07 October 2015

A feast for Fungus Day

It’s prime fungi time here in the Northern Hemisphere and this coming Sunday, 11 October, is UK Fungus Day. So, what better time to share with you some of the incredibly diverse range of fungi I’ve managed to photograph just this week.

And what better location to go fungi spotting than in a place that’s been designated a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), a place that’s fast becoming one of my favourite places in Cardiff for so many reasons, Cathays Cemetery.    

The main reason the cemetery was designated a SINC by Cardiff Council was because of its fungi. At least fourteen species of waxcaps have been found within the grounds of the cemetery – for those with a mycological bent, they are Hygrocybe aurantio-splendens, H. calyptriformis, H. ceracea, H. chlorophana, H. citrinovirens, H. coccinea, H. conica, H. glutinipes, H. intermedia, H. pratensis, H. psittacina, H. punicea, H. quieta and H. virginea. Many of these waxcaps are common but, apparently, Hygrocybe punicea, H. aurantio-splendens, H. calyptrifomis, H. intermedia and H. citrinovirens are all significant finds within the county of Glamorgan in which Cardiff is located.

Fairy rings of waxcaps

Of course, the cemetery doesn’t just have waxcaps. You can also find a selection of the more common fungi found in grassland sites, including ‘fairy’ rings of Blewits (Lepista cf sordida) and Clouded agaric (Clitocybe nebularis). And, just this week, I found some Coral fungi (below), which may or may not be Ramarai pallida – it seems positive identification involves the use of a microscope!

I’m a keen fungi-finder but their identification is always a bit of a mystery to me as I find the photographs and descriptions in most books difficult to relate to what I’m seeing in the flesh, and googling doesn’t often help either. That – and the fact that I am new to Cardiff – are my excuses for not having identified most of the fungi in my photographs. If you can help with their identification, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

In the meantime, I hope you can get out and enjoy some fungi spotting this Fungi Day, and in the weeks to come. And, remember, only eat them if you can positively identify them – many are poisonous, some can kill!

On the left, perhaps Sulphur tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare), and the one on the right looks like one of my omelettes!

A favourite feast for the slugs

I love how these clumps burst from the ground, almost growing before your eyes

A lesson in persistence, as these Common puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) force their way through cracks in a gravel path. 

Possibly Tricholomopsis rutilans, also known as 'Plums and Custard' fungus