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Members’ Finds, 2021

Following the success and popularity of our experimental Members' Finds Autumn 2020 project, we have now set up this new page for 2021 to which members are again invited to contribute. We are starting afresh with a new species list, so please email Penny photos of anything you find - even of species previously on last autumn's list. Try to illustrate all aspects of the fruit body, also remember not to reduce the photo size and to include the date, site, substrate, habitat plus any other useful features such a size, smell, etc. All extra clues are vital when identifying solely from photos. Ideally, try to collect at least one specimen and retain in a pot until you've heard back from Penny in case it might be needed for further investigation - records of rarities are of no use without voucher material as we discovered to our cost in several instances during our autumn project.

As Covid 19 Tier 4 restrictions (January 2021) require only essential travel in our area, we will all now be limited to our local patches. Therefore as Penny and Derek both live outside the county they will not now be able to contribute until the restrictions are eased. So it will be up to members to take on the challenge and keep the records coming in!

HAPPY HUNTING!

As before, please bear in mind that only collections having the scope symbol microscope icon have been fully examined in order to make a determination. No guarantee can therefore be given on the vast majority of identifications though all photos are checked and selected by Penny to the best of her ability. Basic accompanying notes are also Penny's but when of a species already covered in Members' Finds Autumn 2020 a reference to the appropriate date will be given rather than duplicating the identification tips here.

If and when numbers demand, we will include here a list of Latin / English names to facilitate the location of a particular species.

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For the complete and regularly updated list of entries click Latin or English

Contributors / Photographers: Cullington, Penny; Dodsworth, Joanna; Douglas, Greg; Fletcher, Neil; Goby, Paul; Knight, Tony; Launder, Jesper; Marshall, Tony; Ness, Russell; Webb, Barry; Williams, Claire.

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Entries with a green background indicate rare sightings 8

Entries with a yellow background indicate species new to Britain

Image Details

April 4th 2021

Panaeolus fimicola by Tony Knight Panaeolus fimicola by Tony Knight Panaeolus fimicola by Tony Knight April 4th Panaeolus fimicola (Turf Mottlegill) microscope

Tony Knight found several of these Mottlegills coming up in mossy grass in his garden in Long Crendon. He gave a tentative identification having looked at microscopic features which Penny was reasonably happy to confirm from the photos (which included the spores and cystidia) though would not like to commit to being 100% on this. This is a genus with a preference for grassy soil, often manured (though presumably not in this case) - a typical LBJ with dark almost black spores which tend to leave a mottled appearance on the gills, hence its common genus name (seen in photos 2 and 3). The species is 'hygrophanous' (ie the cap colour fades with age and sunlight as it dries) but the dark marginal line seen in photo 1 reveals its original cap colour.
Daldinia concentrica  by Joanna Dodsworth Daldinia concentrica  by Joanna Dodsworth April 4th Daldinia concentrica (King Alfred’s Cakes / Cramp Balls)

Joanna Dodsworth found these huge specimens of fallen Ash near Tram Hill Ponds on Brill Common - they were each apparently 10-12 cms across which is probably about as big as they get! This common Ascomycete is host specific to Ash (though there are other much less common Daldinia species found on other substrates) and starts out chocolate brown covered with a whitish 'bloom' turning black with age. Break one open to reveal the concentric rings within which give rise to its species name. Photo 2 (one of Penny's library photos) shows these features, as do those dated Oct 10th in Finds 2020).
Polyporus (= Cerioporus) squamosus    by Joanna Dodsworth April 4th Polyporus (= Cerioporus) squamosus (Dryad's Saddle)

Joanna Dodsworth noticed these really young fruit bodies on fallen Ash near Tram Hill Ponds on Brill Common. It's difficult to imagine these upright fungi developing into the huge saddle-shaped brackets which this species produces, but Joanna reminded me of the smaller of the two photos in Roger Phillips Mushrooms which illustrates exactly this point. See also Finds 2021 dated Mar 31st for another recent young example, and for the fully mature monster see Finds 2020 dated Sept 30th - another of Joanna's photos from this same site.

April 2nd 2021

Reticularia lycoperdon  by Jesper Lauder April 2nd Reticularia lycoperdon (False Puffball)

Jesper Launder found this large slime mould in Hodgemoor Woods growing on Hazel - one of several examples he's seen in the last few days. Contrary to most slime moulds which are tiny and inconspicuous, this one can indeed get to the size of a puffball (hence its common and species name). It starts out at the plasmodium stage as many others: a large bumpy white blob looking a bit like insect eggs - this is the slimy stage. Then instead of developing into many separate tiny sporangia (fruit bodies) as it dries off and matures, it stays as a large white lump (an eyeball!) becoming smooth until eventually splitting open to reveal the brown spore mass within. Jesper's example is just at the beginning of the smooth stage. See also Finds 2020 dated Sept 20th.

