Bucks Fungus Group
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Members’ Finds, Autumn 2020

This page has been developed and introduced to compensate in a very small way for the entire lack of the group’s activities this autumn brought about by the regrettable Covid 19 situation. We would like to encourage members to go out looking for fungi anywhere in the county and send in their photos to share with everyone.

Rare or common, identified or not, it doesn’t matter! We will name it for you if we can (but certainly won’t be able to name everything you send in) and your photos will reflect what is fruiting well at the moment and what others should be looking out for in their local patch.

We’d like as many members as possible to contribute, so please get out there with your cameras / phones and email your photos (do not reduce images in size before sending) to Penny. Please include the site and date of your find together with any other points of interest such as substrate and habitat.


NB    Of necessity, virtually all identifications below have been made from photographs without recourse to checking with a microscope. Those collections for which a scope was used are marked thus . No guarantee to the determination can be given, therefore, unless that symbol is displayed. All photos are checked and selected by Penny. All notes within the text boxes are written by Penny. Please contact her with any queries etc.

Looking for an image of a particular fungus? Try clicking on 'Find a fungus image'. We have hundreds of fungus photographs to share with you, some of species hard to track down in reference books, some with excellent microscopic details illustrated as well.

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For the complete and regularly updated list of entries click Latin or English
Entries with a green background indicate rare sightings
Image Details
Hypoxlyon frangiforme  by Peter Davis September 22nd Hypoxlyon frangiforme (Beech Woodwart)

This common ascomycete was found on its typical host, fallen Beech, in Naphill Common by Peter Davis. There are several different species of Woodwart, all pretty similar, and the easiest way to identify them is by knowing which species fruits on which type of wood. This particular species only grows on Beech and the name 'fragiforme' refers to its bumpy surface which is not unlike that of a strawberry (Latin fragaria). It's always found in swarms, sometimes in large quantities and fruitbodies get no bigger than 1cm across. They start out reddish to cocoa brown and end up almost black when old.

September 21st 2020

Hemileccinum impolitum  by Greg Douglas Hemileccinum impolitum  by Greg Douglas September 21st Hemileccinum impolitum (Iodine Bolete)

Greg Douglas came across this somewhat unusual bolete (previously Boletus impolitus) growing in a grassy path edge under Oak in Little Kingshill. A chunky species with a firm feel to it, the key characters are the pale brown smooth cap (here cracking due to the recent hot sun), very small yellow pores which do not stain blue on pressing and the yellowish stem which tends to taper at the bottom. The common name refers to the unusual smell of iodine which should be checked for if the stem base is cut.
Russula chloroides  by Sarah Ebdon Russula chloroides  by Sarah Ebdon September 21st Russula chloroides (Blue Band Brittlegill)

Sarah Ebdon found this Brittlegill in Bradenham Wood under mixed deciduous trees. This is one of very few white capped Brittlegills which do not blacken when damaged. It's a large species and extremely similar to a few large white Milkcap species, the sunken centre and sloping gills being a feature they have in common. Damaging the gills and watching for milk is key to determining the genus, but if you notice this beautiful and unique turqoise blue band at the top of the stem (see second photo) then you know you have this particular Brittlegill. It is occasional and usually found under Oak.
Cyanoboletus pulverulentus  by Jesper Launder September 21st Cyanoboletus pulverulentus (Inkstain Bolete)

This uncommon bolete was fruiting under Beech and Hazel in Jordans Village, found by Jesper Launder. Superficially similar to the Xerocomus / ellus group of boletes, it differs in turning instantly deep blue not only where pressed on the yellow pores but also (in common with the Scarletina Bolete) when the flesh is exposed to the air. Rather a dry collection here but nevertheless a nice find.)

September 20th 2020

Reticularia lycoperdon  by Paul Goby Reticularia lycoperdon  by Paul Goby September 20th Reticularia lycoperdon (No common name)

This slime mould was first noticed by Paul Goby on a Beech log in Naphill Common two days earlier (see first photo) when at the slimy undeveloped stage and still unidentifiable (ie looking exactly like many others). He was surprised to find how different it appeared today! It is only once a slime mould has dried off and taken its final form that spores and other microscopic features reveal its identity. This particular species, forming a round white blob about 4cm across with a skin which breaks down to allow the brown spore mass to disperse, can be named in the field once at this stage.
Gyroporus castaneus  by Jesper Launder September 20th Gyroporus castaneus (Chestnut Bolete)

Jesper Launder found this uncommon bolete under Oaks at Hodgemoor Wood where it occurs fairly regularly. It is one of the easiest boletes to recognise in the field, having a flattish, firm and smooth chestnut brown cap and a stem to match with pale whitish pores which don't blue when pressed. The stem tends to become hollow and if cut lengthways then shows cavities within. It occurs under Oak and Sweet Chestnut.
Mutinus caninus  by Penny Cullington September 20th Mutinus caninus (Dog Stinkhorn)

This was found in Pullingshill Wood by Penny Cullington, the smaller specimen unusually actually growing out of the top of a mossy log as seen. Much smaller and also less common than our other Stinkhorn, Phallus impudicus - not yet fruiting much this season, this species usually grows in leaf litter and arises from a white 'egg' which ruptures as the stem expands and develops the dark sticky spore-bearing top which has a smell which attracts flies which then disperse the spores. This smell is insignificant in comparison with the extremely unpleasant smell of P. impudicus which can often be located by following ones nose!
Lactarius turpis  by Penny Cullington September 20th Lactarius turpis (Ugly Milkcap)

Penny Cullington found this collection growing under Birch (with which they are host specific) at Pullingshill Wood. The cap colouring and short stem of this common species tend to make it well camouflaged amongst the leaf litter and easily missed. Once a fruit body is turned over the strongly inrolled cap is reminiscent of young specimens of the Brown Rollrim (a completely unrelated species), but the gills are much paler and not decurrent as in that species. Damaging the gills quickly produces copious milk which literally drips from the cap - even today when conditions were extremely dry.
Scleroderma citrina  by Penny Cullington September 20th Scleroderma citrina (Common Earthball)

This collection was growing under Oak at Pullingshill Wood, found by Penny Cullington. Our second Earthball photo, this species is the easiest in the genus to recognise as it's our only yellow Earthball. These were young specimens, only about 4 cm across, but they can get considerably larger and also considerably more roughened and scalier. Note (a) the thick rindlike skin and (b) the contrasting dark inner part even when young, visible in the specimen cut in half, both features which help to separate Earthballs from Puffballs which have a thin skin and are white inside when young (though do go darker inside when mature). Earthballs have a strong rubbery smell whereas Puffballs have a pleasant 'mushroomy' smell.

