My week in fungi: 2

It has been a fairly normal, busy mummy week with my tot. All the normal chores and toddler chaos thrown in, and play dates outside every day which is good because the playgroups are still out for summer, and the weather is so good.   Although, the week was off to a bad start with an appalling service from an online delivery rhyming with ‘shame-berries’… which stressed me out somewhat, and left me pretty livid about the whole shebang. So I switched to a different online delivery service and peace has now been restored! Anyway… first world problems…

… but seriously, it was a nightmare.  Anyhow, Monday was delightful and I got into town first thing for coffee (yay to coconut flat whites) with a friend and her little tot, and off we went to our Monday morning parent and child music class. My friend always cheers me up just by being her so I felt a lot better from then on!  

So, without further ado, here are a selection of some of my fungi pics from the week…


Beautiful inkcaps, deliquescing away into an inky mess. 

After a lovely morning, we headed back through the gardens, but only along the main pathways toward home, and spotted lots of mulch loving fungi including these frequently seen inkcaps (Coprinellus sp.) but they always catch my eye.

 Clitocybe nuda – Wood Blewit (Well, I think so, but feel free to correct me if you think it may be something else)

These beauties were on leaf litter/mulch beneath a Cypress- I can’t be certain of it because I haven’t seen one before but I am fairly sure. Also I didn’t take one to further identify (Oscar was having a meltdown purely over wanting to see the fish in the Princess of Wales Conservatory and we were almost there when I stopped to photograph these). Their attributes make me think of Clitocybe nuda including the centre of the cap turning brown. Also, when I returned the following day, I noticed the same mushroom had turned completely brown. Quite stocky things with crowded gills. Very pretty lilac and violet colours when young! 


Leucopaxillus giganteus- The giant funnel 

Along with the thriving Clathrus archeri I saw this week,  I found these beauties just a bit away from the bamboo beds, at the very edge of an Oak pit in the gardens on Wednesday evening. The caps of these stunners can reach 10-30 cm or sometimes more! My foot for context (I have size 8 feet). They were pretty large. 

The gills are decurrent, meaning they run down some of the length of the stipe, and the spores are white (you can see in the photo where lots of spore dust is seen on the grass!)

It’s depressed centre is characteristic of this fungi giving it the name ‘giant funnel’. 

So this is an interesting one. I would not have had a clue what this fungus is, so I asked Andy O, and he kindly informed me it looks to be Confistulina hepatica, which is the little-known and anamorphic stage of Fistulina hepatica, Beefsteak fungus. It was on an Oak log, which has been carved into a toadstool at the start of Kew’s log trail. Let’s hope it remains intact a little longer so that Andy can take a look at it! This fab fungus has bright blood-red secretions. I know very little about it at present, although read as much as I could about what is learned of it so far, and am hoping to learn more in time. There is a great article on it in Field Mycology vol 18 from April 2017. 

Confistulina hepatica- look at the liquid that is exuded. Extraordinary! 


Today I met my friend in the gardens first thing- we are making the most of the good weather with our little ones to play outside, feed the ducks etc. The only thing is, my chest was hurting- I think I twisted something in there whilst trampolining last night! Truly hurt though! I literally must have broke my lungs. That’s what it felt like. Clearly I was too vigorous with the twisting in mid-air shenanigans. So that kind of put a slight damper on my day. But we did see this- check this out!

Calvatia gigantea- the Giant Puffball

So this baffled me- my accompanying friend yesterday described it as looking like an ‘elephant poo’. And it really did! Huge! And almost like a big ball of sofa stuffing. Very bizarre. It was sat randomly on the grass near Syon Vista- free rolling so that it can spread its spores. Brown, dusty, no specific odour in my opinion, and when I started to pull a little of it apart, it was really a lot like dusty old stuffing. But it turns out it really is a giant puffball! A very old one and the white skin has come away. I could see faint remnants of old skin on it and my friend found great joy in photographing it too! 

On the way back, I might have bumped into a certain mycologist and author who I was only too happy to meet! And of course point him toward a certain confistulina…  it kind of made my day, so all in all, a ruddy good week! Despite the bouncing injury… 

A lovely late summers day culminated in a play date at the (super busy) park and playground, and a cold drink with a couple of the girls in the nearby pub garden for half an hour or so before heading home ready for the weekend. And there’s the end of the week already. Well they do say time flies when you’re having fun!

Oh, I forgot to add my Volvopluteus gloiocephalus. I keyed it out to species and feel so proud! Thank you Dearest GK key! 

I thought it was beautiful;  pearlescent sheen to the cap which has an obvious umbo. Pink-brown gills and pink spores, free gills and thin volval remains at the base. I found it in mulch beneath a Pinus sp.  in the gardens.

Any thoughts on any of these fungi? And what fungi have you found this week? 

L -x-


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