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BROCHURE RACK

Six types of fungi to find in October

world/fungi1111

Ahead of UK Fungus Day on 12 October we asked Stuart Skeates from the British Mycological Society to introduces us to six species that can be spied out on a country ramble this month.

 

FLY AGARIC
AMANITA MUSCARIA

 

This classic toadstool of our imagination with its bright red cap and white spots is found growing with birch trees as the days draw in and autumn rains appear. It is one of many of our larger ‘mycorrhizal’ fungi that provide vital nutrients from the soil for the trees they grow with, in exchange for sugar by wrapping their underground network around the tree roots.

Season: August-November

DEATH CAP
AMANITA PHALLOIDES

 

This beautiful fungus with its greenish yellow cap and white gills gives little hint of its deadly nature, no black and yellow stripes here! After eating, and they are reported to be quite tasty to eat, there may be a short episode of stomach upset followed a few days later by the symptoms of liver and kidney failure, eventually leading to death.

Season: July-November

 

DEVIL’S FINGERS
CLATHRUS ARCHERI

A relative newcomer to the UK that has been spreading across grassland in the south of England over the last half century surprising passers-by with its unearthly appearance. In addition the black slime emits a smell of rotting meat to attract flies which then spread the fungal spores picked up on their feet to new pastures. Human boots may well transfer it in the same way.

Season: June-mid-September

OAK MAZEGILL
DAEDALEA QUERCINA

Only fungi have the ability to break down the wood of fallen trees and recycle the nutrients therein. When trees first appeared on the planet fungi did not have this ability, a situation which led to the formation of coal. This fungus is one of many bracket fungi that can be seen on fallen logs which have been left to rot. It gets its name from its gill-like, labyrinthine pores.

Season: All year round

 


PINK WAXCAP
HYGROCYBE CALYPTRIFORMIS


An iconic fungus of unimproved grassland. Areas of short grassland, typically found in churchyards and stately homes, that are deprived of fertiliser and weedkiller for many years can become a biodiversity hotspot with a rewarding display of brilliantly coloured waxcap fungi. Their easily spotted red, green, orange and yellow waxy or slimy caps brighten up late autumn.

Season: September-November

VELVET SHANK
FLAMMULINA VELUTIPES

 

One of the last fungi to appear in the year, often surviving under snow, the velvet shank, which derives its name from the furry appearance of the bottom of the stem, can also be found in supermarkets – where its cultivated pale form is sold under the name of enokitake. Eating supermarket fungi is both safer for the consumer as well as being more environmentally friendly.

Season: Autumn-early spring

 

 Found out more at www.ukfungusday.co.uk