This year the foray was held on a cold damp day in May rather than April. This year has been cooler and consistently wetter then then the last couple of years. This has meant that fungi have been fruiting sporadically over a much longer period of time. Here is what we say today.
Southern Beech Grove
This is the first Cortinarius / Thaxterogater found at Otari-Wilton’s bush.Plant Collection below the Cockayne Lookout
The fungi in the plant collection garden are all growing in the thick wood mulch used in this area,Kauri Lawn and Fernery This Psathyrella has faintly reddish tinge to the gill margin and the cap is hygrophanous. Possibly around Psathyrella corrugis. Circular Walk Below the Bowling Club
I posed the question to myself – if I had to pick 10 fungi to epitomise mycology in New Zealand what would they be and why would I choose them? In some cases I have blogged about them before and some I will do so in the future. So here is my choice.
1. Amanita muscaria is number one as this exotic fungus would be one of the most obvious and abundant mushrooms in our autumn landscape. It is beneficial in that it is an ectomycorrhizal fungus and is important in enhancing the growth of our pine and Douglas-fir plantations.
2. Armillaria novae-zelandiae and Armillaria limonea are two native species that have wreaked havoc in our tree plantations and kiwifruit orchards. They actively attack the roots and root collar of wood plants and are capable of killing them.
3. Entoloma hochstteri – this beautiful blue native mushroom is every ones holy grail to find. It is also the only mushroom to appear on currency, NZ$50, anywhere in the world. See Hochstetter’s blue pinkgill.
4. Pithomyces chartarum is an exotic microfungus that you will never see that decomposes dead grass. However, it can produce spores in great numbers at times, such as this year, and causes the disease known as facial eczema in sheep and cattle. The spores contain a toxin which can severely damage the liver of the affected animal and can lead to death. See Brown Grenades.
5. Gloeophyllum sepiarium, Gloeophyllum trabeum, Oligoporus placenta and Antrodia sinuosa – I am treating this functional group of four native wood decay fungi as one. They cause cubical brown rot and are the most prevalent species causing damage in leaky house syndrome in New Zealand. They rose to prominence in the 1990s after changes in building regulations saw the use of unsuitable material and building styles resulting in buildings not being weather proof. See Fungi in leaky homes.
6. Ileodictyon cibarium is our most common native stinkhorn and once seen never forgotten. I included this one as it one of the few species that has some Maori lore associated with it so bridges the gap between traditional knowledge and western science.
7. Neotyphodium lolii is another exotic microfungus that you will never see but which has had a significant effect in New Zealand pastoral farming. The fungus is an endophyte growing between the cells in a ryegrass plant. It produces a toxin that affects the nervous system of grazing animals. Modern ryegrass cultivars have been bred and inoculated with non-toxic strains of Neotyphodium lolii to overcome this significant disease.
8. Cyttaria gunnii is a distinctive Gondwanan element of our fungal flora. It is a parasite on southern beech [Nothofagus]. Cyttaria species occur in New Zealand, Tasmania, SE Australia, and southern Chile and Argentina. See Cyttaria galls on silver beech.
9. Auricularia cornea is a very common native wood decay fungus and was the basis of the first fungal export industry in New Zealand. See Taranaki wool.
10. Melampsora larici-populina is an exotic fungus causing rust on poplars. It arrived in the mid 1970s defoliating poplars across the country. It was the first well documented case of a fungal disease blowing in from Australia in a process that was to become known as trans-Tasman transport. See Melampsora leaf rusts in New Zealand.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? And if no one is there see them do mushroom ever appear?
Back to Central Park
I had an email from Lea Robertson last Friday about fungi in Central Park, Wellington:
There is a cluster of fungi growing on the cut surface of a log on the right hand side of Caretaker’s track going up from the main lower entrance, and about a third of the way up. Have not seen them before, although they are probably common. Creamy yellow, sticky tops with black-brown spots, medium size. Would they be a hypholoma species perhaps? If you are walking in Central Park again soon…,
Rachel and I went there on Saturday. The Caretaker’s track is indeed just a rough track that runs a short distance, up the steep bank, from the near the main park entrance to Ohiro Rd. Just before it reaches Ohiro road there is a lot of rough retaining walls creating terrace around a flat grassed area with a park bench. I wonder whether this was the site of a caretaker’s house and garden?
