Honey Fungus

Members of the Ackworth School Natural History Society carried out a fungal foray in the school grounds this evening.

Honey Fungus

Honey Fungus

They found a number of species but one large clump stood out from the others. We often get clumps of fairly stocky toadstools on tree-stumps in the school grounds but these usually have numerous flecks on their caps and I think that they are of the genus Pholiota. The toadstools found today had smooth off-yellow caps and they had a distinctive yellow ring around each stem. I believe that these are the dreaded honey fungus (Armillaria mellea), a species that can kill shrubs and trees.

Maple Leaves in Autumn

In the grounds at Ackworth School yesterday, I noticed some striking leaves on an ornamental maple tree.

Maple leaves

Maple leaves

Only a section of the tree is affected. The leaves on most of the tree are completely green.

Maple leaf

Maple leaf

I suspect that the markings are the work of a fungus that is taking advantage of the weakening state of the leaves as they begin to shut down for autumn. It will be interesting to see how the infection develops in the next week or two.

Howell Wood Fungi

Encouraged by this week’s talk from David Winnard on “Edible and Poisonous Plants and Fungi or the North-West,” I spent an hour in Howell Wood searching for fungi. Rain in the past few days has increased the chance of finding something interesting.

Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus)

Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus)

Alongside one of the rides, I found quite a few stinkhorn, in all stages of development. The smell from these was pretty obvious, without getting too close.

Candlesnuff fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon)

Candlesnuff fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon)

Most of my identifications of fungi are suggestions only! I believe that these little fungi, growing from a saw-cut in a rotting log are Candlesnuff fungi. They were only a centimetre or two tall.

Earthball (Scleroderma)

Earthball (Scleroderma)

Earthballs growing by the path looked good. I don’t know enough to say which species this Scleroderma was.

Birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus)

Birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus)

On fallen birch, I found this birch polypore. There were many other bracket fungi, large and small. There were also many other fungi growing amongst the moss and leaf litter and I now need to narrow down the identities of these.

Unidentified fungi

Unidentified fungi