April 1st 2021

Morchella elata  by Jesper Lauder Morchella elata  by Jesper Lauder April 1st Morchella elata (Black Morel)

Jesper Launder found this beautiful springtime species in a private garden in Chalfont St. Giles. Though we have just two other county records this particular species is not a rarity and can often be found in good numbers in gardens fruiting on Pine woodchip which is suitably aged - as it was here. As the use of this garden commodity increases so it appears does the occurrence of the fungus, though it seems that it uses up the necessary nutrients in one fruiting and thus does not reappear the next year. So if you have pine woodchip in your garden it would be worth keeping an eye out for this tasty fungus!

March 31st 2021

Polyporus squamosus  by Jesper Lauder March 31st Polyporus squamosus (Dryad's Saddle)

Jesper Launder spotted this early fruiting of the largest of our Polypores in woodland near Layter's Green. Incidentally the correct name for the species is now Ceriporia squamosa though thankfully the common name at least provides some continuity for the long suffering mycologist! This is a species often found on Ash but not exclusively so, also one quite commonly finds enormous and decaying fruit bodies on the ground having fallen from a height - it can often be 20 ft or more up the trunk. See also Finds 2020 dated Sept 20th.
Bolbitius titubans  by Claire Williams Bolbitius titubans  by Claire Williams March 31st Bolbitius titubans (Yellow Fieldcap)

Claire Williams found this pretty grassland species on West Wycombe Hill. It is easy to see why she at first mistook it for a small yellow Waxcap but thought better of it, coming up with the correct name the next day. This is quite common to find in summer and autumn but we have very few winter or springtime county records for it, so it was a nice find. See also Finds 2020 Sept 29th and Nov 1st.
Pleurotus cornucopiae by Paul Goby Pleurotus cornucopiae by Paul Goby Pleurotus cornucopiae by Paul Goby March 31st Pleurotus cornucopiae (Branching Oyster)

Paul Goby found this Oyster on a fallen Beech trunk in Naphill Common - clearly having shrivelled a bit after our hottest day of the year yesterday. It is often tricky to separate this species from the very similar and more common P. ostreatus (especially from a photo), but taking into account the fused stems, the quite widely spaced gills running right down the stem and the slightly ochre tinted colour, Penny is fairly happy that this is not the commoner species. Open to debate, though ........... (For further examples see Finds 2021 dated Feb 27th, also 2020 dated Sept 6th and 21st.)

March 29th 2021

Coprinellus domesticus   by Joanna Dodsworth Coprinellus domesticus   by Joanna Dodsworth March 29th Coprinellus domesticus (Firerug Inkcap)

Joanna Dodsworth found this collection growing in grassy soil on Brill Common and was in doubt as to the possible genus. Being fairly sure it was an Inkcap, Penny asked for Derek's opinion and, thinking that it might possibly be something quite special he decided to make a fresh collection from Brill. Unfortunately it turned out to be not that special but still a nice find as we have only 5 previous county records and a new name for out list.

March 27th 2021

Peniophora incarnata  by Penny Cullington Peniophora incarnata  by Penny Cullington March 27th Peniophora incarnata (Rosy Crust) microscope

Penny ventured into Bucks for the first time today since Christmas! At Turville Heath she found a few very common species to add to our list (which are below) but this was probably the most interesting and unusual: a Corticioid which is common on the stems of Gorse - a plant in plentiful supply here but the fungus with few county records as we don't often encounter Gorse on our woodland walks. Its peachy pink colour makes it an easy one to recognise when on this host though it does occur on other deciduous wood. Nevertheless, as there are a few other pink corticioids it is necessary to check the microscopic characters to confirm.
Hymenochaete rubiginosa by Penny Cullington Hymenochaete rubiginosa by Penny Cullington March 27th Hymenochaete rubiginosa (Oak Curtain Crust)

On a bare fallen Oak branch at Turville Heath Penny noticed this distinctive bracket. It tends to grow in rows forming quite shallow brackets which are dark brown above and cocoa brown below. Photo 1 shows the typical row of brackets and photo 2 the underside. It is very common on Oak though apparently can occasionally be found on Sweet Chestnut. See also Finds 2020 dated Oct 19th.
Lachnum virgineum  by Penny Cullington Lachnum virgineum  by Penny Cullington March 27th Lachnum virgineum (Snowy Disco) microscope

Turning over a damp Oak log at Turville Heath, Penny noticed a large swarm of tiny white cups which were less than 10mm across and (with a hand lens) had hairy white stems. This could have been one of four possible white species of Lachnum, all relatively common on deciduous wood and extremely similar in the field. A careful look at the hairs under high magnification is needed to determine which species you have, L. virgineum probably being the commonest of the four. See also Finds 2020 dated Nov 9th, also Sept 20th for another of the four species. (Apologies: these are not the greatest photos.)
Leptosphaeria acuta  by Penny Cullington March 27th Leptosphaeria acuta (Nettle Rash)

At Turville Heath Penny pulled up a dead nettle stem to find this very common springtime Ascomycete - a species one can almost add to any foray list where nettles occur before actually locating it (ie affectionately known as a 'bums on seats' species!). The tiny shiny black 'wigwams' - less than 5mm across - are easy to spot with a hand lens on the pale stem bases of nettles at this time of year.
Xylaria carpophila  by Penny Cullington Xylaria carpophila  by Penny Cullington March 27th Xylaria carpophila (Beechmast Candlesnuff)

