Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Peniophora sp.?

On my trip to Horton Wood on Monday, searching for Spring Hazelcup Encoelia furfuracea, I came across this dried-out, cracked-up resupinate fungus.

I thought it was growing on Hazel, but my winter tree-identification still leaves a lot to be desired.

One of the things I've found difficult, in getting into fungus recording, is it's very hard to know what you don't know.

Starting out with the Collins Complete (photographic) Guide, I'd have been inclined to call this something like Peniophora cinerea (one of the five Peniophora species that gets a mention in the Collins book)...

However, having recently purchased The Resupinates of Hampshire (2017), I now realise there are 17 different Peniophora species featured in that guide; many of which look, well, rather similar.

So I think I'll leave this here, until  I've learnt a bit more about resupinates.

For the record
Date: 13/02/2017
Location: Horton Wood
Grid reference: TQ208127

This is what Spring Hazelcup habitat looks like

Following the return of Spring Hazelcup Encoelia furfuracea to Hoe Wood earlier this week, as I mentioned here, I thought I'd get out and check the other sites round the village where I found fruiting bodies last year.

Scanning the overgrown hazels which border one of the footpaths to the west of the village, I eventually struck lucky with this one. 

Spring Hazelcup E. furfuracea habitat, New Hall footpath, Small Dole.

Spring Hazelcup E. furfuracea fruit bodies were just emerging from one of the vertical branches.

So that's fruit bodies re-found at two out of three sites where this species occurred last year.

I went on to check the straggly hazel tree where I first found Spring Hazelcup E. furfuracea, in January 2015, but found no sign of it there.

I did, however, find another little outcrop of Spring Hazelcup E. furfuracea growing on one of the old coppice hazels in Horton Wood, here:

Spring Hazelcup E. furfuracea habitat, Horton Wood, Small Dole

Not bad for an afternoon's work.

For the record
Date: 13/02/2017
Location: New Hall public footpath, Small Dole & Horton Wood, Small Dole
Grid reference: TQ20851311 & TQ20801272
Entered into FRDBI: 15/02/2017

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Guess who's back!

I've been periodically returning to the sites where I found Spring Hazelcup Encoelia furfuracea last year to see if I could find any further sign of this charismatic little brown fungus. The fruit bodies disappeared entirely after fruiting and I wasn't sure if they'd come again; 2016 seemed to be a particularly good year for them with my finds around Small Dole and Nick Aplin's find at Tilgate Park, Crawley.

I've seen no sign of E. furfuracea since early spring 2016. Until today! On a quick walk through Hoe Wood with Vivien Hodge, I found these emerging from the same dead Hazel branch where I found them last year. It's back!

Spring Hazelcup Encoelia furfuracea in Hoe Wood, 12/02/2017
I found it here on 20 February last year, so they've re-appeared at a very similar time of year.

This can only mean one thing: time to resume the Small Dole Spring Hazelcup Survey! So far I've found this species at three locations around the village; it seems to favour standing dead Hazel / neglected Hazel coppice. Am keen to see if it crops up anywhere else.

Worth keeping an eye out for it at other sites in Sussex as I believe it's only been recorded in a handful of places in the county.

For the record
Date: 12/02/2017
Location: Hoe Wood [private site]
Grid reference: TQ21821350
Entered into FRDBI: 12/02/2017