Sunday, 10 January 2016

Park Corner Heath foray

This little haul from Park Corner Heath has kept me busy today. I managed to figure some of these out as I was going along, but that round-headed mushroom on the right has proved very tricky.
A quick root around under these Beech trees by the entrance revealed a slender purple mushroom, which I'm pretty sure is an Amethyst Deceiver Laccaria amethystina.
Next stop was this stand of rotting (Turkey Oak) logs which were hiding a small clump of Sulphur Tuft Hypholoma fasciculare

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest this next one is Hairy Curtain Crust Stereum hirsutum, growing on a fallen (deciduous) tree limb.
Another log pile - this time of silver birch - and another fungus that was new to me: Birch Woodwart Hypoxylon multiforme.
Then things got tricky! Michael pointed out this pretty cluster of mushrooms growing at the edge of mixed woodland, under a large birch tree.
I've spent at least an hour with the books this afternoon, but despite much sniffing, poking and measuring I still can't seem to make this mushroom definitively "be" anything.
There are a number of features of interest:
  • Domed ('convex') shape to the cap.
  • Not slimy at all - cap feels kind of like a ping pong ball.
  • Very feintly striped ('striate') around the margin (edge of the cap).
  • Shape of the gills which I think you'd describe as 'adnate'
  • Gills themselves are quite crowded, and pale brown colour
  • Brown spore print
  • Stem ('stipe') is long, straight and hollow; I thought it was reasonably tough to start off with, but it does snap if you bend it at right angles.
  • Stipe also looks a bit powdery at the top, which you can just about see in this photo:
I think it might be something like the Pale Brittlestem Psathyrella candelleana, which is apparently very common, BUT:
  • It doesn't seem THAT fragile.
  • It doesn't look THAT pale.
  • I can't see any remnants of a veil
It looks more like the photo of P. laevissima in Collins' Complete Guide, but the description's not detailed enough for me to call it.

Suggestions welcome!

For the record
Date: 10/01/16
Location: Park Corner Heath
Grid reference: TQ5114
Entered into FRDBI: 13/02/2017

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