At Turville Heath Penny removed the top dry layer of beechmast to uncover another very common springtime Ascomycete found solely on damp Beech cupules. Another 'bums on seats' species, this one is considerably smaller and less conspicuous than its better known relative X. hypoxylon (Candlesnuff) - the familiar autumn species often seen on fallen deciduous wood. Both species have a black stem with a creamy white spore-bearing top section but today's species is almost hair-thin having a fine spike at the top and the stem can be surprisingly extended depending how deeply buried in the mast its host cupule is. You often have to dig around under leaves to find this species but just need to focus on spotting the white tip amongst the mast (photo 1) and then carefully extracting the whole fungus attached to the cupule (photo 2).

March 25th 2021

Sarcoscypha austriaca  by Jesper Launder March 25th Sarcoscypha austriaca (Scarlet Elfcup)

Jesper Launder noticed this springtime species in woods near Chalfont St Giles though it is probably past its best but still showing the 'wow' factor - always nice to find this one. There are two closely related and extremely similar species - not possible to tell apart without a scope (not used here), but one (S. coccinea) seems to be becoming extremely rare and the other (S. austriaca) appears to be replacing it in the UK. So it has been assumed but not checked that today's find is the common species. Penny has been surprised not to have received more photos of this from around the county because it is such an eye-catching fungus, occurring in damp woodlands on rotting fallen deciduous wood (usually Willow). So one to look out for now.

March 21st 2021

Geopora sumneriana  by Jesper Launder Geopora sumneriana  by Jesper Launder March 21st Geopora sumneriana (Cedar Cup)

Under a mature Cedar in Jordans village Jesper Launder has been on the lookout for this uncommon Ascomycete which apparently fruits here regularly. This is a springtime species, appearing from February to May, and is mycorrhizal with Cedar though Jesper comments that it is fruiting three weeks later than usual this year but now coming up in sizeable numbers (40+)! An earlier genus name for the species was Sepultaria, describing its habit of remaining submerged in soil and not showing above the surface until the brown hairy sphere splits open in a starlike fashion to reveal the pale cream spore bearing inner surface. Fruit bodies can get to about 6 cms across. We have just four previous county records but the species is probably much more widespread than this would indicate but just overlooked. So one to look for now if you live near a mature Cedar.

March 12th 2021

Coprinellus micaceus  by Clair Williams Coprinellus micaceus  by Clair Williams March 12th Coprinellus micaceus (Glistening Inkcap)

Claire Williams noticed this nice fresh cluster of Inkcaps in Beech litter in Hughendon Woods but was unsure if they were the common Glistening Inkcap or perhaps a different species. Penny, however, feels just about confident enough to name them without a proper check of the spores etc because the close-up photo 2 shows the telltale white veil flecks on the cap which give the species its common name. See also Finds 2020 Sept 11th and Oct 13th for more examples.
Trametes versicolor  by Paul Goby Trametes versicolor  by Paul Goby Trametes versicolor  by Paul Goby March 12th Trametes versicolor (Turkeytail)

In Naphill Common Paul Goby noticed these pale cream fresh fruitbodies on a fallen log, probably Birch. They varied in size between 1 and 7 cms across and he was surprised to find the (apparently) upper surface covered in pores (photo 3). However, photo 2 reveals the true identity of the species, proving that the log must recently have been overturned because the spore-bearing pores would surely only be found on the underside. Note the typical contrasting zoning of the true upper surface of this pretty and common bracket, here really displaying the appropriateness of its English name. It can occur at any time of year on the fallen wood of many different deciduous. See also an example dated January 6th which sports a slightly different colour range within the zones - it is a very variable species, hence its Latin name.

March 9th 2021

Hemitrichia calyculata  by Barry Webb March 9th Hemitrichia calyculata (a slime mould with no common name)

Barry Webb found this beautiful slime mould on fallen rotting Birch in Common Wood. Though described as a common species in the south, this appears to be our first county record - reflecting the general lack of local expertise and interest in slime moulds until Barry put this right and started producing his amazing photos.There are several very similar species, so Penny would have been happier to have checked the microscopic characters as it's a first for the county, but the dark solid stalk suddenly flaring out at the top together with the tear-drop shaped sporangium (spore bearing mass) having a shallow shiny cup with typically frayed edges is sufficiently diagnostic to confirm Barry's determination.

February 27th 2021

Pleurotus ostreatus / cornucopiae  by Paul Goby February 27th Pleurotus ostreatus / cornucopiae (Oyster Mushroom / Branching Oyster)

Paul Goby couldn't resist taking this lovely photo despite the fact that the fruit bodies were at least 25 ft up a dead Beech trunk in Naphill Common. So the suggested identification is no more than a guess on Penny's part though both species can often occur at odd times of the year, not just in the autumn, their most common host being dead Beech, so one could say this is an educated guess at best. The colour suggests the Branching Oyster - though this could be caused by the early morning sunlight? - but Oyster Mushroom is certainly the more common and prolific species of the two and cap colour is very variable. Any other suggestions welcome . . . . . .

