Walk Report: 01 November 2018 Exbury Fungi foray

A group of 17 met for, what might become, a most enjoyable annual field trip.

Common Puffball  
© Richard Smith
We were welcomed by Linda and Juliet. who in Richard’s absence, were presented with telescopic mirrors by Duncan. These are useful for looking at the underside of fungi (gills/pores, colour and stalk) without the need to pick other than for subsequent identification.  It has to be said, though, that Juliet found an alternative use for the extended mirror – a leader’s stick in the best tradition of cruise ship onshore guides!!

Linda said that it had been a disappointing for fungi at Exbury and, recognising that we had limited time for searching, she had collected a couple of boxes of specimens from the gardens so that the group were aware of those to look for.

Grey Knight 
 © Chris Robinson
For those who think that LBJs (Little Brown Jobs) are challenging in the world of birds, then they are even more difficult in the fungal kingdom! Indeed, with the advances in technology, many species cannot be identified in the field but need either a compound microscope or a DNA analysis!

Fluted Bird's Nest
 © Chris Robinson
However, notwithstanding some of the identification difficulties especially with some of the Webcaps (Cortinarius, the largest macro-fungus genus in Britain), we were able to name many of those we found. The principal ones were Wood Blewit (Lepista nuda), Clouded Funnel (Clitocybe nebularis), Spectacular Rustgill (Gymnopilus junonius), Fluted Bird’s Nest (Cyathus striatus), False Chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca), Amethyst Deceiver (Laccaria amethystina), Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria), False Deathcap (Amanita cirtrina), Butter Cap (Rhodocollybia butyracea), Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum), Grey Knight (Tricholoma terreum), Common Earthball (Scleroderma citrinum), Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasiculare), Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor), Snowy Waxcap (Hygrocybe virginea) and Ganoderma resinaceum. This last one, which has no English name, was the large reddish brown bracket fungus seen on the large oak near the pond.
Ganoderma resinaceum
 © Richard Smith

We had the usual biscuit stop involving milk chocolate digestives – those bemoaning the lack of the dark chocolate variety were ignored!! (Note: stand-in leader needs further staff training! – Editor.)

Before leaving, we were privileged to see the Exbury Collection of Nerine sarniensis, a very attractive, long lasting plant, native to South Africa. Theo, the expert on this species, gave us a brief talk about the plants and the development of the Collection during the past 80 years.  DW