As Lea said there was a well-rotted log of a fallen tree across the track with a section cut to let you walk along the track.
A scaly find
Sure enough there was a cluster of mushrooms not only growing from the cut face of the log on the upper side of the track but also on the blocks on the lower side. It wasn’t a Hypholoma but rather Pholiota adiposa [scaly flamecap] which I have blogged about before.
But along with the scaly flamecap there were many clusters of Armillaria novae-zelandiae [olive honeycap] along the entire length of the log.Then right at the very top of the log, where it was cross by another log, growing from a deep pile of insect frass was a clump of Flammulina velutipes. Just a few metres further down the track was a large clump of over mature Clitocybe nebularis [cloudy funnelcap] with mushrooms up to 18cm in diameter.
This photo shows the larger group bur they are all well past their prime.
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]
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.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.
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].
Mycena sp. in tawa forest – on fallen log. Note: Maybe close to Marie Taylor’s Mycena dorotheae.
Mycena pura (?) in tawa forest growing in leaf litter.
Hypholoma acutum in tawa forest on fallen log. Note: Rubbish photo, sorry.
Hypholoma brunneum in tawa forest – on fallen log. Note: on same log as Hypholoma acutum.
Mycena roseoflava in tawa forest – on stump.
Nidula candida in tawa forest – on fallen wood.
Gyronemma sp. in tawa forest – on rotten tree fern rachis.
Armillaria novae-zealandiae in tawa forest – on fallen logs.
Favolaschia calocera in tawa forest – on fallen brances. Note: The orange colour has washed out in the photo.
Crinipellis procera in tawa forest – on leaf and twig litter.
Hygrophorus sp. in tawa forest amoungst litter.
Psathyrella sp. in tawa forest – on leaf litter.
Mycena mariae or parsonsii (?) in tawa forest – on stump.
Not sure what this is yet. In tawa forest in litter.
Xylaria sp. in tawa forest on a fallen log.
Hygrophorus sp. in tawa forest in litter.
Coral fungus in tawa forest amoungst litter. Note: I need to do some work on this yet.
Cyathus novaezelandiae in tawa forest on fallen wood.
Coprinellus disseminatus in tawa forest – on stump.
Morganella compacta in tawa forest – on fallen log.
Leratiomyces erythrocephalus [= Weraroa erythrocephala] in tawa forest – in leaf litter.
Conchomyces bursaeformis in tawa forest – on standing dead trunk.
Psilocybe weraroa [= Weraroa virescens] in tawa forest – in leaf litter.
Cortinarius sp. in red beech forest.
Lepiota sp. in red beech forest – in leaf litter.
Hebeloma mediorufum (?) in red beech forest.
Cortinarius rotundisporus in red beech forest.
Russula sp. in red beech forest.
Galerina patagonica in tawa forest – on fallen log.
Chalciporus piperatus in Douglas fir stand. Note: Amanita muscaria also present but very rotten.
Colenso, W. 1890. An enumeration of fungi recently discovered in New Zealand. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 23: 391-398.
16 May 2014
I have been report the fungi growing on a stump in the lower part of the park -see (2). The grounds have now been ‘tidied’ and several stumps including the one I was watching were ground and replaced with this top soil ready for grass seed.
A roundhead [Psathyrella sp.] – Roundheads are a regular feature of woodchip mulch. I think that there may be several very similar species and I think that this may be Psathyrella microrhiza as it has a rooting base to the stem with whitish hairs. It was growing on a grave on Strang Path.
Scarlet roundhead [Leratiomyces ceres = Stropharia aurantiaca] – The scarlet round head was growing on the same grave as the Psathyrella sp.
T.H. Fitzgerald Path and Observatory Path run parallel to each other down a gully filled with regenerating native bush. Here was:
Scarlet pouch [Leratiomyces erythrocephalus = Weraroa erythrocephala]
Bluing pouch [Psilocybe weraroa = Weraroa novae-zelandiae] – see here.
Olive honeycap [Armillaria novaezelandae] – Note the thick white spore deposit on the upper surfaces of the lower mushrooms.
