Bucks Fungus Group
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Members’ Finds, January to June 2024

Following the success of our Members' Finds project introduced in 2020, here is our new page for January to July 2024 to which members are again invited to contribute. Please email Penny photos of anything you find - even of species already on previous lists. Common or rare: all are welcome! Thanks to all our many contributors, we now have well over 1000 species illustrated here, all from Buckinghamshire!

• Aim to show all aspects of the fruitbody even if this necessitates several photos.

• Please send images as an attachment and not embedded into the email text.

All photos should be captioned with fungus name if known, site, date, your initials. EG Amanita muscaria Penn Wood 01.10.2024 PC1.

• Please include in your email as much detail as possible (eg size, smell, substrate, habitat, microscopic details if available). All clues are vital when identifying solely from photos.

• If possible collect and retain at least one specimen until you've heard back from Penny in case further investigation is required - records of rarities are invalid without voucher material which may well need to be dried for molecular sequencing to confirm.

NEW FOR 2024! Click on Previous finds at the end of any entry to view all other Members' Finds entries for that species.

NEW FOR 2024! We now have a SEARCH FACILITY for the LATIN MASTERLIST INDEX, speeding up access and automatically grouping all entries for any one species together for convenient comparison etc.

• The regularly updated list of entries remains in place as previously, in a choice of either Latin binomial or English common names.

microscope Only entries marked with this symbol have been microscopically examined. There is no guarantee on identifications made of entries lacking this symbol though all photos are checked and selected by Penny to the best of her ability. Basic accompanying notes are also Penny's.

HAPPY HUNTING!
Click on thumbnail to see full size
For the complete and regularly updated list of entries click Latin or English
To search the LATIN MASTERLIST INDEX since its inception click here

Contributors / Photographers: Audrey McDade; Barry Webb FRPS; Bob Simpson; Chris Grimbly; Claudi Soler; Derek Bourne; Jackie Ewan; Jesper Launder; John Catterson; Linda Seward; Neil Fletcher; Matt Vaughan; Penny Cullington; Russell Ness; Sarah Ebdon; Stephen Plummer.

Rare sightings 43

New to Buckinghamshire 28

New to UK 0

January  February  March  April  May  June 

Image Details

June 24th 2024

Hesperomyces harmoniae   by Sarah Ebdon Hesperomyces harmoniae   by Sarah Ebdon Hesperomyces harmoniae   by Sarah Ebdon Hesperomyces harmoniae   by Sarah Ebdon Hesperomyces harmoniae   by Sarah Ebdon Hesperomyces harmoniae   by Sarah Ebdon June 24th Hesperomyces harmoniae (a recently described ascomycete ectoparasite)

Sarah Ebdon collected a ladybird in Princes Risborough and took it home to identify, noticing that some tiny yellowish fungal spikes were beginning to appear out of its back. With the help of Stephen Plummer, the ladybird was identified as Harmonia axyridis (Harlequin Ladybird), and she noted that by the next day the fungal spikes were increasing (photos 2 & 3). Intrigued by this somewhat gruesome development, she determined to identify the fungus if possible. Derek was able to point her to a useful paper online, and this led her to a more recent paper describing this new species separated from the Hesperomyces species complex known to parasitise many Ladybird species almost worldwide. The species is host specific to the Harlequin Ladybird and though this appears to be new to the UK (ie is not yet included in FRDBI or CBIB) the 2022 paper quotes a sequenced collection from Oxfordshire (2011). However, this is such an exciting find with excellent observation and detective work that it surely deserves a blue box - denoting new to the UK. After all, it is the first identified collection since the official publication of the species. It is hoped that a sample will be dried and sequenced. Congratulations to Sarah! Sarah took the final three photos a week later having been incubating the ladybird in her fridge and feeding it aphids. Meanwhile it produced literally hundreds of eggs!

June 22nd 2024

Mycena vitilis  by Jackie Ewan Mycena vitilis  by Jackie Ewan June 22nd Mycena vitilis (Snapping Bonnet) microscope

Mushrooms of any sort have been thin on the ground in recent weeks. This small singleton was found at Stampwell Farm by Jackie Ewan, attached to an Oak twig amongst grass. One of our commonest Bonnets often found in autumn, this is only the second time it's been noticed in June - all other records are from September onwards.

Previous finds

June 21st 2024

Pluteus phlebophorus  by Sarah Ebdon Pluteus phlebophorus  by Sarah Ebdon June 21st Pluteus phlebophorus (Wrinkled Shield) microscope

In Naphill Common Sarah Ebdon was pleased to find these mushrooms on very well decayed Beech. Recognising the genus from the pink free gills and occurrence on wood, she keyed it out at home finding that all microscopic details fitted as well as the typically wrinkled cap. Despite the distinctive cap markings a scope is always need to confirm the ID because there are other Pluteus species which can have wrinkled caps. Comparing Sarah's photo with previous entries, this is by far the most wrinkled of the lot!

Previous finds
Neoerysiphe geranii  by Stephen Plummer Neoerysiphe geranii  by Stephen Plummer June 21st Neoerysiphe geranii ( a powdery mildew with no English name) microscope

In Rushmere Estate Stephen Plummer found this unusual powdery mildew on Meadow Cranesbill. This not surprisingly is new to the county as very few mycologists in this area have specialised in observing and identifying this large group of fungi. There are not many FRDBI records either, and this is a new entry for Finds.


