Science Sunday at the Wellington Botanic Garden

Wellington Botanic Garden ran a Science Sunday today in the Begonia House. It was an opportunity for Wellingtonians to discover the science behind their Garden and what contributions it makes to biodiversity and other areas of science. It also included releasing the findings of the BioBlitze held in April. And despite the rain I did a wander round to see what, if anything, was fruiting.

The Pinetum

I couldn’t believe my luck as I dropped down the slope from the Herb Garden into the Pinetum. Since 2014 I have been returning here in the hope of finding a Boletus that I found but had not kept a specimen of it. And here it was a single huge fruitbody.

Boletus edulis [photo Geoff Ridley]

Boletus edulis [photo Geoff Ridley]

Boletus edulis [photo Geoff Ridley]

It was growing about 1.5m from the base of a maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) in a grove of this species although, there is a single Pinus radiata as well. This is in all probability edible bolete (Boletus edulis) and has you can see from the dollar coin this fruitbody is the size of a dinner plate.

Boletus edulis – the size of a dinner plate [photo Geoff Ridley]

A few metres further along the path there is a grove of mixed cypresses. At the border between the pines and the cypresses was a sticky bun bolete (Suillus granulatus). Note is yellow, non-bluing flesh and a lack of a ring on the stem.

Suillus granulatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Suillus granulatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Suillus granulatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Suillus granulatus – non-bluing flesh [photo Geoff Ridley]

About a metre away was the yellow flycap (Amanita junquillea). I found this species for the first time in the Garden at the BioBlitz in April.

Amanita junquillea [photo Geoff Ridley]

Amanita junquillea [photo Geoff Ridley]

The West Entrance

Near the West Entrance on Glenmore St is a Sequoia, or is it a Metasequoia (tree number 0645) [see additional note at end of this blog].

Tree 0645 (photo Geoff Ridley]

This tree has wood chip mulch under and as I approached I could see the bright colouring of the scarlet pouch (Leratiomyces erythrocephalus). This has fruited frequently under this tree over the last five years.

Leratiomyces erythrocephalus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Also present was the bluing pouch (Psilocybe weraroa). This is the first time I have collected this species from wood chip mulch.

Psilocybe weraroa [photo Geoff Ridley]

The tree is bare of leaves at the moment and looking up there is a long dead strip running almost two thirds the height of the tree. This has been colonised by the woodear jelly (Auricularia cornea).

Auricularia cornea [photo Geoff Ridley]

Auricularia cornea [photo Geoff Ridley]

Additional note 02.10.2019: This is Metasequoia glyptostroboides or dawn redwood. This specimen tree is recorded in the New Zealand Tree Register. It includes the note that:

A rare tree of this age and species in the Wellington area. This may be the single surviving tree propagated from seed by C. M. Smith (former Director of the Botany Division – DSIR). … ‘Through the good offices of Col. J. K. Howard, … a few small seed samples were sent to New Zealand by Dr. E. D. Merrill, lately of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University. From these seed samples, I secured about a tablespoon of partly cleaned seed for trial sowings. … Smith also send seed to A. W. Wastney in Nelson. Both men germinated their seeds in October 1949. Smith was successful in cultivating only one seedling and Wastney was fortunate enough to obtain three seedlings from his efforts. … No record has been found to establish where Smith planted his tree but he did have an association with the Wellington Botanical Gardens and it is assumed he may have planted it here. The tree would have been of sufficient size to have been planted out in the spring of 1951.

The Register also records the tree’s health as:

In very good health 2009. The increasing numbers of native kaka in the Wellington area are stripping bark from this and other significant trees in the gardens (2010).

The long dead strip in the main stem might be associated with kaka damage?

School holidays at Zealandia

I had the chance to help with Zealandia’s school holiday programme on the 24th April (see my previous blog from 2016). The weather has been all over the place so while there where fungi to find they were few in number.

Zealandia staff members use Nature Watch to record what they find at Zealandia and this includes the holiday programme. Here are two groups being shown how to upload photos to Nature Watch before we hit the bush. All of these fungi were found along the Te Mahanga Track between the lower and upper reservoirs.

[photo Geoff Ridley]

Not a great photo of this little wood decay mushroom. It’s got me stumped at the moment. I had thought Heimiomyces neovelutipes but the stipe is too smooth and the gill too white I think.

