to do another mushroom book. He really always wanted to do a coffee table / large format book to feature his mushroom photos. Unfortunately most publishers considered the market too small for such a book in New Zealand. But in his discussion with publishers New Holland Press expressed interest in publishing a mushroom book in their pocket field guide series. New Holland was keen to have a more scientific text to accompany the photos so Don again approached me. So we became collaborators and the book was published in 2006 and is just about to have, in 2014, its fourth reprint. In the strange way that publishing works I was considered the author with photos by Don. I always felt bad about this convention as his photos standalone without the text but the text is nothing without the photos.
Don helped to illuminate mycology in New Zealand and he will be missed.