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.
Torrential rain over the last week or so has finally ended the dry spell on the Wellington peninsular. A walk around the upper part of Otari-Wilton’s Bush found a few old friends and some new finds.
Ruby helmet [Mycena viscidocruenta] – There were a few of these small red Mycena was growing on wood chips just below the Cockayne Lookout. Not a great photo.
Scarlet roundhead [Leratiomyces ceres = Stropharia aurantiaca] – There were a couple of good specimens and some very over mature ones as well on wood chips below the Cockayne Lookout. Read more about this species here.
The common scabbarb [Volvariella gloiocephalus]. This was also growing in the wood chip mulch in the gardens below the Cockayne Lookout.
The potted logger [Galerina nana] – This was growing around a recently transplanted Chatham Island forget-me-not or kopakopa [Myosotidium hortensia]. It was growing from the edge of the potting mix surrounding the plant. I have only collected this species once before and that was growing on soil in a potted plant in Rotorua. This is a new species for Otari-Wilton’s Bush.
Brown birdsnest [Crucibulum laeve] – Growing on wood chips in the Brockie Rock Garden.
A Panaeolina possibly Panaeolina foeniseci ? – This was growing through a divaricating Coprosma with a small low growing herb in the Brockie Rock Garden. It had a hygrophanous cap and mottled gills and was up to 4-4.5cm in diameter.
Common dreamer [Psilocybe subaeruginosa] – commonly found growing on wood chips in urban areas, pine tree plantations and woody debris in forests and gardens.
Sulphur pinkgill [Entoloma sulphureum] – This was growing in the wood chips under the kauri and rimu by the information centre. There was only one fruitbody and it was past its best.
Orange poreconch [Favolaschia calocera] – Growing on log used to edge garden in the Fernery below the Kauri Lawn. Read more about this species here.
Brown-umbrella inkcap [Parasola leiocephala] – This was growing on wood chips in the Fernery below the Kauri Lawn and in the Brockie Rock Garden. The crinkly appearance is a result of drying out due to a strong northerly wind.
Sociable inkcap [Coprinellus disseminatus] – Growing on log used to edge garden in the Fernery below the Kauri Lawn.
Wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea] – Growing on log used to edge garden in the Fernery below the Kauri Lawn. Read more about this species here.
A little gilled conch with dark brown spores [Melanotus sp.]. Growing on a fallen branch in the Fernery. It looks similar to the one seen at Zealandia a few weeks ago
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 helmet [Mycena sp.] – This little Mycena was growing on very rotten wood on the Waterfall track.
When I worked as a mycologist at Forest Research, in Rotorua, a part of the campus, the Long Mile, was rented to a film crew. They were making a television version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World and were filming in the Red Wood Grove, in the town belt, behind Forest Research.
When it finally screened, it was exciting to watch explorers’ first encounter with dinosaurs in Rotorua’s grove of North American redwoods with their understory of native ferns. However, biological and geographic credibility flew out the window as the explorers ran out of the redwoods on to the shore of a South Island lake surround by kahikatea! Another illusion destroyed.
I had also read that Doyle’s lost plateau in South America had features that corresponded to those in his home county of Sussex. Seeing the map of Zealandia sanctuary reminded me of that lost plateau.
I was invited to help with Zealandia’s bioblitz school holiday programme at the end of April. I haven’t collected in Zealandia before and wasn’t expecting to find much this time because of the very dry weather we had been experiencing. However with the help of the kids we found quite a few fungi.
Our first find was the wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea] on a dead branch. The fruit bodies are very shriveled due to the dry conditions but will revive when they are made wet rain.
This little parasol mushroom, about 5 cm across the cap, is somewhere around Leucoagaricus rubrotinctus.
Growing on a well rotted standing trunk was a leather bracket of Cyclomyces tabacinus.
These little mushroom, up to about 4 com across the cap, where pinkish brown and slimy, with white gills that did not reach the stem. I want to say a Limacella?A group of small mushrooms, .05 – 1 cm diameter, growing on a standing dead tree. They were fawn in colour with purplish gills.