Common deceiver [Laccaria laccata] – This was growing on grave with deep alder leaf litter behind the Seddon Memorial.
Another brilliant Sunday, 11 May 2014, at Otari-Wilton’s Bush. This is my fifth foray here this autumn and I am still finding species that I have not seen before.
Porcelain slimecap [Oudemansiell australis] and wood-ear jelly – These species were growing on dead karaka trees, read more here.
In the plant collection garden I made three collections of Psathyrella which I think represent three different species. The first was growing on woodchip mulch. The first is the red-edged roundhead [Psathyrella corrugis = Panaeolus sp. see here]. If you turn the cap upside down and look at the gill edges through a hand lens then the edges should look reddish-brown compared to the rest of the gill. I find it best to do this with sunlight on the gills.
The second species was also on woodchip with the caps a little more conical then the red-edged roundhead and the gill edges are the same colour as the rest of the gill and lack the reddish colouring. This appears very similar to Psathyrella conopila.
The third Psathyrella species was larger and growing in a crevice in the greywacky rock. However this bank had a woodchip mulched garden above and a woodchip mulched path below. This may be a native species.
Here are the three species black spore prints with the native Psathyrella species on the left, Psathyrella corrugis in the middle, and Psathyrella conopilaon the right.
This sturdy little parasol (Lepiota sp.) keeps turning up on the woodchip mulch but I still do not have a name for it.
This much bigger Lepiota was coming up in several clumps in the woodchips. It is the spiny parasol [Lepiota aspera] and I have only seen it once before growing in a chicken run in the Western Hutt hills
This little yellow mushroom was growing on the woodchip mulched path. It looks a bit like Leucocoprinus fragilissimus however that species has a ring on its stem and there was no sign of one here. [Note added 22 May 2014: I need to open my eyes as this specimen clearly has brown spores and puts this in Bolbitius and probably Bolbitius vitellinus.]
Weeping widow [Lacramaria lacrymabunda] – Growing on woodchips.
Ruby helmet [Mycena viscidocruenta] – This small red Mycena was growing on woodchips.
This is a species of Gymnopus. It looks very like a Californian species known as Gymnopus “stinkii” and the European Gymnopus brassicolens. It can be recognised by the brown caps with a very pale margin and tough blackish stems.
Charcoal flycap [Amanita nothofagi] – Beneath black beech [Nothofagus solandri].
Cocoa bolete [Tylopylus brunneus ] – Beneath black beech [Nothofagus solandri].
Red-flushed bolete [Xerocomus nothofagi] – The red-flushed bolete was growing under kanaka [Kunzea ericoides].
Hygrocybe blanda [orange waxgill] – growing in leaf litter in the fernery.
Brown-umbrella inkcap [Parasola leiocephala] – This big troop of brown-umbrella inkcaps were growing on woodchip under a dense clump of ferns.
Olive honeycap [Armillaria novaezelandae] – growing on a living tree in the Fernery.
A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – small pure white parasol found in the bush.
Tree swordbelt [Agrocybe parasitica]- The mushrooms are about 3 meters above the ground on tawa [Beilschmiedia tawa].
Bush shank [Heimiomyces neovelutipes] – growing on rotten wood.
Native shitake [Lentinellus novae-zelandiae] – This is the biggest fruiting of native shiitake that I have seen at Otari.
Cloudy funnelcap [Clitocybe nebularis ] at the base of a mamaku / tree fern [Cyathea medullaris] in a grove of mamaku.
Brown-blood helmet [Mycena mariae] – Growing on a dead branch. When the stem is broken it oozes a brown sap.
Jelly-stemmed helmet [Mycena austrororida] – Growing on a dead branch.
Blue-eyed helmet [Mycena interrupta] – Growing on a rotting log.
Orange poreconch [Favolaschia calocera]
Skull puffball [Calvatia craniiformis] – Growing in leaf litter.
Antrodiella zonata [= Irpex brevis] – This wood decay fungus forms small brackets or flat sheets on the underside of rotting logs. Hanging vertically from the brackets are square-ish flat teeth and it is on these teeth that the spores are produced.
And finally lichens growing on rocks in the alpine garden.
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 [Favolaschia 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.