Campus fungi, 9th November 2014

Sunday was a sunny, warm and pleasant day so it seemed a good idea to have a forage for late season fungi.  The route took us through the wilderness, along the path from Earley Gate to the Library and then to the cedar trees by Park House.

There was hard frost on Tuesday so I had concerns that there might not be many fungi left.

The Wilderness was first on the walk.  A mixed woodland of oak, chestnut, beech, birch, hazel, holly and assorted conifers with an understory including too much Rhododendron!

An upright but very dead Betula trunk yielded some good specimens of the birch polypore.

On a nearby log, and widely throughout the wilderness on fallen trees, there were several smaller bracket fungi.

Smaller toadstools were also abundant and I still have many to identify.  Here is a selection.

Once out of the wilderness I walked to the centre of campus where the magpie ink caps were still in evidence.

Some of the most fascinating fungi were seen under the Cedar trees by Park House.

Opposite the cedar trees on the sloped garden approaching Park house were several clusters of Ramaria stricta (or similar) that appeared to be growing from the wood chips but may have been on rotting wood underground.

Under a nearby oak was a rather decayed specimen of Hen of the woods.  Without doubt the most disgusting fungus of the day with a wobbly, slimy and wet texture reminiscent of overcooked pasta that has been abandoned for a week.

Xylaria hypoxylon, candle snuff fungus

Xylaria hypoxylon, candle snuff fungus

On entering the Wilderness again several twigs were spotted with candle snuff fungus, Xylaria hypoxylon with its distinctive black and white colours.

On the edge of campus we found Helvella crispa by the path and just off campus a very large and fine Chicken of the Woods.  Having seen both Hand of the Woods and Chicken of the Woods I wonder if there should also be an Egg of the Woods to complete the fowl references?

If you can name the unidentified fungi do please comment below.

About Alastair Culham

A professional botanist and biologist with an interest in promoting biological knowledge and awareness to all.
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