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
Flat hunting in Otago
My son is moving down to Dunedin to start his PhD. So he and I went down last weekend to find a flat. We found one just above the town belt and a 16 minute walk from the University of Otago central library.
It was also a chance to walk along Queens Drive which meanders through the town belt that separates the city on the flat from the hill suburbs above. I first walked this way when I had just finished my PhD and had my first job lecturing in the Botany Department here.
The enjoyment of walks and rambles …
The reason for walking the town belt this time was to get some photos for a blog about Helen Kirkland Dalrymple. My first encounter with her writing was reading Fungus Hunting in Otago, New Zealand during my PhD. It’s a slim book of 30 pages published in Dunedin in 1940. And, ignoring scientific publications, is the first popular book of fungi to be published in New Zealand. In fact, there would not be another until 1970 when Marie Taylor’s Mushrooms and Toadstools in New Zealand was published.
All I know about Helen Dalrymple came from a ‘gallery of naturalists’ that Otago Museum has on its top floor in the old wing. If anyone has a photo of her I would love to see it [see PS below]. The museum exhibit had this to say:
Helen Kirkland Dalrymple (c. 1883-1943)
Was an enthusiastic botanist. She was born in Birmingham but spent her early years at Puerua, near Balclutha, where her father was Presbyterian minister. In 1898 she began attending Otago Girls High School, and in 1902 was awarded the Women’s Scholarship at Otago University. She graduated BA in 1906 and taught at Winton and Napier.
In 1913 she joined the staff of Otago Girls High School and taught English, Latin and Botany for 25 years. It is mainly as a botanist that she is remembered, particularly for her field trips, expeditiously arranging forays into the Town Belt to fit into an hour long lesson or longer excursions to Signal Hill in search of ground orchids.
Helen Dalrymple spent many hours on her delicate water colours, mainly of native plants, which she later used to illustrate her books, Orchid Hunting in Otago (1937) and Fungus Hunting in Otago (1940).
A keen member of the Naturalist Field Club she was regarded as a local authority on orchids and mycology. Gentle in speech and manner, she nevertheless had great determination and strength of character and when in 1915, and later in 1941, it was suggested that the club go into recess it was largely owing to her efforts that it kept going.
Miss Finlayson was afraid to open the box
I love Helen’s writing style and casualness and think if she was alive today she would be a blogger:
Earth stars are delightful objects. The first one I ever saw was picked up by an enthusiastic Field Clubber many years ago on his Sunday afternoon walk round the Town Belt. He put it carefully in a matchbox, took it to church that evening, and passed the box on to Miss Finlayson who happened to be sitting in the same seat. At first Miss Finlayson was afraid to open the box, thinking some strange insect might jump out; but finally she did and later handed the specimen over to me for recording.
Helen included a number of line drawings in her book the last was this view towards Otago Boys High with the tower visible above the bush. We went seeking this view but I think that Moana Pool has been built across it and this was the best I could do.
Dalrymple, HK, 1940. Fungus Hunting in Otago, New Zealand. Coulls Somerville Wilkie Limited, Dunedin
PS 18 September 2016
Conor sent a link to this picture of Helen Kirkland Dalrymple
The photo and the comment about her school field trips to the town belt remind me of Ronald Searle’s Belles of St Trinian’s cartoons.
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.
Walking home this afternoon I saw this group of scarlet pouches [Leratiomyces erythrocephalus = Weraroa erythocephala] in on the edge of the Early Settles Memorial Lawn in the Bolton Street Memorial Park. This area has an over storey of exotic pines abd oaks with regenerating native bush amongst the graves and has also been mulched with wood chip. From the path you look down an amphithestre of stone stone steps to the lawn. The scarlet pouches looked like Jaffas that have tumbled down the tiered flooring in a picture theatre.
Jaffas are a kiwi iconic candy and only found here in New Zealand (and also Australia, but shhh). They were around long ago, and if you ask some of the ‘older’ generation they will tell you stories of rolling jaffa’s down the picture theatre (cinema) aisle as a child. That means they must be at least 50 years old! We hold these Jaffa’s with such prestige that as part of the Cadbury chocolate festival, we race jaffas down the steepest street in the world [in Dunedin] – just to make a statement. The jaffa is made from delectable dark chocolate covered in an orange flavoured candy shell. [from NZsnowtours]Read more about Leratiomyces here
Having noted the dry conditions for the Otari-Wiltons bush Fungal Foray last Sunday, 26 April 2015, Monday afternoon brought 40 – 50mm of rain across Wellington over the next 24 hour period. Having only seen collapsed and mummified mushrooms on Sunday here is what I saw walking home from the CBD through the Bolton Street Memorial Park and Wellington Botanic Garden.
In the lower section of the Bolton Street Memorial Park under a century old Pinus radiata was this swarm of sticky-bun bolete [Suillus granulatus]. Read my earlier comments on this species here and here.Within a few centimetres of the sticky-bun boletes was the pine chalkcap [Russula amoenolens]. See my earlier comment about this species here. In the upper section of the Park Hebeloma crustuliniforme growing on a grave between the Seddon and the Holland Memorials at the top of the Robertson Way path. On the edge of the Lady Norwood Rose Garden in the Botanic Garden there is a row of silver birches [Betula pendula]. Fruiting under the birches were a number of birch boletes [Leccinum scabrum] and another small group under birches in West Way path. I took both home to see if the internal tissues blued when exposed to air but there was no change – see here for previous discussion of this reaction. The other interesting this about these fruit bodies as the appear to have been scalped by something but I don’t know what. Also growing with the birch boletes were common deceiver [Laccaria laccata]. There was a single scarlet flycap [Amanita muscaria] growing under the pines on the Pine Hill Path. I have included it here to show how variable the fruit bodies can be. Here it is orange on the outer rim of the cap and red in the centre with only a few white warts toward edge of the cap. Compare this with the photos below of another scarlet flycap growing under silver birch on West Way path. Here the whole cap is deep red and thickly studded with white warts. It would be easy to think that we have found two different species. Also growing under the birch on West Way were birch rollrims. Since 1969 we have been calling it Paxillus involutus but recent work in Europe has shown that there are a number of closely related species. It has turned out that the species in New Zealand is Paxillus cuprinus as it did not turn green when exposed to ammonia solution – the test used to separate it from the other species in New Zealand Paxillus ammoniavirescens. Growing amongst the birch boletes were some small dark brown mushrooms that are a species of webcap [Cortinarius] possible somewhere around Cortinarius rigidus. Growing on the grass, on the West Way, but not associated with trees was the field mushroom [Agaricus compestri]. note the pink gills which will turn dark brown as the spores on their surfaces mature. The scarlet pouch [Leratiomyces erythrocephalus = Weraroa erythrocephala] is a native species which taken advantage of the trend to mulch gardens as can be seen here growing on mulch under a specimen tree of Metasequoia glyptostroboides at the end of West Way.
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
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 ]