February 21st 2021

Neosetophoma samarorum  by Neil Fletcher February 5th Diaporthe samaricola and Neosetophoma samarorum (two ascomycetes with no common name)

Two species for the price of one: Neil Fletcher read on Facebook about these two tiny species to be found on the samara (keys or wings which aid spore dispersal) of Ash in Spring and promptly went out to see if he could find them. The first keys he picked up in the Walter's Ash allotments showed both species together and he found they were present on many of the keys he examined. Though apparently both are common on fallen keys at this time, we have no previous records on our database so both appear to be new to the county. It is likely that anyone developing an interest in such fungi will be richly rewarded with new species for the county because so few people specialise in them and there are probably thousand of such species waiting to be discovered and recorded here for the first time!

February 13th 2021

Eichleriella deglubens  by Jesper Launder February 13th Eichleriella deglubens (Blushing Crust)microscope

Jesper Launder found this apparently not uncommon but in Bucks much under-recorded 'corticioid' fungus fruiting on fallen Willow in Jordans village. Our database shows just three previous records, none since 2005, though it would appear to be quite distinctive in both colour and texture, becoming pinkish brown and developing isolated spines - visible in the photo. It can be found (often in Winter and early Spring) on fallen dead wood of many different deciduous trees but frequents Beech and Ash as well as Willow as here. One we should definitely find more often locally.
Basidioradulum radula  by Jesper Launder February 13th Basidioradulum radula (Toothed Crust) microscope

Jesper Launder braved the elements to find this common 'corticioid' fungus fruiting on fallen Prunus in Crutches Wood near Jordans. We have a previous immature example (dated Jan 28th) but today's photo shows the species in its typical dry and crusty state (having survived both snow and frost) but still showing its tendency to form roundish patches with a white rim but a darker cream and roughened almost 'toothed' centre.

February 10th 2021

Armillaria sp  by Paul Goby February 10th Armillaria sp (Honey Fungus mycelial strands)

In Naphill Common on a barkless Beech trunk Paul Goby noticed these telltale black 'bootlaces' - indicators of a species of Armillaria (likely to be either A. mellea or A. gallica, both of which are common). Fungal mycelium performs a similar function to plant roots, is usually white and forms a finely feathery network of hyphal strands which weave their way through the substrate / soil providing nutrients and also the main method of proliferation for any species. The exceptional thick black mycelium of Armillaria is presumably a large factor in the success of this genus in spreading from dead to living wood and, in the case of A. mellea, causing disease and death amongst many shrubs in private gardens.

February 9th 2021

Exidia gladulosa  by Paul Goby Exidia gladulosa  by Paul Goby February 9th Exidia gladulosa (Witches' Butter)

Paul Goby found these typical specimens of a fairly common Jelly fungus on fallen deciduous wood in Naphill Common. We also have a photo of this dated Jan 06 but today's photos show the species well, particularly the detail in photo 2 where the tiny 'bobbles' on the undersurface are clearly visible - a good pointer for the species.

February 5th 2021

Auricularia auricula-judae var. lactea  by Sarah Ebdon Auricularia auricula-judae var. lactea  by Sarah Ebdon Auricularia auricula-judae var. lactea  by Sarah Ebdon February 5th Auricularia auricula-judae var. lactea (the rare white form of Jelly Ear)

In Little Stockings Wood near North Dean Sarah Ebdon spotted these stunning specimens of the very common Wood Ear but in its rare white form. (Penny has long wanted to find this and is green with envy!) It was on dead Elder. Sarah commented that she remembers seeing this variety years ago in Chesham Bois but we have no Bucks records of it in our database. Sadly not a species in its own right, it can be seen here in close proximity to the conventional and familiar red-brown 'ears' growing on a dead Elder trunk. What an unexpected and beautiful find.
Chlorociboria aeruginascens  by Sarah Ebdon February 5th Chlorociboria aeruginascens (Green Elfcup - no fruitbodies, just the wood)

In Little Stockings Wood near North Dean Sarah Ebdon founds this bright green piece of rotting bare deciduous wood. She instantly picked it up to search for the telltale tiny green cups of the fungus which is responsible for this remarkable green staining. Sadly there were no fruitbodies to be seen today but in Finds 2020 dated Oct 12 there is an impressive example. (Read the notes there for more information about the use of this wood.) So if you find wood displaying this colour it's well worth taking a closer look to see the beautiful little turquoise green cups which are often less than 5mm across.
Encoelia furfuracea  by Joanna Dodsworth February 5th Encoelia furfuracea (Spring Hazelcup)

Joanna Dodsworth spotted this small typically springtime Ascomycete on fallen Hazel in Rushbeds Wood. Our other nine county records range from late November through to March from four different sites, most often Rushbeds Wood no doubt owing to the numbers of Hazel found here - its commonest host. It can apparently occasionally be found on Alder as well. A nice find by Joanna.
Hymenochaete corrugata  by Joanna Dodsworth February 5th Hymenochaete corrugata (Glue Crust)

