Sunday, 25 September 2016

Mushrooms in The Mens

A trip to north-west Sussex on Saturday morning to drop off a car-load of colleagues at the start of their #WildestWalk an epic challenge raising funds for Sussex Wildlife Trust.

This seemed like a good excuse to pop into The Mens and have a fossick around for some fungi.

The Mens nature reserve, near Petworth.

I spotted this little beauty growing on a fallen, moss-covered bough. Tough to know what kind of tree it once belonged to probably Beech as that's the predominant species in this part of The Mens.

I'm not too confident identifying mushrooms. There are a lot of them. But this one looked distinctive with it's conical cap and little cinnamon-coloured nubbin on top (which I think I'm supposed to call an "umbo").

Flicking through my Collins Complete (photographic) Guide, it looked a good match for Saffrondrop Bonnet Mycena crocata. But, if it were that, it would bleed saffron-coloured milk when damaged. This seemed too implausible to be possible.

I tried it.

Saffrondrop Bonnet doing what a Saffrondrop Bonnet does.
This happened!

It is indeed a Saffrondrop Bonnet Mycena crocata: a most pleasing discovery.

Now here are all the mushrooms I haven't identified, because I've been too busy being excited about the #WildestWalk.

Some spindly mushrooms
UPDATE 07/10/2016: Showed this photo to Nick Aplin from Sussex Fungus Group and he reckons it's a safe bet calling these spindly mushrooms Garlic Parachute Marasmius alliaceus. This species is well known from The Mens.

Some rounded mushrooms
UPDATE 07/10/2016: Nick also suggested these could be Common Stump Brittlestem Psathyrella piluliformis a widespread and common species found on decaying wood. In another photo (not posted here) you can make out the beige gills which are characteristic of this species.

Some very-high-up mushrooms

A red mushroom – one of the Brittlegills.

That last one could be the Beechwood Sickener Russula nobilis but I didn't examine it closely enough to be sure.

Last but not least, I found a mass of Small Stagshorn Calocera cornea on a fallen branch.

For the record
Date: 24/09/2016
Location: The Mens
Grid reference: TQ0223
Entered into FRDBI: 13/02/2017

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