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.