In Rushbeds Wood Joanna Dodsworth found this interesting fungus, known to encompass two separate pieces of dead or dying wood where they happen to touch, in effect fixing them together - hence its common name. This bracket-like resupinate is most commonly found on standing Hazel - a wood which abounds at Rushbeds, thus several of our 13 previous county records for the species are from this site. One could surmise that the purpose of fixing the wood together is to prevent it falling to the ground where it could become a source of nutrients for other competing fungal species.
Peniophora polygonia  by Russell Ness Peniophora polygonia  by Russell Ness Peniophora polygonia  by Russell Ness February 5th Peniophora polygonia (a resupinate with no common name) microscope

A few weeks back Russell Ness noticed this unusual and distinctive 'crust' fungus covering a fallen Aspen sapling in Taplow. Having no literature to hand with sufficient information on such species he took a spore print and sent the photos (including one of the spores) to Penny in the hope that she might recognise it. No luck there! She suggested sending a sample to resupinate expert Alan Lucas, who has now kindly named it for us. This is quite a rare species, nearly always occurring on Poplar - Aspen in particular, and we have just two previous county records, the last from Wotton Park Estate identified by Martyn Ainsworth in 2009. This was a nice find and is one to look out for on fallen Poplar with it's distinctive pink to red bumpy surface. There are many different species of Peniophora - a difficult genus and one needing very skilled microscopy to identify to species.

February 4th 2021

Trametes gibbosa  by Paul Goby Trametes gibbosa  by Paul Goby February 4th Trametes gibbosa (Lumpy Bracket)

In Naphill Common Paul Goby found these substantial brackets on fallen Beech. This is our second find of this common fungus (see also photo dated Jan 14), also our third species of Trametes this month. Both larger and tougher in texture than both T. versicolor and T. ochracea, it is often liberally coated in green algi as seen clearly here and also has very obvious large pores underneath which are distinctly elongated rather than round to oval - almost mazelike.

February 3rd 2021

Resupinatus trichotis  by Barry Webb Resupinatus trichotis  by Barry Webb February 3rd Resupinatus trichotis (a rare Oysterling with no common name) microscope

In his veg patch at home, Barry Webb noticed these tiny little dark grey stemless caps growing in a tier out of a crack in a bamboo cane supporting his broccoli! They were strikingly hairy but at most 4 mm across and the concolorous gills had a white edge. Posting his photos online for a possible name, he received a couple of suggestions: a species of Hohenbuehelia or Resupinatus trichotis. He then sent the fresh specimens to Penny and the microscopic details quickly confirmed this was not Hohenbuehelia but was indeed the suggested Resupinatus - a species unfamiliar to Penny. Our county database reveals just three previous records, all on rotting deciduous wood of one sort or another, but Penny suspects the substrate here is somewhat unusual and noteworthy!

February 2nd 2021

Crepidotus applanatus  by Joanna Dodsworth February 2nd Crepidotus applanatus (Flat Oysterling) microscope

Joanna Dodsworth noticed this species on a deciduous stick in an area of Brill Common known as The Walks. Several species in this genus look extremely similar - this being one of them - and cannot safely be named without taking spore shape and size amongst other things into account. Also very similar is Clitopilus hobsonii (a species in the same genus as The Miller) but that species has pink spores whereas Crepidotus has brown spores despite the fact that the young gills (seen here) do look pink.

February 1st 2021

Cudoniella acicularis  by Barry Webb February 1st Cudoniella acicularis (Oak Pin)

In Burnham Beeches Barry Webb noticed these tiny white fruitbodies on bare rotting wood. Easily mistaken for a small Mycena or similar, this is in fact an Ascomycete and has no gills underneath despite the typical stem and cap of a mushroom. Usually fruiting from Autumn to early Winter, this is probably not that exceptional to find still appearing now.
Scleroderma citrinum  by Barry Webb February 1st Scleroderma citrinum (Common Earthball)

In Burnham Beeches Barry Webb found this Earthball growing in soil amongst deciduous litter. Normally found fruiting from late Summer through the Autumn, this is an unusual find for early Spring to say the least! Distinguished in the field from others in the genus by its combination of yellow colour and rough scaly surface, it typically splits wide open as seen here to disperse its spores aided by raindrops or air movement.
Exidia nigricans  by Joanna Dodsworth February 1st Exidia nigricans (= E. plana) ) (a jelly fungus with no common name) microscope

Joanna Dodsworth noticed this fungus on a piece of old deciduous firewood in her neighbour's store shed in Brill! Naming these almost black species of Exidia can be confusing as there have been various synonymies with the common E. glandulosa (Witches' Butter, see also photo dated Jan 06). However, Joanna dutifully checked the spores of this specimen and found them clearly too large for that species and therefore identified it as E. nigricans in 'Fungi of Temperate Europe' which, contrary to Index Fungorum, gives E. plana - its previous and better known name - as a synonym.