Heimiomyces neovelutipes? [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hypholoma fasciculares [photo Geoff Ridley]

We only saw one fruitbody of Psilocybe weraroa. Not a great photo of this very pale blue secotioid fungus.

Psilocybe weraroa [photo Geoff Ridley]

Auricularia cornea [photo Geoff Ridley]

Favolaschia calocera [photo Geoff Ridley]

A nice little group of Cyathus striatus – This larger birds nest is easy recognised by the dark brown hairy cup with a shiny fluted interior.

Cyathus striatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

I’m guessing a Mycena but only saw the one and I don’t have a specimen.

Mycen? [photo Geoff Ridley]

Another tiny white Mycena. Looking at the stipe of the larger fruitbody in the second photo I’m thinking Mycena austrororida.

Mycena austrororida? [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena austrororida? [photo Geoff Ridley]

These little Mycena were growing deep inside a hole in the trunk of a standing living tree.  It is similar to Jerry Cooper’s  Mycena sp. ‘Ahuriri Reserve (PDD80918)’. See also my find of this from Otari-Wilton’s Bush.

Mycena sp. ‘Ahuriri Reserve’ [photo Geoff Ridley]

The next two photos are what is probably a little Lepiota growing in the litter around the base of a fern. It has a white spore print.

Lepiota [photo Geoff Ridley]

Lepiota [photo Geoff Ridley]

What Colenso might have seen

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]

The Seventy Mile Bush [from Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand]

The Seventy Mile Bush [from Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand]

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.

Five Mile Avenue, circa 1875, Eketahuna [photo James Bragge, from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa]

Five Mile Avenue, circa 1875, Eketahuna [photo James Bragge, from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa]

In 2001 the entire Mt Bruce block, of 942 ha, 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.

Bioblitz 2016

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].

The fungi

Mycena sp. in tawa forest – on a fallen log. Note: Maybe close to Marie Taylor’s Mycena dorotheae.

Mycena sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena pura (?) in tawa forest growing in leaf litter.

Mycena pura ? [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena pura ? [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hypholoma acutum in tawa forest on a fallen log. Note: Rubbish photo, sorry.

2016.06.11 Hypholoma acutum

Hypholoma acutum [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hypholoma brunneum in tawa forest – on a fallen log. Note: on the same log as Hypholoma acutum.

Hypholoma brunneum [photo Geoff Ridley}

Hypholoma brunneum [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena roseoflava in tawa forest – on a stump.

Mycena roseoflava [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena roseoflava [photo Geoff Ridley]

Nidula candida in tawa forest – on fallen wood.

Nidula candida [photo Geoff Ridley]

Nidula candida [photo Geoff Ridley]

Nidula candida [photo Geoff Ridley]

Nidula candida [photo Geoff Ridley]

Gyronemma sp. in tawa forest – on rotten tree fern rachis.

Gyronemma sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Gyronemma sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Armillaria novae-zealandiae in tawa forest – on fallen logs.

Armillaria novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Armillaria novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Armillaria novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Armillaria novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Favolaschia calocera in tawa forest – on fallen branches. Note: The orange colour has washed out in the photo.

Favolaschia calocera [photo Geoff Ridley]

Favolaschia calocera [photo Geoff Ridley]

Crinipellis procera in tawa forest – on leaf and twig litter.

Crinipellis procera [photo Geoff Ridley]

Crinipellis procera [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hygrophorus sp. in tawa forest amongst litter.

Hygrophorus sp [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hygrophorus sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Psathyrella sp. in tawa forest – on leaf litter.

Psathyrella [photo Geoff Ridley]

Psathyrella sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Psathyrella sp. - black spore print [photo Geoff Ridley]

Psathyrella sp. – black spore print [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena  mariae or parsonsii (?) in tawa forest – on stump.

Mycena mariae or parsonsii (?) [photo Geoff Ridley]

Mycena mariae or parsonsii (?) [photo Geoff Ridley]

Not sure what this is yet. In tawa forest in litter.

Not sure what this is. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Not sure what this is. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Not sure what this is. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Not sure what this is. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Xylaria sp. in tawa forest on a fallen log.

2016.06.11 Fingers

Xylaria sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hygrophorus sp. in tawa forest in litter.

Hygrophorus sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hygrophorus sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Coral fungus in tawa forest amoungst litter. Note: I need to do some work on this yet.

