Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2012

From the top this looks a pale bracket with a green covering of algae. There are lines of brown peeking through the green fibrous/hairy surface, but it could be several different species…. right until I picked one and turned it over. The underside is a wonderful violet near the edge, and it fades to a brown near the wood. Tiers of this small, thin bracket were on a wood pile of Bhutan Pine wood. That underside violet with pores can only be Trichaptum abietinum. I don’t know how long it has been there, I may well have overlooked it before and the wood has been there for a few years, but this is the first time it has been identified in Abney Park.

Link to species notes

Link to photos of fungi and slime mold 2012

Advertisement

Read Full Post »

Cortinarius hinnuleus

This is the first time I have seen this and I am grateful to Justin (Londonfungi) for his help with this. It was growing under hawthorn and oak recently. The cap was radially fibrous, silky smooth and shiny when hydrated. It was a pale orange-yellow colour when dry and darkened to a rich chocolate-brown when hydrated. The gills began the same pale orange-yellow as the cap, but became brighter as they matured. The stem was sinuous and tapered slightly downwards. The veil remnants on the stem and minute wispy fibers on the cap, were whitish. The veil makes it a Cortinarius, as does the microscopic structure.

Link to species notes

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2012

Read Full Post »

I thought this had been recorded in Abney a long time ago, but no. When I found this cap I realised the previous identification was wrong, but this is correct. I am grateful to the Londonfungi guys who helped me out here. It is a tricky area that seems to be still evolving. The cap is short and stout and smells sweet. The cap is a pale tan colour with a white edge. The identification really needs a microscope. There are other caps in Abney Park that look exactly the same but the microscopic details don’t match, and as yet they are unidentified.

Link to species notes

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2012.

Read Full Post »

It’s a while ago now, on 11.11.2012, that these were growing. They are the youngest caps of Coprinopsis marcescibilis that I have seen, and worthy of noting here. The veil is still breaking on the cap edges and the stems are covered with scales, which is a fleeting phase in their appearance. I’ve updated the species notes and added them to the annual photos of fungus and slime molds.

Read Full Post »

I’ve gone a bit overboard taking photos of Abney at the moment. The cemetery looks stunning. The ash trees in the north area have already lost most of their leaves and looked like ghosts this morning, looming in the fog. A lot of other trees are still at their best. It will not last a lot longer, but until the change of weather I can recommend a walk through. (There are more photos here).

Read Full Post »

The colour of caps changes with age. Some darken and some fade. This is one that fades dramatically. I was sent a photo by Kirsten (think you for sending it over to me Kirsten!) who was amazed by the colour, and it is worth putting up here as I have never seen it this colour, even though it appears like this in some of my books. I usually find it faded to a grey/lilac colour or even when it has lost the blue/lilac completely and developed a rosy tinge. The speed of this change took me by surprise.

Link to species notes.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2012.

Read Full Post »

There are 3 Agaricus species in Abney at the moment. Agaricus is the most recognisable group from it being sold so widely in grocer. The pink gills that darken to chocolate-brown, the ring on the stem and the creamy white surface are all distinctive.  The most common Agaricus in Abney is a yellow stainer, Agaricus xanthodermus. Usually it is exactly like the shop bought caps, apart from the tendency to bruise yellow, usually seen by scratching the surface. The bright chrome yellow colour that it can produce is diluted by rain, but is always there. The chemical type of smell is faint. This time I’ve found a cap with a grey/brown surface that breaks into scales. It is still a yellow stainer, but a slightly different appearance.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Another Agaricus at the moment is A. molleri. The cap initially has fibrils on the surface that are the same cream/white as the cap, but withy age they become dark grey. It may be down to a hand lens to see them. The really different feature about them is when they are cut they develop a strong inky/ iodine like smell. It takes a while to come through, but once smelt it is unmistakable. When cut, also, it goes mildly yellow in the base and cap, but it fades to slightly more reddish and areas of the flesh tends to go grey.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

The third Agaricus at the moment is A. osecanus. I had most trouble with this one. The ring is different to the other 2 in having a fibrous inner link from the ring to the stem. The cap surface is a smooth creamy white. Now I have got that I think I will always be able to get this species via a mirror without picking it.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Link to species notes for Agaricus xanthodermus.