September 19th 2020

Inonotus cuticularis  by Penny Cullington Inonotus cuticularis  by Penny Cullington September 19th Inonotus cuticularis (Clustered Bracket)

Penny Cullington found this bracket growing on fallen Beech in Penn Wood. This is quite an uncommon bracket and is unusually soft to the touch with a velvety finely hairy upper surface; it tends to grow in overlapping tiers along the substrate. The fine pores underneath have an olive brown tone which glances in the light and bruises darker when you press it, this seen in the second photo here.
Agaricus arvensis  by Penny Cullington Agaricus arvensis  by Penny Cullington September 19th Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom)

Penny Cullington found this collection in a grassy area in Penn Wood. These were good sized fruit bodies with caps about 12 cm across, and under moister conditions they would have gradually stained yellow where damaged. Today's were too dry and showed little change where I scratched them either on the caps or the stem. Note the free gills and ring on the stem visible in the second photo.
Tylopilus felleus  by Penny Cullington Tylopilus felleus  by Penny Cullington Tylopilus felleus  by Penny Cullington September 19th Tylopilus felleus (Bitter Bolete)

An occasional bolete, this collection was growing under Douglas Fir in Penn Wood, found by Penny Cullington. On first noticing the large caps, about 13 cm across, she thought she'd found Boletus edulis but turning one over revealed the pores turning a shade of pink, especially where damaged, and the marked reticulation on the stem, both features diagnostic of the Bitter Bolete (which, also unlike B. edulis, has a bitter taste as the name suggests). Though under conifer today, it more often occurs under deciduous trees, especially Beech.
Coprinopsis atramentaria  by Penny Cullington September 19th Coprinopsis atramentaria (Common Inkcap)

This collection was found growing in grass at Penn Wood by Penny Cullington. Quite a large Inkcap (the largest caps here were about 5 cm across), it quickly matures and then deliquesces (dissolves into a black mess). The two older fruit bodies either side were well passed their sell-by date and left Penny's hands suitably black.
Scleroderma verrucosum  by Paul Goby Scleroderma verrucosum  by Paul Goby September 19th Scleroderma verrucosum (Scaly Earthball)

Our first Earthballs of the season, this collection was found by Paul Goby in Naphill Common growing in soil under mixed trees. Often mistaken for Puffballs, there are three common species of Earthball, all associating with deciduous trees. Differences to look for: Earth balls are never white when young, are either yellowish or brown from the start and have a thick tough outer skin, usually roughened or scaly, are not pear-shaped and are dark inside (if cut open), not white - even when young, and are generally less regular in shape. S. verrrucosum has a distinct stem, seen here in the detailed photo where the cap is splitting open as a result of the aging and drying out. (Those with sharp eyes will notice the dead Holly leaf - top right - with little black spots. These are the ascomycete Phacidium lauri, previously P. multivalve.)

September 18th 2020

Pluteus cervinus  by Paul Goby Pluteus cervinus  by Paul Goby Pluteus cervinus  by Paul Goby September 18th Pluteus cervinus (Deer Shield)

This genus has been conspicuous by its absence so far this season. Paul Goby found this specimen growing on soggy rotting wood in Naphill Common. The commonest of about 20 species of Shield, all of which need wood in some form on which to grow, it displays well the diagnostic features of the genus: crowded convex gills which start pale but gradually turn pink, also the lack of gill attachment to the top of the stem (called 'free'), a character shared also by Agaricus, Amanita and Lepiota & related genera. The cap of today's singleton was about 10 cm across. Note the free gills visible when the fruit body was split, also their pinkish colour and shape when it was upturned.
Fuligo septica var. flava  by Paul Goby September 18th Fuligo septica var. flava (No common name)

Our first Slime Mould photo of the season, this bright patch of yellow, about 3 cm across, caught Paul Goby's eye at Naphill Common, fruiting on fallen Beech. Slime Moulds (Myxomycetes) are in fact not fungi but are a Kingdom in their own right. However, mycologists tend to treat them as honorary fungi and record them. Very few slime moulds have common names, even really common species like this one. Few are nameable when at the early 'slimy' stage but this species is one of the exceptions: the dazzling yellow colour when fresh and in good condition is unmistakable.
Amanita virosa  by Penny Cullington Amanita virosa  by Penny Cullington September 18th Amanita virosa (Destroying Angel)

This distinctly northern species is known from extremely few sites in S. England, and was found today, new to the county, at Hodgemoor Wood by Paul Cullington under Beech (photos Penny Cullington) - the find of the season so far for Penny. This Amanita has a pure white cap which is smooth, silky and sticky (unusual for the genus), a stem with a large white ring (not yet visible here) and a large white floppy fragile volva (much in evidence here). This immature singleton had no gills visible and on close inspection they were covered by the ring which still adhered to the cap and had not yet dropped to the stem. The definitive test to confirm the identity of this rarity (quite frequently claimed but practically always in error for A. citrina, particularly the completely white form of that species) is to place a drop of the chemical reagent KOH on the cap which uniquely turns instantly bright yellow (see second photo for the proof!). (See also A. citrina for comparison, dated today.) THIS SPECIES IS DEADLY POISONOUS
Amanita crocea  by Penny Cullington September 18th Amanita crocea (Orange Grisette)

It's always a delight to find this beautiful species which was today growing under Birch at Hodgemoor Wood found by Penny Cullington. Similar in shape to a large Amanita fulva, this Amanita has a cap of saffron-orange, darker at the centre and finely striate at the edge where paler, cream gills and a graceful stem lacking a ring but with faint saffron flocks and a large white floppy loose volva, easily damaged on collection. It is host specific with Birch though apparently occasionally found under Beech.
Amanita citrina  by Penny Cullington September 18th Amanita citrina (False Deathcap)

One of our commonest Amanitas, this has been in evidence in several woods recently but usually somewhat shrivelled in the heat. At Hodgemoor Wood Penny Cullington found some reasonably fresh fruit bodies growing under Beech. Note the lemon yellow caps with hint of green typically having flecks of veil which rub off easily, the white gills and stem with a skirtlike ring and prominent bulblike volva at the base. The acidic and striking smell of potato peelings of this species is particularly significant because it serves to separate the species from the two deadly species with which it can at times appear very similar. Note here the largest LH cap which has greenish tones and no veil flecks, appearing extremely reminiscent of the Deathcap (very common at the moment). However, that species has a sweet sickly honey-like smell, also a volva with a clear gutter (see photo dated 13th). The Destroying Angel (equally deadly but extremely rare in the south) has a similar smell to Deathcap (but see more on this species, dated today!)
Gymnopilus junonius  by Penny Cullington September 18th Gymnopilus junonius (Spectacular Rustgill)

Paul Cullington found this beautiful fresh young cluster growing on submerged roots of Beech in Hodgemoor Wood (photo Penny Cullington). The largest cap here was about 4cm across but when fully expanded the cap can get to 15cm or more. Note the rusty gills and very distinctive ring on the stem, also the lack of really distinct scales on the cap which if present would point to the similar genus Pholiota, often large and fruiting in clusters at the base of trees. This species occurs on dead wood or roots of deciduous trees.
Lactarius torminosus  by Penny Cullington September 18th Lactarius torminosus (Woolly Milkcap)

Penny Cullington found this attractive species in Hodgemoor Wood under Birch with which it is host specific. Once you've realised this is a Milkcap (by damaging the gills and watching for the milk) this is an easy Milkcap to identify with several distinguishing features: Firstly the host tree, then the pink zoned cap with rather rough surface, then if a young specimen is available note the tightly inrolled and hairy cap margin when viewed from underneath. All these features are visible here except for the milk on the gills! This can happen when conditions are just too dry. There is a similar Milkcap with nearly all the same features (also host specific with Birch) to be aware of: L. pubescens. This, however, is very pale pink with less zoning apparent.
Russula nigricans  by Penny Cullington September 18th Russula nigricans (Blackening Brittlegill)