Zealandia started life as land that had been cleared and burnt for farmland, then became Wellingtons water catchment areas with the building of Karori Reservoir. The catchment area was replanted in a mixture of trees including exotic Pinus radiata. A number of well rotted pines now litter the floor of the regenerating bush. This plum woodknight [Tricholomopsis rutilans] was growing from a rotten pine stump. It is almost always fond on rotting pine wood.This is a typical mushroom [Agaricus sp.] with its fibrous to scaly cap, prominent ring on the stem, and its dark brown gills. Growing close to the Agaricus were clusters of black birdsnests [Cyathus novaezelandiae] These are fruit bodies of dead man’s fingers (Xylaria sp.] on a standing dead tree. This little, about 1 cm diameter, yellow fruit body was in deep wood dust / frass inside a very rotten log. It is a parasol and possibly a Leucocoprinus sp. Growing in the litter were a group of Cloudy funnelcap [Clitocybe nebularis]. The large fruit bodies were about 6-7 cm in diameter. Another parasol [Lepiota sp.] An artist’s porebracket [Ganoderma applanatum]growing from the trunk of a living red beech [Nothofagus fusca]. Southern beech is not native to the Wellingtom peninsula and this tree would have been an experimental planting by the catchment board. Note the pinkish brown spores all over the horizonatl surfaces both below and above the bracket. A little gilled conch with dark brown spores [Melanotus sp.]. There were lots of these growing from very wet rotten branches used to line the edge of an open drain.
Wellington has been very dry in the weeks leading up to the Foray and despite the heavy down pour last night there is not a lot around.
Leratiomyces ceres = Stropharia aurantiaca [scarlet roundhead]. A perennial find at Otari. Read more about Leratiomyces ceres.Agaricus sp. [a mushroom] – Growing next to boardwalk, at the north end of the Visitor’s Centre, at the base of a rimu. We first recorded this at Otari during the 2013 Foray. Nidula candida [white birdsnest]. A common find on woodchip mulch around the gardens. Galerina sp [a helmet]. A small brown spored mushroom growing on the woodchip mulched path in the fernery. Note the distinctive ring on the stem. Postia sp. [a woody bracket]. See comments on Postia in last weeks blog. Auricularia cornea [wood ear jelly]. A common wood decay fungus. Read more about the wood ear jelly. Favolaschia calocera [orange poreconch]. A common wood decay fungus at this time of the year. Hypholoma fasciculare [a woodtuft]. Another wood decay fungus which is also often found on woodchip. Here it was on a log edging the path in the fernery. Agrocybe parasitica [tree swordbelt]. A common heart rot fungus of living tawa. This particular tree produces two or three flushes of mushrooms each year. To see Agrocybe parasitica as unopen caps look at last weeks blog. Also seen in the fernery were:
- Volvariella gloiocephala (= V. speciosa) [common scabbard] – Read more about Volvariella gloiocephala.
- Trametes versicolor [Turkey-tail porebracket] – Read more about Trametes versicolor.
- Parasola leiocephala [Brown-umbrella inkcap] – Have a look at of the genera cut out of Coprinus i.e. Parosola, Coprinopsis, and Coprinellus.
In preparation for the Fungal Foray at Otari Wilton’s Bush next weekend Rachel and I went and had a look to see what was fruiting. It has been a dry summer and autumn in Wellington so I wasn’t expecting to see much, so was surprised at what we did find.
Scarlet roundhead [Leratiomyces ceres = Stropharia aurantiaca]. A wood decay fungus growing on mulch in the gardens below the Cockayne lawn.The common scabbarb [Volvariella gloiocephalus]. This was also growing in the wood chip mulch in the gardens below the Cockayne lawn.
These two mushrooms were growing in the leaf litter in the Fernery under puriri [Vitex lucens] and wheki-ponga [Dicksonia fibrosa]. I’ll get back to you on this.Tree swordbelt [Agrocybe parasitica]. This cluster of your mushrooms was in a cleft at the base of a tawa [Beilschmiedia tawa]. This particular tawa, in the Fernery, produces a crop of mushrooms every year. Tree swordbelt [Agrocybe parasitica]. A mature cluster on a tawa but but the dry northerly wind has desiccated them. This tawa was on the Circular walk just below the Wilton Bowling Club. Garlic shanklet [Mycetinis curraniae]. We normally find this small mushroom growing on the bark of a living totara [Podocarpus totara] just by the information centre. However these were growing on kanaka [Kunzea ericoides] on on the Circular walk just below the Wilton Bowling Club. The last fungus is the icicle tooth [Hericium coralloides]. The phot was sent to me yesterday by Rewi Elliot who is the manager at Otari – Wilton’s Bush. It is a wood decay fungus and was collected by a visitor to the reserve. Rewi did not know what tree species it had been growing on.
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