Puccinia circaeae  by Stephen Plummer Puccinia circaeae  by Stephen Plummer Puccinia circaeae  by Stephen Plummer June 21st Puccinia circaeae (Enchanters' Nightshade Rust) microscope

In Rushmere Estate Stephen Plummer noticed these blemishes on the leaves of Enchanters' Nightshade. We have just 5 previous county records though none since 2009, but this is a very common rust and one easily identifiable from the host plant. This is a new entry for Finds.


June 19th 2024

Hydnotrya tulasnei  by Jesper Launder June 19th Hydnotrya tulasnei (Red Fold Truffle) microscope

Jesper Launder visited his new-found truffle site in Little Chalfont and was rewarded yet again. Under a massive Oak he noted that three different truffle species he'd already recorded here were still fruiting, but a fourth was new and an exciting find for him - only the third time he'd found it. H. tulasnei is rare and is one of four species within this ascomycete genus, new to Bucks and with under 50 FRDBI records - none since 2016, the previous 5 all from Scotland with the last English record back in 2008. Jesper reports that he's now found 5 different truffle species under this tree in the space of a few weeks - remarkable.


Russula cerea  by Jesper Launder June 19th Russula cerea (a truffle with no common name) microscope

No, this photos is not misnamed! This very rare truffle was previously in genus Gymnomyces but transferred to the mushroom genus Russula owing to its DNA showing a direct microscopic link with that genus. It was found by Jesper Launder under an Oak in Jordan's Village which he's named his 'truffle tree' from past experience and where he found this species new to the county two years ago almost to the day. He reports that no truffle hound was needed to locate this one which was fully mature and detected today by the distinct and powerful 'aroma of heavenly fermented apple' - his words!

Previous finds

June 18th 2024

Gymnosporangium cornutum  by Sarah Ebdon Gymnosporangium cornutum  by Sarah Ebdon Gymnosporangium cornutum  by Sarah Ebdon June 18th Gymnosporangium cornutum (Rowan Crown) microscope

Sarah Ebdon has been making something of a study of this genus recently, identifying various different species, though this one had been eluding her. She suspected she'd found it at Burnham Beeches on Juniper at the earlier 'telial' stage though it was dried up and shrivelled to nothing! So today she returned to look for the next 'aecial' stage which occurs (only) on Rowan. She was rewarded, finding plenty of examples displaying the typical curved 'horns' which give rise to its English name. The species is common in Scotland but much less so in England, in fact this is our first BFG database record though it has apparently been recorded at Burnham Beeches before. This find was a case of perseverance rewarded and is a new entry for Finds.


June 16th 2024

Stemonitopsis typhina  by Chris Grimbly June 16th Stemonitopsis typhina (a slime mould with no English name)

In Bernwood Forest Chris Grimbly found this tiny patch of mini loofahs on rotten wood. Each stalk and head is up to 5mm tall at most, the species recognisable at this immature stage by the shiny coating on the stalk (see other images for more detailed view of this feature). This collection will soon have turned first pink then rusty orange and finally black - the colour of the spores at maturity. The species is quite common but easily overlooked for obvious reasons.

Previous finds
Fuligo septica var. flava  by Chris Grimbly June 16th Fuligo septica var. flava (Dog's vomit)

In Bernwood Forest Chris Grimbly's attention was drawn to this bright patch of colour on the woodland floor. One of our commonest slime moulds, it is often to be seen on fallen rotting wood, eventually fading as it dries off and turning a dirty grey as the spore mass ripens ready for natural dispersal.

Previous finds

June 12th 2024

Puccinia buxi     by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia buxi     by Sarah Ebdon June 12th Puccinia buxi (Box Rust) microscope

Sarah Ebdon paid a visit to the Great Kimble Box woodland - one of few such woodlands in the country - with the express purpose of finding this rust species which is apparently rare in the Netherlands but which seems to have a good number of UK records though none from Bucks till now. The Rust - in all its stages - occurs only on mature Box trees and therefore appears not to be a threat to young garden plants.

June 11th 2024

Hemileccinum impolitum  by Jesper Launder Hemileccinum impolitum  by Jesper Launder June 11th Hemileccinum impolitum (Iodine Bolete)

Under Oak in Beaconsfield Jesper Launder found this unusual Bolete and though still immature it was evident to which species it belonged. The reason for the link to the genus Leccinum in its name is the slight network on the stem - not visible here due to its immaturity. It also notably has pale yellow pores which don't turn blue when pressed, and when fresh a distinct smell of iodine at the stem base when first collected. It has a preference for Oak in sandy or chalky soils.

Previous finds
Suillus grevillei     by Jesper Launder June 11th Suillus grevillei (Larch Bolete)

Under Larch in a private garden in Beaconsfield Jesper Launder spotted this pair of Boletes - this is a common species which quite often fruits early in the season and is host specific to Larch unlike most others in this genus which associate only with Pine. It has the typical sticky cap of the genus, also like a few others a ring on the stem when young though it often quickly disappears. There are a few other Suillus species which associate with Larch but are considerably rarer.

Previous finds

June 10th 2024

Hymenogaster luteus  by Jesper Launder Hymenogaster luteus  by Jesper Launder June 10th Hymenogaster luteus (Yellow Nut Truffle) microscope

Jesper Launder and Sarah Ebdon returned to the Little Chalfont site where he'd discovered good numbers of various truffle species under Oak and Birch just a couple of days previously. This time they found yet another unusual species, one found just once previously in the county by truffle expert Carol Hobart in Derek's Whitchurch garden in 2011! It is recognised by its pale gleba (inner surface - phpto 2) and distinctive spores. There are only 14 records for the species in FRDBI reflecting its rarity.