Link to species notes for Agaricus molleri.

Link to species notes for Agaricus osecanus.

Link to photos of fungi and slime molds 2012.

Read Full Post »

There is a new ash disease on the go. It began in Eastern Europe and has been crossing through the forests to the other side of the channel where it is lurking, waiting its chance to get over the water. It may have found it. The outbreak in East Anglia is being aggressively treated. In Lincolnshire it has gone through a tree nursery of locally reared saplings. Ashwellthorpe, ancient woodland and a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Norfolk, looks as if it has some trees infected. There is the possibility of the wind blowing spores across the channel to this area. If this is true it would be impossible to stop the disease by programs of felling and containment. Other reports of young trees being infected are emerging In Inverclyde and Moray it has infected newly planted trees a year old, planted as part of a new forest. There are unconfirmed reports from North Wales. A lot of these cases are unconfirmed.

The fungal disease, known as ash dieback, has killed an estimated 9 out of 10, or 19 out of 20 ash trees in Denmark. That’s a serious number of trees. Yet it is still hard to definitively say the fungal cause until the full symptoms reveal themselves. The staining along the bark, the lesions in the bark, the dead withered leaves and then the white tiny cups on stalks that are the fruiting bodies of the fungus when they emerge form the dead wood to spread the spores. Until this happens it is a case of collecting samples of the fungus as it grows through the wood by peeling back the bark and collecting a minute sample from below the leisons, growing it on in the lab and then checking it genetically. It takes time and expertise.

The disease is a fungus disease and it seems to be a genetically separate species from a similar species that has been around for a long time. It has 2 methods of spore production, one sexual and one asexual, and there are 2 names for the 2 types of reproduction. Chalara fraxinea is theanamorph (asexual), where the teleomorph, the sexual reproductive stage, is called Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus. H. pseudoalbidus is identical in field characteristics to H. albidus, which has been around for a very long time but is genetically different. H. albidus is a decayer of twigs and woody debris and does no damage to living trees. H. pseudoalbidus seems to be a new species. How close they are genetically I’ve not been able to find out. Maybe it is a mutation.

The long incubation period makes it more difficult to control.

The impact for Abney, a tiny nature reserve in north London, is as yet unknowable. There is a proportionately large growth of ash in the north part of the reserve. They are mature, beautiful trees, and losing them would change the character of this part of the wood. If the trees do become diseased then change will happen.

There is a management plan already accepted, devised by Russell Miller. It incorporates the idea for thinning and coppicing some trees to create a more diverse population in species and age. Poplar and Elms would be beneficial for the unusual woodland species Abney is trying to encourage. The target species for Abney include the White Letter Hairstreak, which is totally dependant on elms, and a couple of poplar wood loving fungi. They will appreciate continuity of these 2 species

The poplars in Abney are all of a similar age and all are showing their age. They tend to grow quite fast, live fast – die young. They are being maintained by Russell’s regime, being pruned to preserve them as long as possible, and the old trees are exactly what we need for the birds and bats that nest in trees. But there are no young poplars to take their place when they all go. Having a lack of mature trees would not be good. If a lot of poplars die in the next 20 years, newer poplars need to be planted now to take over.

Then there’s the elms – all the elms in Abney are susceptible to Dutch Elm disease. There are mature elms trees around because the beetles have to find the base of the trees in order to get in as part of their life cycle. Unfortunately they carry the disease with them. If the base of the tree is hidden in undergrowth they won’t find it and the tree is safe, at least for a while. Eventually the tree is likely to be found. There are now resistant elms available.

Russell has access to trees that can be planted of a variety of ages. He is many steps ahead of the game already.

So now it is wait and see.

Read Full Post »