January 29th 2021

Sarcoscypha austriaca  by Claire Williams January 29th Sarcoscypha austriaca Sarcoscypha austriaca

At last we have an example of this charismatic and unmistakeable Springtime species, found by Claire Williams in woods near Downley. Penny was expecting to be inundated with photos of this but not so, though we did have an example in Finds 2020 dated Dec 20. It can be found on rotting damp deciduous fallen wood which is semi-buried or lying in contact with the ground, most often Willow.

January 28th 2021

Phleogena faginea  by Barry Webb January 28th Phleogena faginea (Fenugreek Stalkball)

In Burnham Beeches Barry Webb spotted these small fruitbodies on dead Beech. This is an intriguing species - not one featured in Finds 2020 - because though it looks extremely similar to many slime moulds it is in fact a Basidiomycete. Not unalike the Gastromycetes (Puffballs etc), it has a mass of spores within which are dispersed as the outer surface breaks down in maturity. It is not that uncommon but, like many of our tiny wood inhabiting fungi, is easily missed, also probably often overlooked as a slime mould. A useful field clue to its identity is its remarkable curry-like smell which becomes more noticeable once collected as it dries, hence its common name.
Trametes ochracea  by Joanna Dodsworth January 28th Trametes ochracea (a bracket with no common name) microscope

In Brill Common Joanna Dodsworth found this attractive tier of brackets on dead but standing Hazel. Similar to the much commoner Trametes versicolor (Turkeytail), it is thicker fleshed with slightly larger pores underneath and often has green algi on the upper surface (as also does the larger Trametes gibbosa (Lumpy Bracket).
Basidioradulum radula ( by Claire Williams January 28th Basidioradulum radula ( (Toothed Crust)

Claire Williams spotted this example of young material of a common resupinate corticioid species in Downley Common fruiting on fallen deciduous wood. At this stage of development it is pretty well all whitish but clearly with a 'toothed' appearance, but when mature it tends to develop rounded patches with creamy centres. To see a more developed example see Finds 2020 dated Dec 07.

January 27th 2021

Clavulinopsis corniculata  by Joanna Dodsworth January 27th Clavulinopsis corniculata (Meadow Coral) microscope

In woodland litter in Brill Common Joanna Dodsworth noticed this bright yellow coral which at first she assumed was Calocera viscosa (Yellow Stagshorn). However, that species only occurs on conifer (not present here) so further work was needed to identify it. In fact it is not that unusual to find the normally grassland members of the genus Clavulinopsis fruiting in woodland (as the genus Hygrocybe sometimes does as well), so the common name in this case is somewhat misleading. This particular Coral is probably the commonest of its genus to occur in this habitat and also tends to continue fruiting longer into the winter season. (See also Finds 2020 dated Nov 08 and 20.)
Tubaria furfuracea  by Joanna Dossworth January 27th Tubaria furfuracea (Scurfy Twiglet)

We already have a couple of photos of this common species (dated Jan 10th) but Joanna Dodsworth's collection from Brill Common amongst deciduous debris gives another example of an LBJ that often confuses people, especially after rain (we've had plenty of that recently!) when the tell-tale 'scurfy' bits usually visible on the edge of the cap have been washed off leaving it smooth and easily mistaken for something different. This species could well be described as the default LBJ, so if in doubt about a little nondescript brown mushroom among woody litter (sometimes on wood itself) this might well be what you have!

January 23rd 2021

Coprinopsis picacea  by Claire Williams January 23rd Coprinopsis picacea (Magpie Inkcap)

In Downley Wood today Claire Williams spotted this somewhat unseasonal Inkcap in deciduous litter. This is a species which was much in evidence last Autumn and Claire says she'd noticed it again at this site in late December so was on the look out for it. Probably quite an unusual find for frosty weather in January!

January 20th 2021

Mycena tenerrima  by Barry Webb January 20th Mycena tenerrima (Frosty Bonnet)

Barry Webb spotted these tiny white bonnets on a fallen branch, possibly Oak, in Burnham Beeches. The determination has not been checked microscopically and there are several very similar tiny white Bonnets which grow on wood and which can have this 'frosted' appearance; however, the distinctive bulbous stem bases are a sure give-away feature and absent in other likely candidates.

January 14th 2021

Tremella mesenterica  by Joanna Dodsworth Tremella mesenterica  by Claire Williams January 14th Tremella mesenterica (Yellow Brain)

This species was spotted by Joanna Dodsworth on a pile of deciduous sticks in Brill Common (photo 1) and also by Claire Williams the following day on an Oak stick in Downley Common (photo 2). (See also Members Finds Oct 30th.) Jelly fungi seem to be unhindered by the winter weather: we have examples of several species found in the last couple of weeks.
Trametes gibbosa  by Joanna Dodsworth January 14th Trametes gibbosa (Lumpy Bracket)

Joanna Dodsworth noticed these brackets on fallen Horse Chestnut in Brill Common. Typical of this common species is the green algae growing on the upper surface and the maze-like almost semi-gills on the underside - both features visible in the photo. (See also Finds 2020 dated Sept 20th.)