Russula insignis  by Jesper Launder Russula insignis  by Jesper Launder June 10th Russula insignis (A Brittlegill with no English name) microscope

Under Oak at Stoke Common Jesper Launder found this pair of immature Brittlegills, suspecting at the time that it would turn out to be this species - an unusual member of the group affectionately known as 'the smellies', most of which favour Oak, and this one separated from others by the presence of veil when young and detected by a drop of KOH which turns instantly red when placed on the stem base (photo 2).

Previous finds
Ustilago striiformis  by Jesper Launder June 10th Ustilago striiformis (a species of Stripe Smut)

In Gerrards Cross Common Jesper Launder spotted this species on the patches of Holcus mollis (Mollie's Hairy Knees) - such a great English name! In fact the 'hairy knees' referred to are clearly visible at the bottom of his photo! This Smut is a complex of species which will no doubt in time be split according to its host as it can occur on various different grasses.

Previous finds

June 8th 2024

Tuber maculatum  by Jesper Launder June 8th Tuber maculatum (a rare ascomycete tuber with no English name) microscope

Jesper Launder was after pastures new to continue his truffle hunt and struck lucky in Little Chalfont - an area apparently virtually completely unrecorded for fungi. Under a non-native Birch he examined about 20 dig holes and in two of them was delighted to find this collection - a rare species, new to him and to the county with under 30 records in FRDBI. Though superficially similar to other such truffles, it is mainly down to microscopic details, particularly the spore size and ornamentation, which allows a secure ID to be made.

Humaria hemisphaerica  by Jesper Launder June 8th Humaria hemisphaerica (Glazed Cup)

Under Oak in Little Chalfont whilst searching for truffles Jesper Launder spotted these tiny cups. Not a rare species but certainly a beautiful one with its off-white smooth inner surface and brown hairy outer surface. It remains well under 1 cm across so is easily missed and favours damps woody debris, sometimes occuring in clusters.

Previous finds
Neoboletus xanthopus  by Jesper Launder Neoboletus xanthopus  by Jesper Launder June 8th Neoboletus xanthopus (a rare Bolete with no English name)

In Little Chalfont whilst searching for truffles Jesper Launder noticed this Bolete coming up around the periphery of a large Oak. This species is closely related to N. luridiformis (Scarletina Bolete) and possibly previously what was known as var. discolor, the apparent difference from the type species being the yellow tints in the top section of stem - hence the species name meaning yellow foot. Compared to the similar Suillellus luridus, neither of these two Neoboletus species have a raised network on the stem, also a drop of Melzers reagent on the stem flesh turns blue in S. luridus but has no reaction in Neoboletus. We have only Jesper's two records last year for this species with only three records on FRDBI. Today's collection will be sequenced.

Previous finds

June 7th 2024

Hydnocystis bombycina  by Jesper Launder June 7th Hydnocystis bombycina (a rare ascomycete truffle with no English name) microscope

In Beaconsfield Jesper Launder was delighted with this find - a species he's long been on the lookout for. Under Lime and Oak he found the remains of three tiny truffles in an animal's 'dig hole', and though expecting to discover they were Tuber rufum - a species he quite often finds when truffle-hunting - a scope revealed they were the rarely recorded H. bombycystis (previously in genus Stephensia) with only 12 records in FRDBI, the most recent being from 2008 in Worcs. No, they weren't in the greatest nick as can be seen but there was sufficient material to allow a firm ID to be made. This was indeed an exciting find.

Suillellus luridus  by Jesper Launder Suillellus luridus  by Jesper Launder Suillellus luridus  by Jesper Launder June 7th Suillellus luridus (Lurid Bolete)

Under Birch along a roadside verge in Beaconsfield Jesper Launder spotted this Bolete, and upon examining it was not surprised to find it was this species - one which he's noticed tends to fruit earlier than others belonging the Bolete genera. All the distinguishing features of the species are visible here: palish cap, pores with an orange tinge, stem with a clear network and beetroot red flesh at the base, flesh quickly blueing above this when exposed to air. The species seems to be becoming more common; it occurs in mixed broadleaf woodland and also with Helianthemum (Rock Rose) where no trees are present.

Previous finds
Pseudosperma rimosum  by Jesper Launder June 7th Pseudosperma rimosum complex (Split Fibrecap) microscope

Under Beech in the Beaconsfield Services (!) Jesper Launder found this group of Inocybaceae species - the genus Inocybe now confusingly split into 4 different genera - and took it home to work on. It keyed out to P. obsoletum - one of several species belonging to the 'rimosum' complex having pretty well identical micro features and varying little in field characters, hence being tricky to identify with any certainty. P. obsoletum is characterised by having a pale cap with veil (though that feature, missing here, may have been removed by recent rain?). Penny feels that Jesper's hunch that this collection is the rare P. obsoletum could be correct but that it could just as easily be the much more common P. rimosum, hence its naming here. Hopefully sequencing will confirm its true identity.

Previous finds

June 5th 2024

Elaphomyces muricatus  by Jesper Launder June 5th Elaphomyces muricatus (Marbled False Truffle) microscope

Under Lime and Oak at Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens Jesper Launder was looking for 'dig holes' and uncovered good numbers of this truffle-like ascomycete which he found new to the county in Jordans Village last year and also at this site though under Birch. He reports that at least half the holes he found today had specimens still in them, presumably indicating that whatever had made the holes (squirrels or mice) were disturbed before they were able to claim their prize!