A common Brittlegill usually but not exclusively under deciduous trees, this collection was found by Penny Cullington at Hodgemoor Wood under Beech, its commonest host. This is a large and solid Brittlegill, getting to 15cm across or more. It starts out with a whitish cap but soon darkens, eventually ending up entirely black (hence the common name). It has the widest spaced gills in the genus - a key feature especially as there are several others which look superficially similar from above but have crowded gills. If you collect one, break it open, retaining it for 15 to 30 minutes, and watch the damaged flesh turn first red and then gradually black.
Tricholoma fulvum  by Penny Cullington September 18th Tricholoma fulvum (Birch Knight)

Our first Knight of the season, this was found by Penny Cullington at Hodgemoor Wood under Birch with which it is host specific. Features to note as well as the host tree nearby: the fulvous brown smooth cap, pale yellow gills and a brownish stem which if broken open reveals pale yellow flesh and becomes hollow as it matures. It is quite common wherever Birch occurs.
Fomitopsis betulina  by Penny Cullington September 18th Fomitopsis betulina (Birch Bracket)

A very common bracket wherever there are Birches, with which it is host specific, this was found by Penny Cullington on a fallen Birch log in Hodgemoor Wood. Much more familiar by its older name of Piptoporus betulinus, it has tiny white pores underneath and grows on both fallen and living trunks and branches and is one of the easiest fungi to recognise.
Xerocomellus engelii  by Penny Cullington Xerocomellus engelii  by Penny Cullington September 18th Xerocomellus engelii (No common name

Penny Cullington found this collection under Oak at Hodgemoor Wood. Previously known as Boletus (also Xerocomus) communis, it is closely related and extremely similar to a range of tricky boletes which many mycologists now shy away from naming to species. The name Red Cracked Bolete of old is not necessarily Xerocomellus chrysenteron as many think: several other species can develop a similar cracked cap, including today's species. Furthermore, blueing pores and flesh are helpful pointers but in themselves are not sufficient to ascertain the species. X. engelii, despite having no common name, is a common species under Oak, the cap is often flat and café-au-lait in colour. If sliced lengthways the stem base shows varying degrees of orange as dots or patches - a feature which helps to separate it from others. Penny felt sufficiently happy about this particular determination but, as many of you know, she regularly declines to commit to a specific name with this group of mushrooms
Gymnopus fusipes  by Penny Cullington September 18th Gymnopus fusipes (Spindle Toughshank)

Better known as Collybia fusipes, this was fruiting in abundance at the base of Oaks in Hodgemoor Wood and found by Penny Cullington. It's not uncommon in mature woodlands and also occurs under Beech. The species name translated is a useful character, ie the stem bases tend to fuse together (as seen on the left here) and this character together with the fulvous brown caps and tightly clustered habit are the main clues to its identity.

September 17th 2020

Russula vesca  by Penny Cullington Russula vesca  by Penny Cullington Russula vesca  by Penny Cullington September 17th Russula vesca (The Flirt)

Penny Cullington found this surprisingly fresh singleton under Oak at Cadmore End. Yet another red capped Brittlegill, this one is described as the colour of smoked gammon though the caps can sometimes be much paler than this particular singleton specimen. (See third photo of a collection found two days later in Penn Wood.) Another useful field clue to look for is the way the cap cuticle (coloured surface) starts to retract at the margin, increasingly with age, thus leaving a thin white rim where the gills show through - hence its imaginative common name suggesting a lady saucily showing her white petticoat! A more technical feature: a crystal of Ferrous Sulphate rubbed on both stem and gills quickly turns intensely smoked salmon pink (only one other species reacts like this but it has a green cap - R. heterophylla). Both the petticoat effect and the crystal reaction are visible in the second and third photos. (Remember: smoked gammon and smoked salmon!)

September 16th 2020

Cortinarius alboviolaceus  by Jesper Launder September 16th Cortinarius alboviolaceus (Pearly Webcap)

This young collection was just emerging under Beech at Hodgemoor Wood, found by Jesper Launder. This is one of the trickiest and largest genera with over 600 species known in the UK and many more still to be identified. Relatively few are nameable in the field but this is one, being evenly bluish white all over with a silky dry cap. Note the meshlike 'cortina' joining cap to stem in the middle specimen but just breaking away on the LH specimen to reveal the rusty gills and spores. If cut open this species has violaceous flesh throughout. It is uncommon and found in mixed deciduous woodland.
Russula grisea  by Jesper Launder September 16th Russula grisea (No common name)

Jesper Launder found this beautiful collection in Jordans Village growing under Hornbeam. This species is one of several common Brittlegills which frequent deciduous woods and have caps a mix of pink, lilac and green tones together with pale cream gills and white stem. Consequently they are not easy to separate in the field with any certainty. Using chemical tools, as Jesper has on the top right specimen, is the best way: A crystal of Ferrous Sulphate rubbed on the stem in most Brittlegills turns varying degrees of rusty orange. (See also comments on R. vesca dated Sept 17th). R. grisea has the strongest almost pink reaction of the three species with similar cap colours (the fourth, R. cyanoxantha, reacts hardly at all and if so turns pale greyish green). The blue stain on the top right specimen has been caused by testing with a drop of Guaiac - another very positive reaction.
Hygrocybe quieta  by Jesper Launder September 16th Hygrocybe quieta (Oily Waxcap)

This collection was found by Jesper Launder in a grassy patch in Hodgemoor Wood. A typical brightly coloured waxcap, this species is not always easy to separate from others. The yellowish caps combined with orange gills and stem are good characters, but the smell if detected is the clincher in the field and gives rise to the common name. If your bruise the flesh or cut it, it has a distinctive oily rubbery smell very similar to Lactarius quietus (Oak Bug Milkcap) - not helpful, of course, unless you are familiar with that species!
Coprinus comatus  by Greg Douglas September 16th Coprinus comatus (Shaggy Inkcap / Lawer's Wig)

Greg Douglas found this instantly recognisable Inkcap species growing in litter in Widmore Wood. The two apt common names describe it well though like many of the genus it quickly deteriorates and within 24 hours ends up as a black puddle!
Macrolepiota konradii  by Penny Cullungton Macrolepiota konradii  by Paul Goby September 16th Macrolepiota konradii (No common name)

This nice collection was found in Penn Wood in grassy litter by Penny Cullington. Clearly similar to M. procera (Parasol) having the same snakeskin stem markings with mobile ring and swollen base, the cap has distinctly different markings. Note the smooth darker central zone which becomes torn with much paler barely scaly outer half. (The second photo shows another example, cap 17 cm across, found by Paul Goby in Naphill Common two days later.) However, compare with M. mastoidea (photo dated Sept 10th) and characterised by its prominent nipple-like central umbo - a feature not found in other species of this genus. Some authorities claim that M. konradii should be synonymised with M. mastoidea, but as M. konradii (as photoed here) appears to be almost the commonest of the genus in this area, Penny wishes to continue recording it under that name until definitely proven incorrect!
Kuehneromyces mutabilis  by Penny Cullungton September 16th Kuehneromyces mutabilis (Sheathed Woodtuft / Two-tone Pholiota)

This typical dense cluster was found growing on fallen deciduous wood in Penn Wood by Penny Cullington. An attractive species, it quickly develops the two-tone effect with a paler central zone as it dries out - a key character. That together with the stem having a ring zone and the clustered habit on deciduous wood make it quite an easy species to recognise. (It is in fact close to the genus Galerina and not the genus Pholiota, hence its relatively new common name, though it seems a shame not to have retained the descriptive 'Two-tone' in the name.)
Lycoperdon perlatum  by Penny Cullungton September 16th Lycoperdon perlatum (Common Puffball)