January 12th 2021

Neodasyscyphus cerina Latin by Barry Webb January 12th Neodasyscyphus cerina (a cup fungus with no common name)

Barry Webb found these tiny little stalkless cups on fallen Beech in Burnham Beeches. The identification has been made simply from their appearance in the photograph where the distinctive bright yellow centres and contrasting hairy outer surface seem diagnostic, also though we have no other county record of this species it is apparently quite common on Beech. Barry suggested the common name Lemon Tarts!
Polyporus brumalis  by Barry Webb January 12th Polyporus brumalis (Winter Polypore)

Barry Webb found this fungus on fallen Beech in Burnham Beeches. At first glance not unalike a species of Pluteus or other brown-capped mushroom, it is not until one looks underneath and notices not gills but pores that the genus becomes obvious. One of several quite common species of Polypore, this is quite evenly brown, has widely spaced pores and is aptly named - often fruiting late in the season.
Scutellinia scutellata  by Barry Webb Scutellinia scutellata  by Barry Webb January 12thScutellinia scutellata (Eyelash Fungus) with Metatrichia floriformis (a slime mould with no common name)

Barry Webb found these two species growing together on rotting bare wood in Burnham Beeches. Though not checked with a scope, the Eyelash Fungus is likely to be this particular species which has by far the longest eyelashes in the genus. The tiny stalked black slime mould specimens are at the stage just prior to splitting open to reveal the spore mass within. (See more images in Finds 2020: Scutellinia dated Sept 28th and Oct 1st, Metatrichia dated dated Oct 17.)

January 11th 2021

Hyphodontia sambuci  by Joanna Dodsworth January 11th Hyphodontia sambuci (Elder Whitewash)

On part of Brill Common Joanna Dodsworth noticed this good example of one of the commonest corticioid fungi (those which are flat, don't form brackets, and often look like splodges of white paint on fallen wood). The genus Hyphodontia is large and nearly always needs a scope to identify to species but this aptly named species is so common on Elder - both living or fallen as here - that one can safely name it in the field though it does occur on other deciduous woods as well.

January 10th 2021

Phaeoclavulina by Russell Ness January 10th Ramaria (= Phaeoclavulina) decurrens (Ochre Coral) microscope

In Cherry Orchard Nature Park near Burnham Russell Ness found this unusual Ramaria in mixed coniferous and deciduous woody litter. He thought it looked different from the common R. stricta (Upright Coral) so checked the spores which were indeed clearly too small for that species, which then led him on to this determination. We have just one previous county record, under Pine in Penn Wood Churchyard. The genus Ramaria has now been split, those species which are mycorrhizal (such as R. stricta) remaining and those known to be wood decomposers moved to the new genus Phaeoclavulina, hence the genus name change here.
Tubaria furfuracea  by Barry Webb Tubaria furfuracea  by Barry Webb January 10th Tubaria furfuracea (Scurfy Twiglet)

Barry Webb found these small mushrooms fruiting on deciduous wood in Burnham Beeches. This species is a very common LBJ and often mistaken for a species of Galerina or Conocybe - both genera very similar in size and colour of caps and gills. Look for the remnants of white veil near the cap margin (seen in photo 1), the often slightly decurrent gills (though not in this case!), the white veil flecks on the stem as well, the even colour over the whole fruit body and its often clustered habit - sometimes in very large numbers - in woody litter. (For another example see Finds 2020 dated Oct 3rd.)

January 8th 2021

Exidiopsis effusa by Claire Williams January 8th Exidiopsis effusa (HAIR ICE!)

Claire Williams has found a beautiful example of a rare sight known as Hair Ice (also Ice Wool / Frost Beard) in Lane End. It is only in recent years that the fungus responsible for this phenomenon, a 'Jelly fungus' called Exidiopsis effusa, has been identified and these amazing ice crystals only form on wood affected by this fungus in really moist icy conditions - exactly what we have been experiencing recently! To learn more about this fascinating process there is lots of information online including several videos on 'YouTube' which are well worth seeing!
Flammulina velutipes  by Claire Williams Flammulina velutipes  by Claire Williams Flammulina velutipes  by Claire Williams January 8th Flammulina velutipes (Velvet Shank)

We already have one image of this common winter mushroom but of older rather dark specimens. Today's photos, taken by Claire Williams in Downley Common Wood, are of young and fresh though frozen material which is considerably paler than our previous image. The stem, often much darker and finely velvety towards the base than shown here, can start off much paler all over, but still visible here (if you can zoom in on photo 3) are the tiny hairs - some of them considerably darker than the general stem colour.
Panellus stipticus  by Claire Williams Panellus stipticus  by Claire Williams January 8th Panellus stipticus (Bitter Oysterling)