Coral fungus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Coral fungus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cyathus novaezelandiae in tawa forest on fallen wood.

Cyathus novaezelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cyathus novaezelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

Coprinellus disseminatus in tawa forest – on stump.

Coprinellus disseminatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Coprinellus disseminatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Morganella compacta in tawa forest – on fallen log.

Morganella compacta [photo Geoff Ridley]

Morganella compacta [photo Geoff Ridley]

Leratiomyces erythrocephalus [= Weraroa erythrocephala] in tawa forest – in leaf litter.

2016.06.11 Leratiomyces

Leratiomyces erythrocephalus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Conchomyces bursaeformis in tawa forest – on standing dead trunk.

Conchomyces bursaeformis [photo Geoff Ridley]

Conchomyces bursaeformis [photo Geoff Ridley]

2016.06.11 Unknown 3

Conchomyces bursaeformis [photo Geoff Ridley]

2016.06.11 Unknown 2

Conchomyces bursaeformis [photo Geoff Ridley]

Clavogaster novozelandicus Psilocybe weraroa [= Weraroa virescens] in tawa forest – in leaf litter.

Clavogaster novozelandicus [photo Geof Ridley]

Clavogaster novozelandicus [photo Geof Ridley]

Cortinarius sp. in red beech forest.

Cortinarius sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Lepiota sp. in red beech forest – in leaf litter.

Lepiota sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Lepiota sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hebeloma  mediorufum (?) in red beech forest.

Hebeloma  mediorufum (?) [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hebeloma  mediorufum (?) [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hebeloma mediorufum (?) spore print [photo Geoff Ridley]

Hebeloma mediorufum (?) spore print [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus in red beech forest.

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Cortinarius rotundisporus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Russula sp. in red beech forest.

Russula sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Russula sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

Galerina patagonica in tawa forest – on fallen log.

Galerina patagonica [photo Geoff Ridley]

Galerina patagonica [photo Geoff Ridley]

Chalciporus piperatus in Douglas fir stand. Note:  Amanita muscaria also present but very rotten.

Chalciporus piperatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Chalciporus piperatus [photo Geoff Ridley]

Futher reading 

Colenso, W. 1890. An enumeration of fungi recently discovered in New Zealand. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 23: 391-398.

 

 

 

 

Bolton Street Memorial Park (4)

You can read more about the fungi at the Bolton St Memorial Park here Bolton Street Memorial Park,  Bolton Street Memorial Park (2) and (3).

16 May 2014

Lower Park

I have been report the fungi growing on a stump in the lower part of the park -see (2). The grounds have now been ‘tidied’ and several stumps including the one I was watching were ground and replaced with this top soil ready for grass seed.

31 Bolton 2014.05.16.

Upper Park

A roundhead [Psathyrella sp.] – Roundheads are a regular feature of woodchip mulch. I think that there may be several very similar species and I think that this may be Psathyrella microrhiza as it has a rooting base to the stem with whitish hairs. It was growing on a grave on Strang Path.

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Scarlet roundhead [Leratiomyces ceres = Stropharia aurantiaca] – The scarlet round head was growing on the same grave as the Psathyrella sp.

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T.H. Fitzgerald Path and Observatory Path run parallel to each other down a gully filled with regenerating native bush. Here was:

Scarlet pouch [Leratiomyces erythrocephalus = Weraroa erythrocephala]

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Bluing pouch [Psilocybe weraroa = Weraroa novae-zelandiae] – see here.

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Olive honeycap [Armillaria novaezelandae] – Note the thick white spore deposit on the upper surfaces of the lower mushrooms.

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Common deceiver [Laccaria laccata] – This was growing on a grave with deep alder leaf litter behind the Seddon Memorial.

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Otari – Wilton’s Bush Fungal Foray 2014

Previous Otari-Wilton’s bush forays: 2011, 2012, and 2013. Below are photos and comments on fungi seen over the last two days, 26-27 April.

Porcelain slimecap [Oudemansiella australis] and wood-ear jelly – These species were growing on dead karaka trees, read more here. Most of the dead trees were heavily colonised by the wood-ear jelly but one was largely colonised by porcelain slimecaps.

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Olive-stemmed helmet [Mycena olivaceomarginata] – This is a small grassland species.
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Red-edged roundhead [Psathyrella corrugis] – No photo but read more about this species here [as Panaeolus sp.].