One of our commonest woodland fungi, this collection of fresh material was found by Penny Cullington in litter under Beech in Penn Wood. Note the pyramidal warts covering the surface, a feature missing from the Stump Puffball - our other really common woodland species (see photo dated Sept 13th for comparison). These warts rub off easily, leaving a meshlike pattern beneath. Though white when young, the fruit bodies turn gradually pale then darker brown when reaching the spore-puffing stage.
Hypholoma fasciculare  by Penny Cullungton Hypholoma fasciculare  by Penny Cullungton September 16th Hypholoma fasciculare (Sulphur Tuft)

This very common species seems to have only just started fruiting around here this season - both collections here were found on and around fallen wood by Penny Cullington in Penn Wood. Usually growing clustered and never far from some sort of wood, this is a species which will fruit at any time of year on many different types of wood. These two collections look superficially like two different species. Like many dark-spored mushrooms, when young the gills can be pale (sulphur yellow in this case) and only darken as the mature spores develop and then start falling. Note also in the mature specimens the cap edge which typically develops black patches. THIS SPECIES IS VERY POISONOUS!
Suillus grevillei  by Penny Cullungton September 16th Suillus grevillei (Larch Bolete)

This collection was found by Penny Cullington under Larch at Penn Wood. Our previous photo (dated Sept 7th) was of a singleton specimen so today's varied collection, showing young specimens with the ring still unformed and thus hampering one from deciding upon gills or pores at this stage, is worth including. Prior to finding the mature specimens here and because the cap underside was still concealed, it was suspected that this was possibly a species of Gymnopilus (which has gills). All was revealed once a specimen with pores was found and the Larch substrate noted.
Russula aurora  by Penny Cullungton September 16th Russula aurora (Dawn Brittlegill)

Not to be confused with the similarly named and rare R. aurea (see photo dated Sept 13th), this fairly common Brittlegill was found in Penn Wood under Beech by John Catterson and Penny Cullington. Yet another species with red tones in the cap, this one has peach pink tones with a paler cream centre which is often slightly sunken. It has a pure white rather fragile stem and the gills are pale cream. (In some texts this is named Russula velutipes to add to the confusion!)
Russula ochroleuca  by Penny Cullungton September 16th Russula ochroleuca (Ochre Brittlegill)

Probably our commonest Brittlegill, this collection was made at Penn Wood by Penny Cullington under mixed deciduous trees. This is not a fussy species and occurs under many trees, both deciduous and coniferous. Note the cap is rather dirty yellow with ochre tones in contrast to the bright yellow R. claroflava (see yesterday's photo). Another yellow species with which it is often confused is R. fellea (Geranium Brittlegill, host specific with Beech and not yet spotted this season). Note the white gills and stem of R. ochroleuca which clearly contrast with its cap colour, also it has no noticeable smell; in R. fellea the gills and stem are cream, not white, offering little contrast with the cap, also it has a sweet smell of stewed apple or Pelargonium leaves - hence its common name.

September 15th 2020

Rhodocollybia maculata  by Penny Cullungton September 15th Rhodocollybia maculata (Spotted Toughshank / Cocoa Spot)

Penny Cullington found a large patch of this quite common species fruiting under Pine at Burnham Beeches. More familiar as Collybia maculata, its key characters are the white cap which develops chocolate spots as it matures (hence its older but more descriptive common name), its very crowded and tightly packed white gills and the rubbery flexible stem typical of what used to be the genus Collybia (now split into either Rhodocollybia or Gymnopus). It mostly occurs under Pine but also under deciduous trees.
Butyriboletus appendiculatus  by Penny Cullungton Butyriboletus appendiculatus  by Penny Cullungton September 15th Butyriboletus appendiculatus (Oak Bolete)

This quite rare bolete (previously in the genus Boletus) was found by Penny Cullington under Beech at Burnham Beeches where it appears to be new for the site. This is a firm fleshed bolete, as in B. edulis, with a brown cap, very small yellow pores which blue when pressed and a cylindrical yellow stem marked with a fine concolorous network and darker brownish towards the often rooting base. Though the common name might suggest otherwise, this species can apparently occur under Oak, Beech (as here), Lime and Hornbeam.
Leccinum aurantiacum  by Penny Cullungton Leccinum aurantiacum  by Penny Cullungton September 15th Leccinum aurantiacum (Orange Bolete)

One of the few species of Leccinum to grow with trees other than Birch, this species was found under Oak at Burnham Beeches by Penny Cullington. The foxy orange cap with rather uneven but firm surface together with the occurrence under Oak or Poplar separate it from other Leccinum species. The species has the typical pale pores and stem with dark scabers which characterise the genus though in this case the scabers are tinged with the foxy orange cap colour. An occasional species but not rare.
Imleria badia  by Penny Cullungton September 15th Imleria badia (Bay Bolete)

More familiar as Boletus badius, this common bolete was found under Birch and Pine at Burnham Beeches by Penny Cullington. It has a smooth brown cap which can be sticky when moist, lemon yellow pores which turn blue instantly when pressed and a cylindrical stem with similar brown colours to the cap. The stem colour and lack of cracking of the cap together with the instant blueing are usually sufficient characters to make an identification in this difficult group of species, many of which appear superficially extremely similar.
Amanita fulva  by Penny Cullungton September 15th Amanita fulva (Tawny Grisette)

This common species was widespread today under mixed deciduous trees at Burnham Beeches, found by Penny Cullington. A delicate Amanita, the stem tapers upwards, lacks a ring and has a flimsy volva which is easily damaged on collection and is tinged with the fulvous brown of the cap. The cap is shiny, has a striate edge and can sometimes have remnants of white veil (not seen in the photo here). There are other less common but similar species of Amanita which lack a ring; note the intense cap colour, brown tints on the volva and lack of markings on the stem to separate this particular species.
Paxillus involutus  by Penny Cullungton September 15th Paxillus involutus (Brown Rollrim)

One of our commonest woodland mushrooms, this is just beginning to appear now and was found at Burnham Beeches under Birch by Penny Cullington. It is sometimes not easy to distinguish from other brown capped mushrooms because the diagnostic tightly inrolled cap margin of the species is gradually lost as it expands - eventually completely lost as seen in the upturned specimen. Look for young fruitbodies, therefore, and also note the decurrent gills and brown bruising which occurs when damaged. This species can sometimes get very large with caps up to 15 cm across or more.
Fomes fomentarius  by Penny Cullungton September 15th Fomes fomentarius (Hoof Fungus)

Penny Cullington found this aptly named and quite rare bracket growing on fallen Birch at Burnham Beeches. A few years ago this species was hardly known in the south though was quite common in Scotland and N. England - always on Birch. It now seems to be spreading rapidly south and is recorded from several sites in the county but is still considered a rarity.
Russula velenovskyi  by Penny Cullungton September 15th Russula velenovskyi (Coral Brittlegill)

Penny Cullington found this collection under mixed deciduous trees at Burnham Beeches. One of the many red-capped Brittlegills, the cap of this species has subtle brick to orange or coral red tones and is usually distinctly paler in the centre where often slightly domed. Note also the slight pink flush on the stem sometimes present and seen here on the central young specimen. It is fairly common under deciduous trees, particularly Oak.
Russula aeruginea  by Penny Cullungton September 15th Russula aeruginea (Green Brittlegill)

