Back in 1971 Egon Horak wrote:
During our collecting trips in New Zealand, we collected on two occasions a species closely related to L. velutina … In both cases the fungus grew along roadsides. The … unresolved problem is whether the fungus is introduced or indigenous.
Then in 1981 Marie Taylor included Lacrymaria velutina in her book of New Zealand fungi. She said that they could be found growing in rich pasture or waste ground.
When you look at the European literature and websites two names generally appear – Lacrymaria velutina and Lacrymaria lacrymabunda. They are now considered to be the same species and the preferred name is Lacrymaria lacrymabunda.
My first encounter with Lacrymaria was in Dunedin in 1989 with one collection from a lawn in Ravensbourne and the other from my garden in Mornington. Using Marie’s book identified them as Lacrymaria velutina.I didn’t really look at them again until 2013 when I found them at Otari Wilton’s bush, then again this year and included them in my blog. The 2013 collection was from the New Zealand native plant garden which is heavily mulched with wood chip. The second, 2015, was in native bush that has been under planted with more native species and is more lightly mulched. Both sites are within a hundred metres of each other and are peri-urban being within 50 metres of urban housing. I am not aware that any collections have been made within more intact native forest. Jerry Cooper has suggested that because they are quite shaggy they might be the Australian species Lacrymaria asperospora. Again this is a species I do not know but Roy Watling looked at it in 1979 and said:
Macroscopically the caespitose [growing in clumps or tufts] habit, Jong stipe and greyer hues of the pileus [cap], and the habitat preference of growing on or close to wood distinguish L. asperospora [from Lacrymaria lacrymabunda]. Present observations show strikingly large size and robustness as features of this species, but perhaps a more representative range of collections is really needed to establish these characters.
Neale Bouger and Katrina Syme give the habitat of Lacrymaria asperospora as wet forest tracks, dump sites, roadsides, and Genevieve Gates and David Ratkowsky say often along roadsides and in other disturbed places.
In the last month I have also received photos from an urban garden, not far from Otari-Wilton Bush, of a Lacrymaria which I have suggested is Lacrymaria lacrymabunda, however it struck me as very shaggy and pale in colour for this species.So is our weeping widow Lacrymaria lacrymabunda or Lacrymaria asperospora? I’ll let you know when I find out.
Bougher NL, Syme K 1998. Fungi of southern Australia. University of Western Australia Press.
Gate G, Ratkowsky D 2014. A field guide to Tasmanian fungi. Tasmanian Field Naturalist Club
Taylor GM 1981. Mushrooms and toadstools. AH and AW Reed, Wellington
Watling R 1979. Studies in the genera Lacrymaria and Panaeolus. Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh 37: 369-379
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 ]
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.
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 [Favolaschia 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.
This last summer has been notable in being dry and followed by a reasonably wet autumn (see The drought has broken). So there were plenty of fungi around for the foray, 25-26 May 2013. Below is the list of what we did see.
Otari garden – an exhibition garden of low growing New Zealand native plants but not native to the local area) mulched with wood chips.
Lepiota sp. [a parasol] – this was in the garden under Nothofagus solandri. This is the first collection of this species at Otari.
Leratiomyces ceres [scarlet roundhead] – on wood chip. For more on this mushroom go to my blog here.
Weraroa erythrocephala [scarlet pouch] – in the wood chip mulch and in litter in mixed forest.
Clitocybe nebularis [cloudy funnelcap] – not so much in the garden as down the bank in the bush. Large mushrooms up 25cm diameter and usually in groups or even arranged in arcs in the bush.
Lacramaria lacrymabunda [weeping widow] – solid mushrooms, with a shaggy surface, mottled blackish kills, and a fibrous ring at top of stem. This is the first collection of this species at Otari.
Beech (Nothofagus) grove – this grove was planted as beech is not native to the Wellington peninsular. We haven’t in the past found much here but being a month later there is a lot more to be seen.
Russula acrolamellata [ugly chalkcap]. This mushroom has a brown to golden cap and white stem. Like all chalk cap the stem snaps when bent. If you are prepared to chew a little of the gill tissue on the tip of your tongue it should be quite hot hence the name acrolamellata or acrid gills. We also saw it under kanuka.
Amanita nothofagi [charcoal flycap] – this is an mycorrhizal species which means it is only found growing on the roots of southern beech or teatree. It is related to the scarlet flycap, with its red cap and white warts, seen under pines. Several mushrooms were present.
Coprinellus (Coprinus) disseminatus [sociable inkcap] – A common inkcap found growing on dead wood in all kinds of habitats.
Tylopylus brunneus [cocoa bolete] – Last collected here in 2011. This bolete bruises blue-grey.
I put the cut fruitbody, from above, on paper to dry and the fluid from it seeped into paper where it has reacted with the air and turned the classic blue of this reaction.
Circular walk from Information Centre – this is an area of original broadleaf-podocarp forest but with an underplanted collection of plants that would be expected in this type of forest.
Micromphale sp. [garlic shanklet] – on bark of living totara. If you cup on of these mushroom in your hands and put your hands over your nose you can smell the distinct odour of gallic.
Agaricus sp. [a mushroom] – Growing next to boardwalk in kauri litter. Tall brown mushroom. This is the first collection of this species at Otari. This is very similar to Marie Taylor’s collection GMT737 (PDD84327) which she collected in 1972 from under kauri in Northcote, Auckland.
Lepiota sp. [a parasol] – This was growing under totara.
Mycena pura [lilac helmet] – This distinctive lilac mushroom was growing in the leaf litter.
Favolashia calocera (orange poreconch) – on fallen branches.
Agrocybe parasitica [tree swordbelt] – on living hardwood.
Heimiomyces neovelutipes [bush shank] – Growing on decaying wood.
Armillaria novaezelandae [olive honeycap] – on rotten wood.
Mycena sp. [a helmet] – A very dark coloured Mycena growing on wood. It is similar to Ian Hoods figure 143. It also looks like Jerry Cooper’s Mycena sp. ‘Ahuriri Reserve (PDD80918)’.
Lentinellus novae-zelandiae [bush shiitake] – on rotting log.