Previous finds
Candolleomyces candolleanus  by Penny Cullington June 5th Candolleomyces candolleanus (Pale Brittlestem) microscope

This was the only fungus found by Penny at Rushbeds Wood, lurking in woody undergrowth beside a path. Previously in genus Psathyrella, it is often one of the first common autumn fungi to appear so no surprise that it should be fruiting now. Brittlestems have dark spores which do not colour the gills until mature - as seen here - and nearly always need confirmation with a scope though this particular species has not only a very pale cap throughout life but also has bits of straggly veil attached to the cap edge especially when young, also just visible here. In Kibby vol 3 there's mention of a very similar but rare species which has a ring on the stem - worth keeping an eye out for ...............

Previous finds

June 4th 2024

Fuligo septica var. flava  by Audrey McDade June 4th Fuligo septica var. flava (Dog's Vomit)

In Hodgemoor Wood on an old rotting log Audrey McDade noticed this vivid patch and sent her photo to Penny for identification. This is one of our commonest slime moulds and favours damp fallen bare wood which is in plentiful supply at this site.

Previous finds
Melanogaster broomeanus  by Jesper Launder June 4th Melanogaster broomeanus (a truffle-like fungus with no common name) microscope

Under Hornbeam in Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder was looking for 'dig holes' and found one with some soggy remnants of this species, recognising the distinct smell of ripe pears! Searching further nearby revealed these two specimens just under the surface of the soil. He found the species new to the county in a different location in July last year.

Previous finds
Puccinia coronata  by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia coronata  by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia coronata  by Sarah Ebdon June 4th Puccinia coronata (Crown Rust) microscope

At Pulpit Hill Sarah Ebdon noticed these blotches on the leaves of Purging Buckthorn and later was able to make her ID. This rust species needs two different unrelated hosts to complete its life cycle, the asexual stage being on various grasses including Oats on which it causes serious problems worldwide, and the sexual stage being on various species of Buckthorn. We have just a handful of county records though only two this century, one of which was on Buckthorn as here. This is a new entry for Finds.

Melampsora hypericorum  by Sarah Ebdon Melampsora hypericorum  by Sarah Ebdon Melampsora hypericorum  by Sarah Ebdon June 4th Melampsora hypericorum (Tutsan Rust) microscope

On the leaves of Hairy St. John's Wort at Grangelands, Pulpit Hill, Sarah Ebdon noticed the telltale spots of a rust species. Later at home she was able to identify it as this apparently common rust, easy to identify if you know your plants! It is host specific to this genus though is apparently more common on the Shrubby St. John's Wort - also known as Tutson, hence the common name here. We have just two previous county records and this is a new entry for Finds.

Gymnosporangium clavariiforme  by Sarah Ebdon Gymnosporangium clavariiforme  by Sarah Ebdon June 4th Gymnosporangium clavariiforme (Tongues of Fire) microscope

Having found examples of this unusual genus of rust the previous week (see the May 29th entry), Sarah Ebdon went searching at Grangelands, Pulpit Hill, to clarify her discoveries knowing that G. clavariiforme had been recorded here before. This site has both Juniper and Hawthorn - the two host trees needed for the species to thrive - in close proximity, and she was quickly rewarded with good examples on the Hawthorn leaves. We have just 4 previous county sites where it's been found previously, the majority from Grangelands as here.

Previous finds

June 3rd 2024

Puccinia malvacearum  by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia malvacearum  by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia malvacearum  by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia malvacearum  by Sarah Ebdon June 3rd Puccinia malvacearum (Mallow Rust) microscope

Sarah Ebdon has been busy with her Rust book yet again! This particular species occurs on leaves and petioles of the Mallow family and is really common on Hollyhock - in fact it's tricky to find a plant without it! However, we shamefully appear to have no records for it till now though there are well over 1000 on FRDBI.

June 1st 2024

Cantharellus pallens  by Jesper Launder June 1st Cantharellus pallens (Frosted Chanterelle)

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder continues to find interesting and rare species, this one his latest under Oak. There are in fact 7 different species looking very similar to our familiar C. cibarius (Chanterelle), all of which have remarkably similar micro-features, therefore making careful field observations becomes critical in their ID. Today's species is clearly one of the palest, more buff-pinkish than apricot and having a whitish pruinose 'bloom' on the cap surface, furthermore it bruises slowly brassy rust where damaged - as does the similar C. ferruginascens which, however, is more conventionally pale apricot in colour. This is new to the county with only 17 FRDBI records and a sample will be sequenced to confirm as there is some overlap of characters known, making ID somewhat tricky.

Agaricus augustus  by Jesper Launder June 1st Agaricus augustus (The Prince)

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder found this impressive true Mushroom in grass under Fir(though it can occur near deciduous trees also). Though not particularly common, it is one of our larger Mushroom species, densely covered in fine scales, with a large floppy ring on the stem (just visible here) and a pleasant smell of almonds or aniseed - depending on your nose! Amongst our records we have several from June and July though today's is the earliest record.