Penny Cullington found this collection under Birch at Burnham Beeches. There are several green-capped Brittlegills which are quite common in deciduous woodland. Characters to look out for in this species are the rusty spots which can usually be found on the cap (here seen on the immature specimen) and the cream rather crumbly gills. The somewhat similar R. heterophylla (Greasy Green Brittlegill) has much more flexible gills, but the safest way to split them in the field is by rubbing a Ferrous Sulphate crystal on the stem which turns it weakly rusty in R. aeruginea (seen on the upturned specimen) but instantly strongly salmon pink in R. heterophylla.
Russula claroflava  by Penny Cullington Russula claroflava  by Penny Cullungton September 15th Russula claroflava (Yellow Swamp Brittlegill)

Penny Cullington found this collection under Birch (with which the species is host specific) at Burnham Beeches. There are several yellow capped Brittlegills but this species is by far the brightest yellow and should not be confused with others, particularly with R. ochroleuca (Ochre Brittlegill) which is our commonest yellow species. If you think you've found R. claroflava, scratch the stem and within an hour or two the scratch will turn first pinkish and then grey-black - this is the only yellow species to show this colour change (see second photo).
Trametes gibbosa  by Paul Goby Trametes gibbosa  by Paul Goby September 15th Trametes gibbosa (Lumpy Bracket)

Paul Goby found this common bracket on the end of a felled Beech trunk in Naphill Common. The pale zoning on the top is typical, also the green algi which is just beginning to develop (often a useful clue to identification). The flesh is extremely tough making it difficult to remove from the substrate and the pores below have a maze-like almost gill-like appearance, visible in the piece Paul cut off to show this diagnostic feature.
Coprinopsis picacea  by Toni Standing September 15th Coprinopsis picacea (Magpie Inkcap)

This is perhaps our largest and most distinctive Inkcap in appearance and was found by Toni Standing in deciduous litter in Bradenham Wood. The common name is apt, describing the large white patches of veil which adhere to the dark cap beneath, and it has a thick sturdy stem with a somewhat swollen base, also a very nasty smell. By the next day the cap would have been deliquescing with drops of black 'ink' dripping from its upturned cap margin.
Cortinarius collocandoides  by Margaret Bolton Cortinarius collocandoides  by Margaret Bolton Cortinarius collocandoides  by Margaret Bolton September 15th Cortinarius collocandoides (Bruising Webcap)

Our first Webcap of the season, this beautiful fungus was found under Beech in Moorend Common by Margaret Bolton where it comes up every year and has been previously identified by expert Geoffrey Kibby. Note the rusty spores of the genus visible both on the mature gills and where they've typically fallen onto the stem, also the 'cortina' (weblike mesh of fibrils) which join the cap to the stem before it expands - visible in the very young specimens. Finally note the purple stem flesh of this species when damaged (hence the name 'bruising') and visible in the largest upright specimen.

September 13th 2020

Ramaria flava  by Andrew Padmore Ramaria flava  by Andrew Padmore September 13th Ramaria flava (no common name)

Richard Fortey found this very rare coral fungus in litter under Beech at Pullingshill Wood (photo Andrew Padmore), a new species for Bucks with extremely few recent records in the UK. We commonly find Ramaria stricta (Upright Coral) in our woodlands and can identify it in the field but seldom find other species of the genus, all of which need careful work with a scope to identify here undertaken by Richard.
Amanita ceciliae  by Penny Cullington Amanita ceciliae  by Sarah Ebdon Amanita ceciliae  by Sarah Ebdon September 13th Amanita ceciliae (Snakeskin Grisette)

This quite uncommon Amanita has turned up in several sites this week though often as singletons. Here we have a doubleton from Rushbeds Wood growing under Hazel (Penny Cullington, Sept 10th) and a singleton from Bradenham Wood under Beech (Sarah Ebdon, Sept 13th). This is one of a group of Amanita species which lack a ring and have crumbly easily collapsible volvas at the stem base. A. ceciliae has notably large dark greyish veil patches on the cap, the grey tones also developing on the lower stem and volva as it matures.
Xylaria polymorpha  by Penny Cullington September 13th Xylaria polymorpha (Dead Man's Fingers)

Penny Cullington found this young collection of fruit bodies growing on fallen Beech at Pullingshill Wood. A common ascomycete, though very different from the softer fleshed cup fungi which are also in this Order of fungi, the solid black fruit bodies are covered with tiny ostioles (holes) through which the spores are forcibly expelled. The white structure within can be seen on the right hand fruit body which has been split open.
Mucidula mucida  by Sarah Ebdon Mucidula mucida  by Paul Goby September 13th Mucidula mucida (Porcelain Fungus)

This beautiful and common species (the genus name of which has only recently changed from Oudemansiella) was found on Beech in Naphill Common independently by Sarah Ebdon and Paul Goby. Sarah's photo shows how when viewed from below the cap is almost translucent (like porcelain), the gills are widely spaced and the ring is grey. Paul's photo shows another key feature: the slimy coating on the cap. It occurs on both fallen and living Beech, often way up in the canopy, and can cause problems with identification when mature specimens fall from a height to the ground and thus appear to be ground dwelling rather than wood dwelling.
Lactarius blennius  by Penny Cullington September 13th Lactarius blennius (Beech Milkcap)

This collection was found by Penny Cullington under Beech in Pullingshill Wood. One of our commonest milkcaps and host specific to Beech, it is easy to recognise if one notes the darker droplet-like blotches on the pale olive grey background - however, they are not always as obvious as in these specimens. Note also the cream gills with (usually) copious milk which turns greenish olive as it dries - this can take anything from a few minutes to half an hour.
Rubroboletus legaliae  by Richard Fortey Rubroboletus legaliae  by Richard Fortey September 13th Rubroboletus legaliae (no common name)

A rare species of bolete (previously in Boletus), this was found by Richard Fortey under Beech / Oak in Pullingshill Wood, then shown to Penny Cullington for whom it was a new species - new to Bucks. As the Latin name suggests, this is another bolete having unusually coloured pores and is very similar to (possibly sometimes mistaken for) the even rarer Rubroboletus satanas (Devil's Bolete). The pale ivory cap tends to develop pink tones (these became apparent after collection) - not present in R. satanas, the gills have orange tones rather than red and the stem is less clavate in shape - prominently clavate in R. satanas.
Russula aurea  by Penny Cullington Russula aurea  by Penny Cullington September 13th Russula aurea (Gilded Brittlegill)

This rare and stunning Brittlegill, new to Bucks, was found under Beech at Pullingshill Wood by Penny Cullington (for whom it was new). Unmistakeable in the field, the intensely bright cap colour together with gill edges flushed golden yellow (a unique feature in the genus) alert one straight away that this is something unusual. The stem tends to flush yellow also. Sadly there was only one specimen.

