14 November 2015

Fungi in grassland

November is a good month to look for fungi in meadows, verges and sand dune grasslands. For example, Meadow Waxcap (Hygrocybe pratensis), which is one of our largest waxcap species, is fairly common on unfertilised garden lawns and in parkland. It's usually a subtle apricot colour (sometimes more orange) and often grows in conspicuous groups which can be spotted from a distance. Like all waxcaps it has rather thick gills which are widely spaced.

Meadow Waxcap, Margam Park

Another conspicuous species which always occurs in large groups, often in roadside verges, is Trooping Funnel (Clitocybe geotropa). It's a tall, robust species, usually beige in colour. Mature specimens have the typical funnel shape exhibited by many Clitocybe species.

Trooping Funnel, Melincwrt roadside verge

Sand dunes are surprisingly good places to look for fungi and our local coastal systems have a very diverse mixture of interesting species. One of the most beautiful is a type of Blewit named Lepista sordida (I don't know if it has a common name). It's similar to Wood Blewit (Lepista nuda), another species which occurs sometimes in grassland and on sand dunes, but it's smaller and has a much more intense lilac colour.

Lepista sordida, Baglan Dunes

Lepista sordida, showing gills

Whiteford Burrows is an excellent place to look for sand dune fungi.


Barry Stewart said...

I like the Lepista and it is surprising what you can find in a lawn. Even the small lawns in our urban garden support a modest suite of grassland fungi; those I’ve managed to identify being Geoglossum cookeanum, Clavulinopsis corniculata, C. umbrinella, Hygrocybe chlorophana, H. conica, H. fornicata, H. irrigate, H. psittacina & H. quieta.

Charles Hipkin said...

That is a really nice list of species Barry.

Hollie Devine said...

Wow another reason baglan dunes should be on my to do list :)