Previous finds
Tuber aestivum  by Jesper Launder June 1st Tuber aestivum (Summer Truffle)

Under Oak in a private garden in Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder was investigating various 'dig holes' made by foraging animals and was rewarded with this beautiful specimen. This is an Ascomycete truffle and probably quite common locally, though still with only a few county records owing to the lack of 'know how' amongst us mycologists - something we really should work to rectify!

Previous finds
Agrocybe praecox  by Penny Cullington Agrocybe praecox  by Penny Cullington June 1st Agrocybe praecox (Spring Fieldcap) microscope

This rather atypical example was the only mushroom Penny could find at Turville Heath today - surprising after all the recent rain. It was in some freshly chipped fallen Lime. She was confused over its identity by the fact that there was no sign of a ring on the stem (which was admittedly somewhat damaged) which at first eliminated A. praecox from her list of possibles, but sporeprint colour together with the distinctive large utriform gill cells amongst other signs left little doubt. One text mentions that a ring is not always present and that the cap can become wrinkled and faded as seen here.

Previous finds
Ganoderma australe  by Penny Cullington June 1st Ganoderma australe (Southern Bracket) microscope

At Turville Heath on one of the Lime trunks Penny checked out this display of brackets which she'd noticed here last August. It was clearly active again with a deposit of chocolate spores adorning the surrounding area. She collected a suitably coated piece of debris to take home and check that the spores matched her ID - this is the best method to use thus leaving the fruiting body undamaged, also the safest way to separate G. australe from its lookalike G. applanatum. (There is ongoing confusion as to whether the correct name for this common bracket is G. australe or G. adspersum but for now we follow Species Fungorum in continuing with the former.)

Previous finds

May 31st 2024

Balsamia vulgaris  byJesper Launder May 31st Balsamia vulgaris (a rare Ascomycete truffle with no common namemicroscope

Whilst searching for little animals' 'dig holes' under an Oak in Gerrards Cross known to Jesper Launder for truffles in previous years, he struck lucky with this one, a species new to him and with only 8 records in FRDBI - none since 2010. Recognising the genus (he's an experienced truffle hunter) he worked carefully on it at home, comparing the micro-details with those of the much more common and very similar B. platyspora, before making his ID. As this is new to the county a sample will be sequenced to confirm further.

Rickenella fibula  by PJackie Ewan May 31st Rickenella fibula (Orange Mosscap)

This attractive little Mycenoid mushroom was found by Jackie Ewan at Stampwell Farm growing in mossy grass. It can also occur on fallen wood but only if it is moss-covered - the moss being essential for this species. To separate it from the quite similar Mycena acicula (Orange Bonnet) note both the clearly decurrent gills and stem concolorous with cap, not yellow as in the Mycena which favours woody debris and is often much smaller too.

Previous finds
Panaeolina foenisecii  by Jackie Ewan May 31st Panaeolina foenisecii (Brown Mottlegill)

In grass at Stampwell Farm Jackie Ewan recognised these LBJs which are popping up on lawns everywhere at the moment encouraged by the damp conditions. It is somewhat similar to another common LBJ Tubaria furfuracea (Scurfy Twiglet) though their habitat is different: soil in grass for today's species as opposed to woody debris for the Twiglet which can, however be found in grassy areas on occasion just to confuse. The Mottlegill has a hygrophanous cap (seen clearly here) and - as it says on the tin - the gills are mottled by the darker brown spores (not so clearly seen here!).

Previous finds
Psathyrella spadiceogrisea  by Jackie Ewan May 31st Psathyrella spadiceogrisea (Spring Brittlestem) microscope

In a grassy path edge at Stampwell Farm Jackie Ewan found these very pale Brittlestems, their ID later confirmed at home with a scope. The cap colour in this genus is often hygrophanous (ie tends to fade) as here, especially if found in areas exposed to sunlight (not that we've seen much of that lately!), and we have two other examples of this springtime species found in March this year. It's not too early now for another lookalike Brittlestem which favours grassy path edges, P. candolleana - now in genus Candolleomyces (Pale Brittlestem), furthermore the genus Agrocybe is also somewhat similar (see the A. praecox entry found above just a day later), so a scope is often essential for a reliable ID. |(The sharp eyed amongst you will notice the tiny brown capped Panaeolina foenisecii also in Jackie's photo.)

Previous finds

May 29th 2024

Gymnosporangium confusum  by Sarah Ebdon Gymnosporangium confusum  by Sarah Ebdon May 29th Gymnosporangium confusum (a rust with no common name) microscope

A few weeks earlier Sarah Ebdon noticed an early stage of this unusual species of rust on Hawthorn leaves in Hazlemere but was uncertain of a species ID - it being too immature. Returning today she found it at the aecial stage and the microscopy then pointed to G. confusum though she was not entirely convinced until finding yet another very similar species of Gymnosporangium at Pulpit Hill (see the G. clavariiforme entry on June 6th). Now able to compare the microscopy of these two, she can confirm this as G. confusum (its species name possibly reflecting its easy confusion with the commoner G. clavariforme). Both species need the same two host trees to complete their annual life cycle: first Juniper followed by Hawthorn. As she was unaware of any Juniper nearby today, Sarah then discovered that the hosts do not necessarily need to be close together though it no doubt helps if they are. This is a new record for the county.