September 12th 2020

Fistulina hepatica  by Paul Goby Fistulina hepatica  by Paul Goby September 12th Fistulina hepatica (Beefsteak Fungus)

This unusually double-headed specimen was found on a Beech log in Naphill Common by Paul Goby. Often fruiting at this time, the species is more commonly found on living Oak. The two views seen here were taken from directly above and directly below the specimen, the fine pores visible on the underside being the fertile surface from which the spores drop.
Otidea alutacea  by Penny Cullington September 12th Otidea alutacea (Tan Ear)

Mistaken in the field for a species of Peziza, this collection was found under Lime at Turville Heath by Penny Cullington and the genus was not apparent until examined with a scope. . As the tell tale field difference between the two genera was not obvious (i.e. the split on one side, missing in Peziza) it was assumed that here were two adjacent specimens of Peziza. Not so. Spore shape, size and smoothness together with other microscopic clues eliminated Peziza, and on closer inspection the somewhat obscure split in fact can be seen.
Amanita muscaria  by Penny Cullington September 12th Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric) with Chalciporus piperatus (Peppery Bolete)

These two species were found fruiting together under Birch at Turville Heath by Penny Cullington. An easily recognisable Amanita (and one of our most familiar fungi) it grows under Birch (and very occasionally under other trees) and is quite often found close together with this particular bolete as here. However, C. piperatus can also be found fruiting separately under other trees. Note its soft brown cap, cinnamon brown pores and bright lemon flesh in the lower stem - all good field characters. Amanita muscaria is DANGEROUSLY POISONOUS .
Lactarius quietus  by John Catterson September 12th Lactarius quietus (Oak Bug Milkcap)

One of our commonest Milkcaps, this species was found by John Catterson fruiting under Oak, its host tree, at The Common, Cadmore End. Once you've noted that it's a Milkcap in the field by the presence of milk when damaged, the zoning markings on the cap, its distinctive oily rubbery smell and occurrence only under Oak are all good characters to separate the species from the many others in the genus, all of which are found under trees. The smell is one worth getting to know as it occurs not just in other Milkcaps but also in other fungi and is thus used in descriptions as the 'quietus smell'.

September 11th 2020

Bisporella citrina  by Sarah Ebdon September 11th Bisporella citrina (Lemon Disco)

Sarah Ebdon found this colony of tiny cups on rotting fallen deciduous wood in Kings Wood, Tylers Green. Quite a common ascomycete, each cup is no more than 3 mm across but despite its size, because of its bright colour and habit of forming large closely-knit clusters it it often easy to spot from a distance.
Leucoagaricus leucothites  by Sarah Ebdon September 11th Leucoagaricus leucothites (White Dapperling)

This collection was found on the lawn of a private garden in Tylers Green by Sarah Ebdon. It is a species easily mistaken for an Agaricus until one notes that the gills remain white or palest pink in age whereas the gills in Agaricus turn gradually darker as it matures and end up purple-black. One could also mistake it for an Amanita with its white free gills and ringed stem having a slightly swollen base. However, the white capped species of Amanita all have a distinct volva with a rim, not present here, also the ring on the Leucoagaricus is mobile (i.e. can be moved up or down), not so in Amanita. This is a grassland species (also unlike Amanita), in some years quite common, in others much less so.
Mycena pelianthina  by Penny Cullington Coprinellus micaceus  by Penny Cullington September 11th Mycena pelianthina (Blackedge Bonnet)

A somewhat nondescript and quite common species, this Bonnet has one redeeming and unique feature visible in the close-up photo: the edges of the gills are lined with (not black but) dark purple. It was found by Penny Cullington in Kingswood, Tylers Green in Beech litter. It is closely related to the even more common M. pura and M. rosea, both of which inhabit the same substrate; all three species have a sharp smell described as similar to that of radish.
Coprinellus micaceus  by Penny Cullington Coprinellus micaceus  by Penny Cullington September 11th Coprinellus micaceus (Glistening Inkcap)

This was found by Penny Cullington in Kingswood, Tylers Green, and is probably the commonest of all the Inkcaps. It grows on or very near wood or roots and the 'glistening' in the name comes from the tiny flecks of white (called veil) which cover the upper cap surface though rain often washes them off. Note the typical striations (fine grooves) which characterise the cap and the dark gills (less dark in the younger specimens). Like many Inkcaps, if collected in a pot it will turn into a black inky mess in a few hours, a process called deliquessing.
Amanita phalloides  by Penny Cullington September 11th Amanita phalloides (Deathcap)

This collection was found under Beech in Kingswood, Tylers Green by Penny Cullington. As its common name suggests, THIS SPECIES IS DEADLY POISONOUS but is relatively common in our Beechwoods. Some species of Russula can have a similar green cap and white gills but never have a ringed stem or a large volva with a clear gutter around it at the stem base. The ring on the broken specimen in this photo has remained adhered to cap edge rather than to the stem.
Amanita pantherina  by Penny Cullington September 11th Amanita pantherina (Panthercap)

This collection was found under Beech in Kingswood, Tylers Green by Penny Cullington and later carefully checked to ensure that it was not the common A. excelsa which is often misnamed as this species. Differences to look out for: the cap veil patches are white, not grey as in A. excelsa and more regularly spaced; the ring is lower down the stem and smooth with no striations (fine lines) as in A. excelsa; the flowerpot-like volva at the stem base has a clear rim and above this are some fleecy remains, all features differing from A. excelsa. The clincher: the spores do not stain blue with Melzers reagent but do so in A. excelsa. THIS SPECIES IS DANGEROUSLY POISONOUS.
Lycoperdon echinatum  by Penny Cullington
Lycoperdon species  by Penny Cullington
September 11th Lycoperdon echinatum (Spiny Puffball) Lycoperdon pyriforme (Stump Puffball)

Two for the price of one here, found by Penny Cullington. They were growing near together in Kingswood, Tylers Green and then placed adjacent to allow comparison. The extremely common Stump Puffball has a smooth pale surface and is usually visibly on wood (though in a path on submerged roots here). The rare Spiny Puffball is larger, darker and has strikingly long spines forming pyramids and grows in deciduous litter (as do two much much more common Puffball species, L. perlatum and L. foetidum, which hopefully will appear and be described in due course).
Megacollybia platyphylla  by John Catterson September 11th Megacollybia platyphylla (Whitelaced Shank)

John Catterson found good examples of this common species in Tinkers Wood in Beech litter. One of several woodland species having similar dull brown caps, this one is easy to identify if you probe into the litter at its base (as John did) to reveal the long white strings of mycelium which are attached - a unique feature. That together with the cream rather widely spaced gills are good characters in the field.
Humaria hemisphaerica & Craterellus  by Sarah Ebdon September 11th Humaria hemisphaerica (Glazed Cup) with Craterellus cornucopioides (Horn of Plenty)

Two for the price of one in Bradenham Woods found by Sarah Ebdon September 9th. The cups in the foreground are similar to the genus Peziza but have a fringe of fine hairs around the rim and on the outer surface. They are found in damp woody litter. The Horn of Plenty is quite common in deciduous woodland but is easily missed among the surrounding litter. It seems to prefer sloping ground.
Boletus edulis  by Sarah Ebdon
Boletus edulis  by Sarah Ebdon
September 11th Boletus edulis (Penny Bun / Cep / Porcini)

Two separate collections of a species which seems to be fruiting well at the moment: the singleton is from Bradenham Woods and the doubleton from nearby Naphill Common a week earlier by Sarah Ebdon. One of very few boletes which still retain the genus name Boletus, it has pores which don't stain blue when pressed and that often become yellow as it matures.

