Friday, 18 March 2016

Counters Gate

After picking up my new fungi books last Saturday, we drove over to Counters Gate near Goodwood for a walk up through the woods of Eastdean Park / Charlton Park heading in the direction of East Dean.
Looking east from the public footpath, into Eastdean Park.

Walking through the coppice woodland (SU8911) the first fungus I came across, growing on hazel, was this:
Not a very good photo, but it's a pale, thin bracket fungus velvety on top with pores on the underside. In a radical break with tradition, I'm not going to say, "Yeah, I think it's Turkeytail." My guess is this is different Trametes species – either T. hirsuta or T. pubescens (if only I knew how to tell the difference).

I'm in a similar fix with this next one. It's the same sort of colour as the previous fungus but has a flatter and smoother fruiting body, and is considerably less hairy. Perhaps this is T. pubescens and the one above is T. hirsuta. They're similar species apparently, but T. pubescens is more "finely silky or velvety".

And then a few I think I can do...
Birch Polypore Piptoporus betulinus
King Alfred's Cakes Daldinia concentrica
Glue Crust Hymenochaete corrugata
The next one puzzled me for a moment, because it was growing in this ear-like form, similar to Jelly Ear Auricularia auricula-judae, but almost black. I think it's actually another example of Witches' Butter Exidia glandulosa; the Collins (illustrated) Fungi Guide says the fruit body is "initially cup- or ear-like" and then grows into the distorted forms I've seen before.

The path eventually comes out into a clearing surrounded by mixed woodland of Beech and Oak (SU8912).

This great windblown Beech looked to be providing some excellent fungi habitat...

... including for this bracket fungus. I reckon this is a Ganoderma but there are several that look alike and are much confused: Artist's Bracket G. applanatum and Southern Bracket G. australe being the two which are most commonly found on Beech. There's also the Beeswax Bracket G. pfeifferi which apparently has a resinous or waxy surface that can be "melted with a lighted match". So, something else I should be carrying around in my bag of fungi-hunting apparatus – a box of matches.

I got quite excited about finding this rich brown crust fungus, growing on Oak, as I think it's another new species for me: Oak Curtain Crust Hymenochaete rubiginosa.

It was growing above head height and the light was low, so another terrible photo...

... but you can see it's growing tightly against the wood where the bark has come off and forming tiers of overlapping brackets, which is right for H. rubiginosa. The book says you should be able to see "fine bristly hairs" on the upper surface, with a hand lens, but I can't.

I also saw lots of this going on another crust fungus the colour of my spare room. I was hypothesising the other week that this might be a Peniophora species. But I've got a new theory this week. The Collins Complete (photographic) Guide says that Glue Crust Hymenochaete corrugata can look similar to resupinate species of Peniophora, so maybe it's that.

Gonna need another bigger book for all these resupinate characters! As well as some microscopy skillz.

For the record
Date: Saturday 12 March
Location: Eastdean Park / Charlton Park, north of Counter's Gate
Grid reference: SU8911 (coppice woodland) and SU8912 (the mixed woodland)
Entered into FRDBI: 13/02/2017


  1. I'm slowly getting to know the Sussex fungi too, and there's this post about a recent trip with Nick:

    and also:


  2. Hi Brad, thanks for sharing those links. Really interesting. Can't wait to get out on some Sussex Fungus Group forays. Although suspect I might find the Autumn field season, when it comes, a tad overwhelming!