18 September 2011

Fungi This Weekend in the Neath and Afan Valleys

It’s been a bit of a slow start, but fungi are now popping up on the coast and in the forests. Fairy Ring Champignon (Marasmius oreades) is present in abundance in the fixed dune grassland on Crymlyn Burrows at the moment (photo below).

Fairy Ring Champignon (Marasmius oreades)

Grassy verges at the edge woodland near Ton Mawr have lots of the Common Cavalier (Melanoleuca polioleuca). Look for the grey brown cap and the twisted, fibrillose, dark-grey stalk. The white gills leave a distinct gap where the stalk meets the cap (photo below). It’s a very common species, but often puzzling and frequently misidentified.

Common Cavalier (Melanoleuca polioleuca)

Sitka Spruce forests are not renowned for their biodiversity, but they are often home to some attractive fungi. The forests around Gyfylchi are good places to look for Fruity Brittlegill (Russula queletti). The beautiful wine-red cap is supported by a stalk that gradually becomes suffused with the same colour. The gills are a pale creamy yellow in mature specimens. It is not a common species generally, but it is frequent in the Sitka Spruce forests of the Afan and Neath Valleys.

Fruity Brittlegill (Russula queletti)

Sheathed Woodtuft (Kuehneromyces mutabilis) is one of the most common toadstools that occur in clusters on decaying tree stumps. Another is Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare).

Sheathed Woodtuft (Kuehneromyces mutabilis)

Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare)

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