September 10th 2020

Rhodocybe gemina  by Penny Cullington September 10th Rhodocybe gemina (Tan Pinkgill)

Penny found several collections of this sometimes rare species at Rushbeds Wood growing beside a path in grassy soil. It has 'good years' but in other years is hardly recorded at all though it seems to turn up quite frequently at this particular site. So it's one to look out for locally at the moment.
Lactarius pyrogalus  by Penny Cullington September 10th Lactarius pyrogalus (Fiery Milkcap)

Host specific with Hazel, this species of Milkcap is one of the hottest tasting in the genus, hence its common name. It was found by Penny Cullington in Rushbeds Wood. Tasting in this genus is a method often used in the field as an identification aid, but luckily this species is easily recognised without the need to burn one's mouth if one notices the host tree and also its pinkish peach coloured gills. It usually exudes copious milk when damaged, as here.
Lacrymaria lacrymabunda  by Penny Cullington September 10th Lacrymaria lacrymabunda (Weeping Willow)

Penny Cullington found this collection growing in a grassy path at Rushbeds Wood. A common grassland species, in damp weather the dark gills often have droplets, leaving a rather blotchy gill edge as can be seen here - a good field character.
Daedaleopsis confragosa  by Penny Cullington September 10th Daedaleopsis confragosa (Blushing Bracket)

These were nice fresh examples of a very common bracket fungus found by Penny Cullington on fallen Willow at Rushbeds Wood and show the diagnostic pink blush which quickly occurs on the maze-like pores underneath where it was handled. When older or dry this reaction is not visible. This species is most common on Birch and Willow but also occurs on other deciduous fallen wood. The zones of colour on the top surface often contain red - not in today's collection.
Agaricus xanthdermus  by Penny Cullington
Agaricus xanthodermus  by Penny Cullington
September 10th Agaricus xanthodermus (Yellow Stainer)

This was found fruiting in large numbers in Rushbeds Wood by Penny Cullington. There are certainly edible mushrooms around at the moment but this is not one of them and can cause gastric upsets. It can be separated from other very similar species of Agaricus by the tell tale bright chrome yellow stains which develop in seconds when you scratch the very base of the stem; it also has a different inky smell. Many other Mushroom species can show yellow staining elsewhere on the fruitbody but only this one reacts in this way at the stem base.
Psathyrella piluliformis  by John Catterson September 10th Psathyrella piluliformis (Common Stump Brittlestem)

This young fresh material is an example of one of the few species in a difficult genus which can be named in the field, and was found by John Catterson at Coombe Hill fruiting on a deciduous log. Despite the pale gills of this collection, when more mature the gills become blackish brown from the dark spores. It is a common species and often to be found in large colonies on fallen wood.
Boletus reticulatus  by Greg Douglas
Boletus reticulatus  by Greg Douglas
September 10th Boletus reticulatus (Summer Bolete)

Previously B. aestivalis and closely related to B. edulis, this seldom recorded and early-fruiting species was found by Greg Douglas in Captain's Wood, Chesham under Beech. Easily mistaken for B. edulis, it differs in having a cap which tends to disrupt when dry and a stem with a complete rather than partial reticulation (fine network - see second photo for detail).
Macrolepiota mastoidea  by Penny Cullington
Macrolepiota mastoidea  by Penny Cullington
September 10th Macrolepiota mastoidea (Slender Parasol)

Found by Penny Cullington growing at the pathside in Rushbeds Wood, this graceful species is less common than the Parasol and Shaggy Parasol and separated from them by the paler small granular scales on the cap and stem and by the prominent umbo (bump) in the cap centre - like a nipple, hence its common name. There is debate whether the extremely similar M. konradii (which lacks the nipple) is a separate species because intermediates occur where the umbo is hardly prominent at all, but at present both go under the name of M. mastoidea.

September 9th 2020

Hygrocybe conica  by Sarah Ebdon Hygrocybe conica  by Sarah Ebdon September 9th Hygrocybe conica (Blackening Waxcap)

This eye-catching species was found fruiting on the lawn in a private garden in Tylers Green by Sarah Ebdon - yet another early showing of a species which usually fruits mid to late season. So it's worth looking at lawns and grassland for other waxcaps which may well be following suit at the moment.
Russula atropurpurea  by Penny Cullington September 9th Russula atropurpurea (Purple Brittlegill)

One of the commonest species of Brittlegill, this collection was found by Penny Cullington in grass under Oak at The Common, Cadmore End. It fruits under many different deciduous trees and tends towards a purple shade of red with a darker to almost black centre. It can also have yellow patches on the cap. The gills are pale cream and the stem is pure white.
Leccinum scabrum  by Penny Cullington
Leccinum scabrum  by Penny Cullington
September 9th Leccinum scabrum (Brown Birch Bolete)

Perhaps the commonest species of Leccinum, this was found by Penny Cullington in grass under Birch at The Common, Cadmore End. Many of this genus are host specific to Birch as is this one. The blackish 'scabers' in the lower stem though paler at the top, also the unchanging stem flesh colour when cut, are good field characters.

September 8th 2020

Hygrocybe psittacina  by Margaret Bolton September 8th Hygrocybe psittacina (Parrot Waxcap)

Margaret Bolton was surprised to find this specimen so early in the season as most Waxcaps are late season fruiters. It was in unimproved mown grassland in Moor Common.
Coprinellus disseminatus  by Penny Cullington
Coprinellus disseminatus  by Penny Cullington
September 8th Coprinellus disseminatus (Fairy Inkcap)

Penny Cullington found this large troop of fruitbodies growing between the sleepers in the car park at Whiteleaf Cross. The species is common and is often to be found in large numbers on or around stumps or buried wood. It has the appearance of a Mycena (Bonnet) but note the dark gills, a feature of all Inkcaps, in contrast to the white gills of Bonnets.
Laetiporus sulphureus  by Paul Goby Laetiporus sulphureus  by Sarah Ebdon September 8th Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken of the woods)

Paul Goby found this striking specimen growing on a massive Beech log in Naphill Common. This is a common species of bracket often fruiting in summer or early autumn. It can be found on many different deciduous trees, especially Cherry and Oak, and also is quite often on Yew. The second photo is of the same specimen taken by Sarah Ebdon on August 24th when just developing and clearly very tasty!

September 7th 2020

Suillus grevillei  by John Cowleaze September 7th Suillus grevillei (Larch Bolete)

Found by John Catterson in Cowleaze Wood (just over the county border into Oxfordshire!), this early fruiter occurs exclusively under Larch and is very variable in colour, sometimes yellow-brown as here, sometimes a rich reddish dark brown. It has a sticky cap and a persistent ring on the stem. (S. luteus (Slipperly Jack) also has a ring but lacks red in the brown cap and occurs exclusively under Pine.)
Inocybe cookei  by Penny Cullington September 7th Inocybe cookei (Straw Firecap)

This species, found by Penny Cullington in Mousells Wood under Beech, is a typical member of this large genus, many species of which are not identifiable without recourse to a scope . Fibrecaps often have brown caps with a finely splitting surface, gills which are pale to snuff brown and strange smells.
Mycena haematopus  by Penny Cullington September 7th Mycena haematopus (Burgundydrop Bonnet)

Our first Bonnet of the season, this collection was found by Penny Cullington in Mousells Wood growing on a rotting deciduous log. A typical species of Bonnet, it is easily distinguished from others in the field by its pinkish colours and most notably the dark wine red 'juice' which exudes from the stem where damaged (visible in the central fruitbodies). Do not mistake for Mycena crocata, possibly more common in the Chilterns, which has bright saffron orange juice - both species grow on fallen wood.
Clitopilus prunulus  by Penny Cullington September 7th Clitopilus prunulus (The Miller)

A common early season species, this collection was found by Penny Cullington in Mousells Wood fruiting in deciduous litter. It's just as common in grassy path edges and is so-named for its distinctive mealy smell (i.e. of flour). The cap has a feel of kid gloves and the pinkish decurrent gills are also good characters, but though considered a good edible species, do not collect for the pot because it is easily mistaken for several similar species of Clitocybe, one of them dangerously poisonous!

