He harore rangi tahi – a mushroom only lasts a single day *
What might be true for mushrooms is not true about emails and txts. Here are some of the fungi that people have asked me about.
Wellington Botanic Garden 10.07.2016
Lea Robertson asked if I had seen the bolete under the maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), below the herb garden, at the Wellington Botanic Garden. I wandered up there at lunchtime and there was a good, but now slightly old, flush of Suillus luteus [slippery-jack bolete].
Wellington’s Central Park 01.07.2016
Lea had asked earlier about an ‘earthball’ she had seen in Wellington’s Central Park. The photo she sent was a typical Scleroderma verrucosum. See more photos of Scleroderma verrucosum in my earlier blog.
Eoin was seeking an identification of an LBM (little brown mushroom) he found growing on woodchip in his back garden. He described it as ‘tan brown with a wee nipple on top’, and stem as the ‘same colour as the cap’. Identifying LBMs is always a challenge especially from a photo. My best guess was it was a Galerina species, as they were fruiting in my garden at the same time. I thought it might be somewhere around Galerina nana.
Island Bay 13.06.2016
Olwen Mason reminded about the purple funnelcaps [Lepista nuda] that came up in here Island Bay garden in 2014 and that there were more now. She said that they weren’t as purple as last time and wondered whether they would colour-up as they aged.
Brian Ward asked if I could identify the mushrooms that come up in his Waikanae garden (Kapiti coast) each year. He said that they grew in the plum and oak leaf litter. Brian also said that they were identical to ones he saw under totara trees in Otaki.
Brian had made an attempt at an identification using books and thought maybe it was a ‘chantarel’. Given the typical gills run down the stem (decurrent) it wasn’t too bad an attempt. He also admitted that he had eaten them in previous years without ill effects. It is what we have been calling in New Zealand the cloudy funnelcap [Clitocybe nebularis].
This is the best fit for the New Zealand species but it might yet prove to be something else especially as molecular studies are carried out in Europe. In Europe, Clitocybe nebularis is considered edible.
Jim Waters sent me his observations on fungi in pine plantations at Waitarere Beach. “As indicated the display has been impressive over the last few weeks. I was particularly interested in the brown upright rubbery fungi with sort [of] two part, almost like leaves, growing … all round one Pinus radiata stump.” This threw me for a bit but I’m pretty sure that it is a false morel [Gyromitra infula] which Michael Kuo at MushroomExpert.com describes as “broadly lobed cap is usually pinched into two lobes, creating a saddle-shaped appearance”.Jim also said “I thought the very small white fungus in another stump looked like the recently infamous Split gill but was not sure. Very small (3-4mm) and looked very like a very small piece of the head of cauliflower, until it is turned over as demonstrated.” And yes I agree with Jim’s identification – split-gill [Schizophyllum commune].
“The third one was the large “puff ball” like structure which looked as if it had started to deflate, but very big.” And the puffball is the skull puffball [Calvatia craniiformis].
* Makareti, 1938. The Old time Maori. Victor Gollancz, London