Phragmidium sanguisorbae  by Sarah Ebdon Phragmidium sanguisorbae  by Sarah Ebdon Phragmidium sanguisorbae  by Sarah Ebdon Phragmidium sanguisorbae  by Sarah Ebdon May 29th Phragmidium sanguisorbae (Salad Burnet Rust) microscope

At Homefield Wood Sarah Ebdon (whilst on her knees to photo an orchid!) spotted this rust affecting both leaves and stems of Salad Burnet. It is host specific to this plant, furthermore - unusual for a rust - uses only this host through its life cycle rather than needing at least one different host for its various stages. This is a common species though often overlooked for obvious reasons. It is a new entry for Finds.


May 27th 2024

Gymnopus dryophilus  by Sarah Ebdon May 27th Gymnopus dryophilus (Russet Toughshank)

In a grassy paddock at Stampwell Farm Jackie Ewan spotted an early fruiting specimen of this very common mushroom - one that quite often appears in summer and earlier than other members of this genus, heralding the onset of the autumn season. It's still a bit early for that now, however!

Previous finds
Melanoleuca verrucipes  by Jesper Launder May 27th Melanoleuca verrucipes (Warty Cavalier) microscope

In leaf litter in a roadside verge opposite Stoke Common Jesper Launder was pleased to find this quite rare species - one that was new to him in this part of the world. For a member of a genus known to be somewhat nondescript and not eye-catching, this particular Cavalier is a distinctive one with its white cap and stem which is covered in tiny black pock marks similar to those on the stems of the genus Leccinum. Under a scope the genus has ornamented amyloid spores (those which turn black when iodine is added) and interesting cystidia on the gill edge also. We have only two other county sites where this particular species has been found, and often it has rather a short stocky stem so today's collection is bucking that trend somewhat!

Previous finds
Microbotryum lichnidis-dioicae  by Jesper Launder May 27th Microbotryum lichnidis-dioicae (White Campion Anther Smut)

In Chalfont Park (Chalfont St. Peter), Jesper Launder spotted this species of Smut which commonly affects the flowers of White Campion at this time of year. Though not that unusual, the species was new to our county list last year when entered into Finds, though this maybe because it's been previously recorded under a different name which Penny has not managed to uncover.

Previous finds
Microbotryum silenes-dioicae  by Jesper Launder May 27th Microbotryum silenes-dioicae (Red Campion Anther Smut

A few feet away from the entry above in Chalfont Park (Chalfont St. Peter), Jesper Launder spotted this species of Smut which affects the flowers of Red Campion at this time of year. Though not that unusual, the species appears to be new to our county list but this maybe because it's been previously recorded under a different name which Penny has not managed to uncover.

May 26th 2024

Boletus reticulatus  by Jesper Launder Boletus reticulatus  by Jesper Launder May 26th Boletus reticulatus (Summer Bolete)

In Gerrards Cross under deciduous trees Jesper Launder found this substantial Bolete and recognised it from (a) its early fruiting time - a previous name was B. aestivalis indicating summertime) and (b) its marked reticulation (network) covering much of the stem. Closely related to B. edulis, it is much less common with a more southern UK distribution.

Previous finds
Bovista plumbea  by Jesper Launder May 26th Bovista plumbea (Grey Puffball) microscope

In a grassy area in Chalfont St. Peter Jesper Launder spotted this early fruiting Bovista and took it home to work on. The spores of many of this genus are ornamented and have a long 'pedicel' (tassel) attached, and unlike the Lycoperdon Puffballs they tend to detach when mature and are blown about in the wind and at that stage are easier to determine. When young as here it is not so easy but Jesper was confident having examined the spores.

Previous finds
Parasola auricoma  by Neil Fletcher Parasola auricoma  by Neil Fletcher May 26th Parasola auricoma (Goldenhaired Parachute)

On his allotment in Walters Ash Neil Fletcher found this attractive cluster of Parachutes fruiting in some woodchip. Checking in his handbook at home he concluded that this must be P. auricoma, then asked Penny for an opinion. Her answer: "Well it could be - especially as the caps were an inch across which is a bit big to the other contenders - but not necessarily!" What his handbook didn't have space to explain was that there are a handful of other lookalike Parachutes which could occur on this substrate, and it's only possible to be certain of separating them with a scope - in this case not at Neil's disposal. So this id must remain questionable but his photos show a very nice collection.

Previous finds

May 25th 2024

Pluteus cervinus  by John Catterson Pluteus cervinus  by John Catterson May 25th Pluteus cervinus (Deer Shield)

In Tinkers Wood John Catterson noticed this singleton on fallen deciduous wood - a common species in autumn though our welcome warm spell had somewhat abruptly brought much fungal fruiting to a standstill. It is often the case, however, that species occurring on fallen wood are less affected by warm dry conditions that those occurring in litter or soil, proven by John's find today.

Previous finds

May 24h 2024

Russula sanguinaria  by Jesper Launder May 24th Russula sanguinaria (Bloody Brittlegill)

In a church yard in Gerrards Cross under Pine Jesper Launder spotted this lone Russula which, though not in the best nick and having been well nibbled, was easily identifiable from its typical cap colour, white gills, pink stem and occurring under Pine. Though in some areas of the country considered a very common species wherever this tree is planted, this is not born out by our county records which number just two! In fact several fairly ordinary Brittlegills which occur only under Pine are notable by their scarcity in Bucks. So today's find was doubly unusual as May is not the month one would expect to come across this genus.