September 6th 2020

Otidea onotica  by Margaret Bolton
Otidea onotica  by Margaret Bolton
September 6th Otidea onotica (Hare's Ear)

Our first Ascomycete photo, this was found by Margaret Bolton at Moorend Common growing in deciduous litter. The genus Otidea can be separated from the similar cup fungus genus Peziza in the field by having a split down one side, i.e not quite forming a complete unbroken cup.
Hydnum repandum  by Margaret Bolton September 6th Hydnum repandum (Wood Hedgehog)

This was found by Margaret Bolton at Moorend Common growing in deciduous litter. Turning this species over once collected and seeing its 'teeth' underneath instead of gills or pores always brings a smile.
Pleurotus cornucopiae  by Claire Williams September 6th Pleurotus cornucopiae (Branching Oyster)

Less common than the closely related P. ostreatus, this collection was found by Claire Williams growing on a deciduous log in Little Tinkers Wood.
Rhodotus palmatus  by Claire Williams September 6th Rhodotus palmatus (Wrinkled Peach)

Claire Williams found this beautiful and quite rare species in Little Tinkers Wood on Wych Elm. Its rarity is due to the demise of its host tree the English Elm though it does occur on Wych Elm and is occasionally reported from other deciduous trees.

September 5th 2020

Caloboletus radicans  by Tony Marshall September 5th Caloboletus radicans (Rooting Bolete)

Better known as Boletus radicans, this species is having a 'good year' and is widespread at the moment. It was found by Tony Marshall in Prestwood growing under an old hedge and occurs in both woodland and grassland either near deciduous trees or with Rock Rose. The pale ivory cap with firm flesh, yellow crowded pores which rapidly blue when pressed and the pointed stem base are all good characters.
Macrolepiota procera  by Penny Cullington September 5th Macrolepiota procera (Parasol)

This collection was found by Penny Cullington at Turville Heath growing under Lime in long grass. Though the white gills are not yet exposed, the three specimens show how the cap starts out life entirely smooth brown but gradually splits to form scales as it expands. The stem surface is also smooth when really young (as seen in the smallest fruitbody) but soon splits and develops the diagnostic 'snakeskin' effect which typifies this species and separates it from the similar Chlorophyllum rhacodes (Shaggy Parasol).
Neoboletus luridiformis  by Penny Cullington September 5th Neoboletus luridiformis (Scarletina Bolete)

More familiar as Boletus erythropus, this impressive fungus is quite common under deciduous trees (here found by Penny Cullington at Turville Heath growing under Lime), The brown cap, bright red pores and stem with flesh that instantly blues when cut make this an easy species to identify.

September 4th 2020

Geastrum triplex  by Margaret Bolton September 4th Geastrum triplex (Collared Earthstar)

Margaret Bolton noticed this fungus in a roadside verge near Frieth. A woodland species, this is one of the larger Earthstars and also probably the commonest. This particular specimen has a distinct collar but that feature is not always obvious or even present which can confuse identification.
Amanita excelsa  by Penny Cullington Amanita excelsa  by Paul Goby September 4th Amanita excelsa (Grey Spotted Amanita)

This was found by Penny Cullington in Bradenham Woods under Oak and Beech. Not quite as common as the similar A. rubescens, also sometimes mistaken for the very poisonous A. pantherina, note the grey rather irregular specks of cap veil (which rub off as in all members of the genus) and lack of pink stains. The first character separates it from A. pantherina which has really white and regular veil patches, the second separates it from A. rubescens. Another useful confirmation that you have A. excelsa and not A. pantherina is well illustrated in the second photo (from Naphill Common Sept 20, Paul Goby): note the clear striations on and above the ring on the stem. These occur in both A. excelsa and A. rubescens but not in A. pantherina.
Amanita rubescens  by Penny Cullington September 4th Amanita rubescens (Blusher)

One of the earliest fruiting and most common Amanitas, this was found in Bradenham Woods by Penny Cullington under Oak and Beech. Note the typical features of the genus together with the pink stains of this species which develop where damaged. Compare also with the similar A. excelsa which always lacks pink stains.
Gyroporus castaneus  by Penny Cullington September 4th Gyroporus castaneus (Chestnut Bolete)

An unusual bolete found by Penny Cullington at Naphill Common growing under Oak. The bright brown cap and stem with white pores which don’t blue on bruising are good field characters. The only previous record for this site was back in 2001.

September 2nd 2020

Suillellus luridus  by Penny Cullington September 2nd Suillellus luridus (Lurid Bolete)

More familiar as Boletus luridus, this species is appearing in remarkably large numbers at the moment. It is normally a woodland species but here was fruiting with Helianthemum (Rock Rose) at Coombe Hill, found by Penny Cullington. It can be seen fruiting in hundreds at present with Rock Rose at both Watlington Hill and Beacon Hill, Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, so well worth looking out for in this specialised habitat now.
Shaggy Parasols by Joanna Dodsworth September 2nd Chlorophyllum rhacodes (Shaggy Parasol)

This complete ring of Parasols was found on the Walks at Brill Common by Joanna Dodsworth. To separate this common species from the very similar Macrolepiota procera (Parasol) scratch the stem or break the cap flesh and watch for the orange flush which occurs in a few seconds especially in fresh specimens but is absent from M. procera.
Clitocybe gibba by Nick Standing September 2nd Clitocybe gibba (Common Funnel)

Found growing in grass in Penn Street churchyard by Nick Standing. This is a species which often fruits early in the season and occurs in both woodland and grassland.

September 1st 2020

Russula rosea by Penny Cullington September 1st Russula rosea (Rosy Brittlegill)

One of many red capped members of this genus, this species (found by Penny Cullington under Oak and Beech at Wotton Park Estate) often has a red stem as seen on one specimen here, also has much firmer flesh than other similar species and a cap cuticle which hardly peels at all

August 31st 2020

Hericium cirrhatum by Claire Williams
Hericium cirrhatum by Claire Williams
August 31st Hericium cirrhatum (Tiered Tooth)

Claire Williams found this rare and beautiful fungus fruiting on the same fallen Beech trunk in Naphill Common as it was last year when it was recorded here for the first time. Not quite as rare as the similar H. erinaceus (which also occurs on this site) it is notable for having fine tubes (known as teeth) underneath in place of gills or pores.

August 28th 2020

Volvariella bombycina  by John Catterson August 28th Volvariella bombycina (Silky Rosegill)

John Catterson found this quite rare and beautiful fungus growing on Horse Chestnut in Hughenden Park, Wycombe. Similar to the genus Pluteus, which also occurs on wood and has pink free gills, the genus Volvariella has a 'volva' or sack similar to an Amanita at the stem base (not visible here being submerged within the wood).

August 23rd 2020

Strobilomyces strobilaceus by Timm Harrison Strobilomyces strobilaceus by John Catterson August 23rd Strobilomyces strobilaceus (Old man of the woods)

This quite rare and strange-looking bolete was found by Tim Harrison in Hobbshill Wood near Great Missenden under Beech (photograph Tony Marshall). Apparently not recorded in this specific area for 19 years or so, it has been reported from other woodlands this autumn and is definitely one to look out for. The second photo of young material was found under mixed trees including Larch and Birch at Penn Wood on September 16th by Sarah Ebdon (photo John Catterson). It shows one of the unusual features of the species: when scratched the flesh quickly stains red then black.