I joined Rachel Bicker and the Gatwick Greenspace gang at Gatwick Wildlife Day yesterday – in the grounds of the Gatwick Aviation Museum.
Conditions were fairly dry, so I had drawn a blank in my hunt for fungi until the orange-yellow speckling on the leaves of this Musk Mallow Malva moschata caught my eye. Another rust fungus!
Here it is under the stereomicroscope.
Ellis & Ellis's Microfungi on Land Plants has provided a promising candidate for the identity of this rust: Puccinia malvacearum. Malcolm Storey has some images of this species on bioimages.org.uk which look like a good match.
Here's what I'm seeing under the microscope.
|Teliospores 100x magnification. Mounted in water.|
|Teliospore 44x magnification. Mounted in water.|
This matches the description of Puccinia malvacearum in The British Rust Fungi (1913) so I think I can claim an identification on this. Ellis & Ellis describe it as "very common".
Interestingly, W.B. Grove had this to say about Puccinia malvacearum, back in 1913:
It had first appeared in Europe less than 50 years before and W.B. Grove commented that "the rapidity of its distribution has few or no parallels among plant diseases."
I wonder what changes in distribution we can expect to see in the 'rare' Puccinia commutata which I found the other day...
For the record
Location: Gatwick Aviation Museum, Charlwood, Surrey (modern administrative & vice county)
Grid reference: TQ250409