In Downley Common Woods today Claire Williams found amongst quite a few other fungal species (not all of which could be identified thus are not included here) this nice cluster. It is clearly surviving the frosty conditions quite happily on this moss covered deciduous log, and the underside view shown here leaves one in no doubt as to its identity though just from the top view this would not be possible. (See also Oct 3rd in Finds 2020 for more info.)
Mensularia radiata  by Claire Williams Mensularia radiata  by Claire Williams Mensularia radiata  by Claire Williams January 8th Mensularia radiata (Alder Bracket)

Claire Williams found several deciduous trunks liberally covered in these brackets in Downley Common Woods. Recently moved to its present genus from the better known Inonotus, this bracket is deceptively named and is just as likely to occur on other deciduous trees as on Alder. The trees here could not be identified but if anyone recognises the bark do please let Penny know.
Auricularia auricula-judae  by Claire Williams January 8th Auricularia auricula-judae (Jelly Ear)

Claire Williams noticed these small and somewhat frozen fruit bodies on an unidentified branch in Downley Common Woods (probably Elder but it could be some other tree?). (See also Sept 30th and Oct 25th in Finds 2020 for more info.) It seems that Jelly fungi are quite happy fruiting in this cold spell of winter weather.

January 6th 2021

Exidia glandulosa  by Paul Goby January 6th Exidia glandulosa (Witches' Butter)

In Naphill today Paul Goby found these black 'shiny firm wrinkled blobs' - his description! They were growing on a bare dead trunk - likely to be Oak on which this genus is probably most often found though it can occur on other deciduous wood and at any time of year given damp enough conditions. It is another of the 'Jelly fungi' belonging to the Basidiomycetes despite often appearing very similar to the Ascomycete Bulgaria pura. See also under Oct 24th in Finds 2020.
Trametes versicolor  by Greg Douglas Trametes versicolor  by Penny Cullington January 6th Trametes versicolor (Turkeytail)

Greg Douglas spotted this nice collection on an unidentified deciduous log in Captain's Wood, Chesham. A common but often impressive bracket when in good numbers, it can be found on fallen wood of many kinds at most times of year. (See also Finds 2020 dated Sept 26th). Look for the white finely pored underside and clear zoning on the top surface which certainly recalls the shape and colours of our Christmas dinner bird's tail!
Flammulina velutipes  by Penny Cullington January 6th Flammulina velutipes (Velvet Shank)

On Joanna Dodsworth's walk around Brill she found this impressive clump on a standing dead Willow trunk. This is a species often fruiting during winter and can often be found even in snowy conditions. The caps are often considerably paler and yellower than shown here but the features to note in the field are its tightly clustered habit on deciduous wood (often standing) and the finely hairy stem which becomes darker to black towards the base. Penny was surprised we had only one collection of this in Finds 2020 (dated Oct 26th), so it's clearly one to be looking out for now.
Byssomerulius corium  by Joanna Dodsworth January 6th Byssomerulius corium (Netted Crust)

On Joanna Dodsworth's walk around Brill she noticed this common corticioid species covering a deciduous stick. It has a somewhat leathery consistency and is quite easy to peel off the substrate - a feature which helps to separate it from the many other similar flattish white resupinate species. It can be found at any time of year but as it happens is not one we included in Finds 2020.

January 3rd 2021

Myxarium nucleatum  by Russell Ness January 3rd Myxarium nucleatum (previously Exidia nucleata) (Crystal Brain)

Russell Ness noticed these small white lumps of jelly on deciduous wood near Dorney. This is quite a common Basidiomycete, one of the 'Jelly fungi' and often found on Beech logs though here on unidentified wood. For more notes see Finds 2020 dated Nov 5th though under its previous and much more familiar name there.
Diatrype stigma  by Russell Ness Diatrype stigma  by Russell Ness January 3rd Diatrype stigma (Common Tarcrust)

Russell Ness found this species of Pyrenomycete (i.e. a crusty black Ascomycete) on an unidentified deciduous fallen branch near Dorney Reach. Commonly occurring in large smooth patches on fallen Beech trunks, it is less usual on other deciduous wood as here (there was apparently no Beech in the area). This was not a species we included in Finds 2020 - not because it wasn't seen but probably because we were spoilt for choice with so much else to catch the eye.
Pleurotus ostreatus  by Russell Ness January 3rd Pleurotus ostreatus (Oyster Mushroom)

Russell Ness found this fresh and healthy collection on a fallen deciduous trunk near Dorney Reach. He can vouch for the freshness because apparently it tasted delicious in his beef stir-fry! For further images see Finds 2020 dated Sept 21st, Oct 27th and Nov 17th, proving that this is a species which can be found at any time given the right conditions and substrate.

January 1st 2021

Gliophorus psittacinus  by Penny Cullington January 1st Gliophorus psittacinus (previously Hygrocybe psittacina) (Parrot Waxcap)

On his daily walk around Prestwood Tony Marshall noticed these fresh but frosted specimens but had no camera at the time! Returning the next day for the photo he found them thawed but now very faded, as often happens when Waxcaps are frosted - they're colours can change radically adding to the difficulty of identification. See also photos and notes from Members' Autumn Finds 2020 dated October 3rd and November 1st.