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.
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.