Grey-gilled chalkcap [Russula inquinata] – This a mycorrhizal species found growing in association with 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.

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Cocoa bolete [Tylopylus brunneus] – The cocoa bolete will, if in good condition blue when bruised or cut (see here).

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Sociable inkcap [Coprinellus disseminatus] – Growing on a beech stump.

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Smooth parasol [Leucoagaricus leucothites] – This species was growing in a garden mulched with gravel. There are a couple of photos of the smooth parasol I took in Marlborough last year here.

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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. The ruby helmet also occurs in Australia and there is an excellent photo, by Heino Lepp, at the Australian Botanic Gardens’ Australian Fungi website (here).

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Brown birdsnest [Crucibulum laeve] – Growing on woodchip.

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Fluted birdsnest [Cyathus striatus] – This larger birdsnest is easy recognised by the dark brown hairy cup with a shiny fluted interior. This is the first record of this species at Otari-Wilton’s Bush.

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Fragrant parasol [Lepiota  cristata] – Growing in woodchip and the first record of this species at Otari-Wilton’s Bush.

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A webcap [Cortinarius sp.] – This species took me by surprise by growing in a gravel bed as it is a mycorrhizal genus. A quick look around showed several kanuka trees within a couple of meters.

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Scarlet roundhead [Leratiomyces ceres = Stropharia aurantiaca] – Read more about this species here.

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A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – One of many species of Lepiota present in New Zealand.

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A shanklet [Marasmius sp.] – This was growing on the bark of a living kahikatea [Dacrycarpus dacrydioides] in the podocarp / kauri grove by the information centre.

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Garlic shanklet [Mycetinis curraniae] – Read more about this species here.

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A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – Another parasol in need of a name.

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A mushroom [Agaricus sp.] – we recorded this unnamed Agaricus species for the first time at the 2013 foray. It was growing about 3 meters away, on the opposite side of the board walk from where it was found last year (see here).

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Olive honeycap [Armillaria novaezelandae] – The olive honeycap was growing on a moribund tree in the Fernery.

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Harefoot inkcap [Coprinopsis lagopus] – growing in wood chip mulch.

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Split gill [Schizophyllum commune] – this little wood decay was growing on logs used to edge the paths in the Fernery.

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Wood-ear jelly [Auricularia cornea] – Read more about this species here.

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Orange poreconch [Favolaschia calocera] – Read more about this species here.

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A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – small pure white parasol found in the bush.

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Bush shank [Heimiomyces neovelutipes] – I have recorded this species several times over the last two years growing on the same log.

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Bluing pouch [Psilocybe weraroa = Weraroa novae-zelandiae] – We have known this little dirty white pouch fungus as a species of Weraroa for about 50 years. recent molecular research has seen this genus disestablished and its member species scattered amongst other genera. The placement of this species in Psilocybes is not surprising given the deep blue bruising that occurs when the cap is damaged as can be seen in the photo.

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Native shitake [Lentinellus novae-zelandiae] – This species fruits routinely on a number of logs in the bush between the fernery and the car park.

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A parasol [Lepiota sp.] – A dark grey to slate blue capped parasol growing in woodchip in the Fernery.

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Common scabbard [Volvariella gloiocephala] – no photo

Still working on this little mushroom. Initially, I tried to shoehorn it into Hydropus ardesiacus but it has a snuff-brown spore print, not a white one so I need to start again. It seemed to be growing on the frass in the centre of this cut stump rather than the wood.

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Cloudy funnelcap [Clitocybe nebularis] – The cloudy funnelcap has been seen several times over the last few years at different places in the bush.

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Tea chalkcap [Russula novae-zelandiae] – I collected this for the first time a week ago  and is recognised by its yellowish brown cap, its  mild taste, and it’s association with kanaka [Kunzea ericoides]

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A doilycap [Pluteus sp.] – I managed to get a very faint but distinctly pinkish/brick spore print from this specimen but not sure what, if any described, species it is.

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Parachute conch [Campanella tristis] – growing on a well-decayed branch in the bush.

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Addendum 4 May 2014

Rita Urry, who was on the foray, sent me the following photos which she took at Otari the following weekend.

Orange poreconch [Favolaschia calocera]

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Icicle tooth [Hericium coralloides]

88 Otari 2014.05.04

Skull puffball [Calvatia craniiformis ] – see here for more information.

89 Otari 2014.05.04