23 October 2011

Some of this week's fungi

Here are a few photos of some of the fungi seen in Neath Port Talbot over the last few days, during an otherwise poor season.
Web Caps (Cortinarius species) are to mycologists what the North American Empidonax flycatchers are to birders - a nightmare! They are the largest group of fungi found in Britain and the popular guidebooks contain only a small proportion of the species. A few are deadly poisonous.
Cinnamon Webcap (C. cinnamomeus) is fairly common in our area under birch and conifers. Those in the photo were growing under Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) in Afan Forest Park. The young gills are yellow-orange in colour when young, then go rich brown in colour. The cap usually has a central point (umbo). There are a few closely related lookalikes.

Cortinarius cinnamomeus

Girdled Webcap (C. trivialis) is much less common and grows with willows. But, it is quite distinctive with a slimy cap, a whitish girdle on the stalk and, below this, lots of coarse scales This one was found under Eared Willow (Salix aurita) near Blaengwynfi.

Cortinarius trivialis

Butter Cap (Collybia butyracea) is one of the most common toadstools in local conifer plantations. It has a very greasy (buttery) cap which is dark brown when moist but dries out to a pale colour when dry (as shown in the photo).

Collybia butyracea

Shaggy Scalycap (Pholiota squarrosa) is an almost unmistakable species, covered in brown scales and growing in clusters on dead wood or at the bottom of living trees. It is usually found on the wood of deciduous trees, but these were growing in a Norway Spruce (Picea abies) plantation near Cwmgrach.

Pholiota squarrosa

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