Otari-Wilton’s Bush, 19 April 2015

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.

01 2015.04.19

Mycetinis curraniae [photo Geoff Ridley]

 A single mushroom of a small white parasol [Lepiota sp.] growing at the base of a totara [Podocarpus totara].

02 2015.04.19

Lepiota sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

02b 2015.04.19

Lepiota sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

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]

03 2015.04.19

Lepiota sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

 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]

04 2015.04.19

Auricularia cornea [photo Geoff Ridley]

 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]

05 2015.04.19

Russula inquinata [photo Geoff Ridley]

06 2015.04.19

Russula inquinata [photo Geoff Ridley]

 All through the mulched gardens where harefoot inkcap [Coprinopsis lagopus]

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Coprinopsis lagopus [photo Geoff Ridley]

The orange poreconch [Favolaschia calocera] are only just beginning to fruit and not as extensively as in previous years.

08 2015.04.19

Favolaschia calocera [photo Geoff Ridley]

Just off the track in the fernery, I came across these small Melanotus sp. on dead branches.

09 2015.04.19

Melanotus sp. [photo Geoff Ridley]

There is one particular log that regularly produces bush shank [Heimiomyces neovelutipes] however there was only one poor specimen on it this time.

10 2015.04.19

Heimiomyces neovelutipes [photo Geoff Ridley]

These big but old tree swordbelt [Agrocybe parasitica] were growing out of the base of a tawa [Beilschmiedia tawa].

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Agrocybe parasitica [photo Geoff Ridley]

The big log off the track near the fernery continues to produce its perennial crop of native shitake [Lentinellus novae-zelandiae].

12 2015.04.19

Lentinellus novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

13 2015.04.19

Lentinellus novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

 Weeping widow [Lacramaria lacrymabunda].

14 2015.04.19

Lacramaria lacrymabunda [photo Geoff Ridley]

Scarlet pouch [Weraroa erythrocephalus = Leratiomyces erythrocephalus]

15 2015.04.19

The little white spored mushroom was growing on woodchips. At this stage, I haven’t worked out what it is.

16 2015.04.19

? [photo Geoff Ridley]

17 2015.04.19

? [photo Geoff Ridley]

 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.

18 2015.04.19

Mycena parabolica [photo Geoff Ridley]

19 2015.04.19

Mycena parabolica [photo Geoff Ridley]

 I don’t normally record bracket fungi but this bright orange Pycnoporus coccineus caught my attention.

20 2015.04.19

Pycnoporus coccineus [photo Geoff Ridley]

 The tea chalkcap [Russula novae-zelandiae] is mycorrhizal and was growing under kanaka [Kunzea ericoides].

21 2015.04.19

Russula novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

22 2015.04.19

Russula novae-zelandiae [photo Geoff Ridley]

 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]

23 2015.04.19

Macrolepiota clelandii [photo Geoff Ridley]

24 2015.04.19

Macrolepiota clelandii [photo Geoff Ridley]

25 2015.04.19

Macrolepiota clelandii [photo Geoff Ridley]

26 2015.04.19

Macrolepiota clelandii [photo Geoff Ridley]

 Cloudy funnelcap [Clitocybe nebularis ]

27 2015.04.19

Clitocybe nebularis [photo Geoff Ridley]


Some fungi of spring and early summer 2013

I’d like to apologise to those who follow this blog for the lack of posts over the last five months. I have since my last posting changed job, sold my house and moved to a different city. Now it is time to pick up the threads. Here are few fungi that have come my way in the last few months.

Country side around Martinborough

Countryside around Martinborough

I was in Martinborough in the Wairarapa (south-east corner of the North Island) on a training course in mid-October. In a strip of garden sandwiched between the road and the driveway were a number of tree stumps sprouting bracket fungi. These were the brackets of two relatively common species.

Brackets of wood decay fungi on stump

Brackets of wood decay fungi on the stump

The most prolific on this stump is Trametes versicolor which is very common on all kinds of decomposing wood in forests, parks and gardens. It is distinctive in its concentric bands of greys and browns and with a pale margin. The underside of the bracket is white to very pale brown and dotted with fine pores which are lined with the cells that produce its spores. The brackets are thinnish, up to about 5mm thick, and leathery.

Trametes versicolor

Trametes versicolor

The other orange bracket is Pycnoporus coccineus which produce thicker more robust bracket than T. versicolor but always fewer in number as in this example. Young fruit-bodies tend to be brilliant orange but with age, they can become paler or with some brown colouring, and may be slightly banded. Again as with the previous species, the underside of the bracket is densely pored.

Pycnoporus coccineus

Pycnoporus coccineus

A week later in Seymour Square in Blenheim (north-east of the South Island) I spotted these large Volvariella gloiocephala (= V. speciosa), or the common scabbard, growing in the perennial flower bed. These are common in flower beds that have been mulched – in this case with pea straw.

Seymour Square

Seymour Square

Volvariella gloiocephala

Volvariella gloiocephala

They usually appear when the mulch is about a year old and are seldom seen after this unless fresh mulch is applied. The distinctive feature of this species is its pink spore print and the large egg-like volva or sack at the base of the stem from which the cap and stem grow out of.

Volvariella 2

Volvariella gloiocephala

I colleague sent me this photo this morning, 22 November, of what he described as cat sick. He found it growing amongst grass in a garden.


This is a slime mould, Fuligo septica, commonly called dogs vomit fungus/mould, scrambled eggs mould, or flowers of tan he found in Strathmore Park, Wellington. The latter is the most descriptive of its habitat where it was often seen fruiting (the ’flower’) on tanbark, shredded bark from which tannins were extracted for the leather tanning industry. In New Zealand, it is often seen fruiting in gardens that have been mulched with bark as in this case. The bright yellow fruit-body will quickly turn into a grey-brown powdery mass.