Birdwatching in Wagga Wagga


Fungi
May 10, 2010, 7:18 pm
Filed under: Fungi | Tags: , , , , ,

This post has been a long time in coming. Apologies!

The rains in December, February and March brought out a large crop of fungi of various kinds, and now, with the temperature dropping and dew beginning to form, there seems to be a constant supply of unusual and interesting fungus species. A few of the more interesting are shown below.


Resupinatus cinerascens is a tiny fungus – the largest fruiting body being around 1cm in diameter – found on the underside of rotting logs. This particular specimen was found in Wallacetown.

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Coprinus plicatilis is a common but inconspicuous fungus of lawns and gardens. The fruit has an extremely short life, sometimes lasting only a few hours before putrefaction sets in. It occurs in clusters as seen here:
Fairy's Parasols (Coprinus plicatilis)

Fairy's Parasols (Coprinus plicatilis)


Young fruits are only a few millimetres across.

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The genus Calocera contains a number of very similar ‘jelly’ fungi. This specimen was photographed on the side of a rotting log in Ganmain State Forest.

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Geastrum triplex is larger and more attractive than most of the Earth Stars found in the area. It seems to occur in colonies in very wet leaf litter.


This particular colony was found in a wet gully on the northern end of Livingstone National Park.

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This fungus has been tentatively identified as Phylloporus clelandii, one of a group of large, fleshy fungi sometimes referred to as gilled boletes (true boletes have pores rather than gills on the undersurface of the cap). This fungus is, according to Bruce Fuhrer’s field guide, generally uncommon. This particular specimen was again photographed on the northern end of Livingstone National Park.

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Macrolepiota species are very large (around 20cm, in this case) and are found in a variety of locations. The specimens seen here were part of a very large colony found in the grounds of the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens. Despite their size the young fruiting bodies grew very close together:
Macrolepiota sp.

Macrolepiota sp.


Competition for space may explain why many of the fruiting bodies had been uprooted. This particular species – found as it was in a lawn composed of exotic grasses – may not be native to Australia.

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Finally, the bird’s-nest fungus Cyathus stercoreus. This extraordinary species is usually found on herbivore dung – in this case cow. The small ‘seeds’ or ‘eggs’ are called peridioles. These contain the spores and are dispersed by raindrops. This cluster of fruiting bodies was spotted at the Kyeamba TSR (which may recieve a full profile at a later date).

I hope soon to add a post on the autumn-flowering orchids recorded in the area. The bird count remains unchanged.

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24 Comments so far
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Wow, I never knew such fungi existed! What’s the way in which you can tell how edible these mushrooms are? I’ve always pondered that question, and your blog seems like the perfect place for me to pose it! Hope to hear from you soon.

Comment by Promotional Pens

The mycologist A. M. Young refers to it as the ‘try and die’ experience. Most of our knowledge about the edibility of various mushrooms comes from European folklore and doesn’t apply to fungi found in Australia or America or elsewhere. In a laboratory it is possible to test for toxic or psychoactive substances (Alpha-amanitin, for example, or psilocybin) but in the field there is no real way that I know of to determine whether a particular fungus is edible, sadly.

Comment by wwdavid

I think fungus is really beautiful and I really enjoyed reading your blog and viewing the photos.

Comment by Breland Kent

Thank you for the post – so rare to see fungi photographed with so much care and tenderness, almost! I wonder if the Phylloporus clelandii is edible? In Russia, where I am from originally, there is a great culture of knowing about the flora and fungi around you. The names of the trees, bushes, mushrooms, ferns, etc. are common knowledge, as are their uses in medicine, food, and around the home.

After the August rains, folks break out of the cities and head into the forests to gather mushrooms which they eat fresh (but always cooked), smoke, dry, marinade, or pickle. When we came to the States we wanted to continue the tradition here, but the species look a bit different, and we were warned not to eat anything unless we were absolutely sure that it was edible. Here it seems mushroom picking is for the specialist, not for the amateur.

Comment by interpretartistmama

Phylloporus clelandii is probably edible, but I haven’t been able to find any definite information on it. At the very least it doesn’t appear to contain any psychoactive substances.

Australian fungi are not well known: there are probably tens of thousands of species yet to be discovered and formally named. Australia certainly doesn’t have a mushroom culture like in parts of Europe. There are plenty of stories involving people eating mushrooms they thought were edible only to discover that they were hallucinogenic or toxic. I’m not game to eat any of the mushrooms I find, even if I think they might be edible.

Comment by wwdavid

Such beautiful photos, I’ve never even seen most of these forms of fungi. Great work!
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Comment by dennisfinocchiaro

I absolutely love your work really good job!!

Comment by aamedya

Your photos are amazing. Thank you so much for posting these!

Comment by humanitasremedium

Very nice mushroom pics πŸ™‚

Comment by Deina Zartman

Very nice images. Great work.

Comment by Geoff

Resupinatus cinerascens looks great. Call me crazy, but if this was a larger picture I would use it as a wallpaper on my computer ;).

P.S. If you like to laugh, check out http://dontstoplaughing.wordpress.com/ πŸ™‚

Comment by AW

I might make some wallpaper versions. Check back soon!

Comment by wwdavid

some of those are sweet as heck, gee golly i want to eat them and play super mario brothers.

Comment by frigster

Something tells me that these fungi wouldn’t work the way the Super Mario Brothers ones do…

Comment by wwdavid

Beautiful… beautiful fungus. Are they eatable? πŸ˜‰

Comment by Dee

They might be, but I wouldn’t try. Most fungi haven’t been tested for edibility.

Comment by wwdavid

This post is so beautiful! Love the photos. Great job!

Comment by snikelarten

Wow I had never seen the Earth Star variety before!! Awesome!!

Comment by Songbird

I love your pics. I used to live in Wagga once. Was a student at CSU-Riverina. That was like 19 years ago but I do believe Wagga hasn’t lost its charm.

Comment by Manesah Bakar

This blog is very good. Thanks for this. I will bookmark this page…

Comment by unforgiven

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Cheers

Comment by ondiluss

Great to have a name for the weird fungus that just appeared in my garden (Bird’s Nest Fungus). I had dug in some cow manure in that area, so it seems that would be the source; never seen it anywhere else! So when are you going to write a book???

Comment by jane

It’s a funny one, the bird’s nest fungus. I’ve seen it no more than half a dozen times, so it certainly isn’t common.

As for a book – well, everything in this post can be found in books already, written by people who actually know what they’re talking about. I think I’ll leave that to the experts!

Comment by wwdavid

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