Previous finds

May 16th 2024

Coleroa robertiani  by Sarah Ebdon Coleroa robertiani  by Sarah Ebdon Coleroa robertiani  by Sarah Ebdon May 16th Coleroa robertiani (a plant pathogen with no common name) microscope

Not all species of fungi we mark with a green box (indicating few county records) are rarities! Sarah Ebdon, who found this species in her back garden having just read about it in her book, says it is 'super common'! As with many of this type of fungi, if you know your plants it becomes much easier to identify the fungus on them - many of which are host specific. This one was on Herb Robert, one of the commonest members of the Geranium family, though it can occur on other geranium species. It is a new entry for Finds.


May 11th 2024

Lycogala terrestre  by Audrey McDade May 11th Lycogala terrestre (Wolf's Milk)

In Penn Wood on an old rotting log Audrey McDade found these brightly coloured blobs and sent her photo to Penny for ID. This is one of our commonest slime moulds and favours damp fallen bare wood which is in plentiful supply at this site.

Previous finds

May 9th 2024

Puccinia urticata  by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia urticata  by Sarah Ebdon May 9th Puccinia urticata (Nettle Clustercup Rust) microscope

A week ago in Naphill Sarah Ebdon noticed this very common rust on nettle leaves in its early stages (photo 1), then returned today to take photo 2 when it had fully developed. (She reports it was a painful experience but worth it!). We have only four county records - this a reflection of the lack of recording of rusts amongst our group as it is another very common species.

Previous finds

May 8th 2024

Tricholoma inocybeoides  by Jesper Launder May 8th Tricholoma inocybeoides (a rare species of Knight with no English name) microscopeDNA

Whilst visiting South Buck Golf Course (Chalfont St. Peter), Jesper Launder found this unusual white species which he likened to a white Inocybe (Fibre Cap) on collection. However, white spores and an unpleasant earthy smell soon put him onto genus Tricholoma though the lack of Birch, Beech and Oak eliminated the three likely white-capped candidates. This then led him to the possibility of T. inocybeoides, close to both T. scalpturatum and T. argyraceum, though he was somewhat doubtful, so a sample was sent for sequencing. Eventually the result gratifyingly confirmed his ID! This is new to the county and to Finds.

Tricholoma scalpturatum  by Jesper Launder May 8th Tricholoma scalpturatum (Yellowing Knight)

Under Birch in a roadside verge in Stoke Poges Jesper Launder noticed two instances of this species - quite common in autumn not unusual as early as this in the year. One of quite a few dirty white to greyish members of this genus, it is paler than most and when old tends to develop yellow patches around the cap rim and gills - not seen here. it is one that has a farinaceous (musty floury) smell.

Previous finds
Uromyces betae  by Jesper Launder Uromyces betae  by Jesper Launder Uromyces betae  by Jesper Launder May 8th Uromyces betae (Beet Rust) microscope

In Stoke Poges Jesper Launder noticed a nice specimen of the plant Beta vulgaris (Sea Beet - photo 1), then on closer inspection found the plant pathogen which attacks it, considered a pest in commercial Beet crops as well. Though not rare - there are abound 40 FRDBI national records - this is a new entry for Finds.

May 7th 2024

Psathyrella clivensis  by Penny Cullington Psathyrella clivensis  by Penny Cullington Psathyrella clivensis  by Jesper Launder May 7th Psathyrella clivensis (a Brittlestem with no English name) microscope

On the Grangelands at Pulpit Hill both Penny and Jesper Launder found a few examples of this LBJ, guessed it was probably a Psathyrella, and keyed it out independently to this species - very satisfying! It is small for the genus and occurs only in calcareous grassland sites and is not very common. We have just two previous county records and this is a new entry for Finds. (Photos 1 and 2 are Penny's, photo 3 is Jesper's.)

Hygrocybe calciphila  by Penny Cullington May 7th Hygrocybe calciphila (Limestone Waxcap) microscope

On the Grangelands at Pulpit Hill Jesper Launder found this little collection of a small but bright waxcap and was hopeful that it would check out to be this unusual species. It is very similar - and in fact closely related - to H. miniata (Vermillion Waxcap) but is restricted to calcareous grassland sites such as this and also has differently shapes spores. Like the species below, it tends to fruit earlier than most other waxcaps though May is still fairly exceptional! We have records from a just few other county sites which have similar chalky conditions.

Previous finds
Hygrocybe acutoconica  by Jesper Launder Hygrocybe acutoconica  by Jesper Launder May 7th Hygrocybe acutoconica (Persistent Waxcap) microscope

On the Grangelands at Pulpit Hill Penny found this singleton waxcap, one better known by its previous name H. persistens. It is often one of the first waxcaps to appear in the year (though this year has been exceptional with several very early fruitings of waxcaps). It is not unlike H. conica (Blackening Waxcap) sharing its yellow colour and conical shape but doesn't blacken. Surprisingly this is a new entry for Finds. (The photos are Jesper Launder's.)

Previous finds
Pyronema domesticum  by Sarah Ebdon Pyronema domesticum  by Sarah Ebdon May 7th Pyronema domesticum (an ascomycete with no English name) microscope

On an old bonfire site on the Grangelands at Pulpit Hill Sarah Ebdon noticed these salmon patches amongst the remnants of burnt wood. This is one of several similar species - bonfire sites are always worth a quick check for fungi of all sorts which specialise in this habitat - and the spore size and shape here determined her ID. Though not rare we have only one previous county records. The species favours fairly fresh burnt sites and can also occur in buildings on damp plaster, burnt or sterilised soil. This is a new entry for Finds though we have an entry for one other very similar Pyronema species.

