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Fungus Foray at Simon’s Wood, Finchampstead – 15 October 2016

Mike Waterman led a fungus identification walk at the National Trust’s Simon’s Wood near Finchampstead on Saturday 15th October. The woodland has tall Scots Pines, with birch, oak, Sweet Chestnut and a few Beech trees. A number of different fungi were found close to the car park, including Brown Rollrim Paxillus involutus, Deceiver Laccaria laccata, Bay Bolete Boletus badius and Amethyst Deceiver Laccaria amethystina. Several specimens of the Parasitic Bolete Pseudoboletus parasiticus were growing on a somewhat-deflated Common Earthball Scleroderma citrinum. A few of the braver members of the group tried testing small fragments of the bright red Beechwood Sickener Russula nobilis for hotness. Later in the walk, the paler pink Birch Brittlegill Russula betularum was found growing under birch. Its cap peeled easily. A large specimen of Beefsteak Fungus Fistulina hepatica was growing on the trunk of a Sweet Chestnut. Rarest find of the day was probably the Conifercone Cap Baeospora myosura which was growing on a pine cone. On the eastern side of the wood, a fallen log was covered with yellow Sulphur Tuft fungi, while several clumps of Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria added a splash of scarlet to the woodland floor. Mike cut open a brown Bolete with a pale black-speckled stem. After several minutes, when it had not changed colour, he was able to confirm that it was Brown Birch Bolete Leccinum scabrum.

The walk continued round the lake. Coal Tits were calling from the trees nearby. A specimen of the pale yellow False Deathcap Amanita citrina was examined. The base of the stem was growing out of a cup-like volva and it had a prominent ring on the stem. A whitish fungus with a mealy smell was identified as The Miller Clitopilus prunulus. Two different kinds of Milk-cap were found – Woolly Milkcap Lactarius torminosus and Oakbug Milkcap L. quietus. Small drops of white fluid appeared when their gills were cut. The route crossed a more open, heathy area, where another member of the Amanita family, A. excelsa var. spissa, was found. Towards the end of the walk, a number of specimens of Chanterelle Cantharellus cibarius were found. Their thick, disorderly gills were compared with the forked gills of the False Chanterelle Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca, which had been seen in some numbers earlier in the walk.

Pictures by Rob Stallard and Laurie Haseler

Species English name
Paxillus involutus Brown Rollrim
Scleroderma citrinum Common Earthball
Laccaria laccata Deceiver
Russula ochroleuca Common Yellow Russula
Boletus badius Bay Bolete
Gymnopus erythropus Redleg Toughshank
Pseudoboletus parasiticus Parasitic Bolete
Gymnopilus penetrans Common Rustgill
Mycena galopus var. galopus Milking Bonnet
Laccaria amethystina Amethyst Deceiver
Russula atropurpurea Purple Brittlegill
Piptoporus betulinus Birch Polypore
Rhodocollybia maculata Spotted Toughshank
Trametes versicolor Turkeytail
Fistulina hepatica Beefsteak Fungus
Boletus cisalpinus
Baeospora myosura Conifercone Cap
Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca False Chanterelle
Gymnopus dryophilus Russet Toughshank
Russula nobilis Beechwood Sickener
Russula fellea Geranium Brittlegill
Biscogniauxia nummularia Beech Tarcrust
Postia subcaesia Blueing Bracket
Hypholoma fasciculare var. fasciculare Sulphur Tuft
Hebeloma crustuliniforme Poison Pie
Russula velenovskyi Coral Brittlegill
Tricholoma fulvum Birch Knight
Amanita muscaria var. muscaria Fly Agaric
Lactarius tabidus Birch Milkcap
Leccinum scabrum Brown Birch Bolete
Amanita citrina var. citrina False Deathcap
Coprinellus micaceus Glistening Inkcap
Clitopilus prunulus The Miller
Lactarius torminosus Woolly Milkcap
Russula nigricans Blackening Brittlegill
Lactarius quietus Oakbug Milkcap
Amanita excelsa var. spissa
Russula betularum Birch Brittlegill
Amanita fulva Tawny Grisette
Cantharellus cibarius Chanterelle
Panellus stipticus Bitter Oysterling

List by Mike Waterman