Trechispora farinacea  by Jesper Launder May 7th Trechispora farinacea (a corticioid with no English name) microscope

On some rotten deciduous wood at Pulpit Hill Jesper Launder noticed this patch of corticioid and was able to identify it later - the species has very distinctive spiny spores which helps to put one on the right path by eliminating many other possible similar species. Though a new entry for Finds this is a common species and we have records from quite a few different county sites.

Botryobasidium aureum  by Jesper Launder May 7th Botryobasidium aureum (Golden Crust) microscope

On a rotten log at Pulpit Hill Jesper Launder found this corticioid species, checking the microscopy later at home. Though a very common species (hence the reason it now has an English name - unusual for a corticioid) this appears to be a new entry for Finds.

Parasola leiocephala  by John Catterson Parasola leiocephala  by John Catterson May 7th Parasola leiocephala (Bald Inkcap) microscope

In a grass verge in High Wycombe John Catterson spotted this perfectly formed little Inkcap, one of several lookalike Parasola species which can only safely be separated by their spore shape and size. This he checked and sent the spore details + photos to Penny who confirmed his ID. Gone are the days when any Parasola growing in grass is automatically named P. plicatilis - thought to be very common but in fact probably less common than today's species which also occurs along woodland paths. This is a new entry for Finds.

May 5th 2024

Puccinia caricina  by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia caricina  by Sarah Ebdon May 5th Puccinia caricina (Ribes Clustercup Rust) microscope

In Naphill Sarah Ebdon noticed this rust on the leaves of Carex (Pendulous Sedge) leaves. Though we have only a handful of county records, this plant pathogen is apparently very common and - at different stages of its life cycle - is found on Gooseberry amongst a range of other hosts (hence its reference to this fruit in its English name). No doubt a species complex, the various varieties will at some stage be sorted out and separated into full species. This is a new entry for Finds

May 3rd 2024

Taphrina crataegi  by Sarah Ebdon Taphrina crataegi  by Sarah Ebdon Taphrina crataegi  by Sarah Ebdon May 3rd Taphrina crataegi (a species of Tongue with no common name) microscope

Sarah Ebdon has clearly got the bit between her teeth now she has a specialist book on Rusts and the like! Here's another one she's tracked down on Hawthorn leaves which causes these yellowish to purplish red gall blisters at this time of year. This is a new species for the county, no doubt one of many - not necessarily rare - which will now be found now we have someone out there looking for such species with dedication.

Galerina calyptrata   by Jesper Launder May 3rd Galerina calyptrata (Veiled Bell) microscope DNA

In a damp mossy patch at Burnham Beeches Jesper Launder noticed this little cluster, recognised the genus and took a specimen home to work on - always necessary with this genus which has many members, most of which look just like this! The microscopic characters were distinctive and led him straight to a couplet in the key with two similar species difficult to split.He plumped for the rare G. cerina but when dried and sequenced it was confirmed as G. calyptrata, the alternative in the couplet! Not so rare but still a nice find with only one previous county record. This a new entry for Finds.

Inocybe lacera  by Jesper LaunderPenny Cullington Inocybe lacera  by Jesper LaunderPenny Cullington May 3rd Inocybe lacera (Torn Fibrecap) microscope

In Burnham Beeches (possibly under under Oak) Jesper Launder found this singleton Fibrecap and noticing the distinctly scaly cap surface wondered if it was this species which we'd found just last week at Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens. So later checking the unusual spore shape - more or less unique to this particular Fibrecap - was enough to confirm its ID. The species prefers acidic soils such as found in this area and can be particularly prolific at Stoke Common where we have records through from May to November. See further comments in our one previous entry.

Previous finds
Taphrina pruni  by Jesper Launder Taphrina pruni  by Jesper Launder May 3rd Taphrina pruni (Pocket Plum)

In a roadside verge near Hedgerley Jesper Launder spotted a Blackthorn bush with young sloes showing the typical elongated shape they develop when infected by this fungal pathogen (photo 1), and on closer inspection found an example of the further developed fungus (photo 2). Usually appearing in June, this species affects not only Blackthorn but can devastate Plum trees and is considered a difficult pest to get rid of - so not one you want to find in your garden if you have a plum tree!

Previous finds
Chlorophyllum brunneum  by Jesper Launder Chlorophyllum brunneum  by Jesper Launder May 3rd Chlorophyllum brunneum (Brown Parasol) microscope

In a roadside verge near Hedgerley Jesper Launder spotted these young mushrooms in conifer litter. He recognised the species from its distinct brown scales - large even at this immature stage - which contrast with the white flesh beneath, also the signs of brown on the underside of the stem ring and the beginnings of it bruising orange where he handled the stem whilst turning one over. We have only two previous county records though no doubt many collections have been misidentified in the past as the very common and very similar C. rhacodes. See further comments in our two previous entries

Previous finds

May 2nd 2024

Laetiporus sulphureus  by Sarah Ebdon Laetiporus sulphureus  by Sarah Ebdon Laetiporus sulphureus  by Sarah Ebdon May 2nd Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken of the Woods)

On our Burnham Beeches walk several week earlier this bracket was spotted on a bare standing dead Beech but in its very early stages (see Penny's report for April 17th for Claire's photo). What an amazing change in appearance in just a few weeks! Sarah Ebdon's photo here shows the same specimen in all its glory with the typical tiers showing sulphur yellow pores underneath and orange tints above. Photo 2 shows another small bracket just forming elsewhere on the same trunk. This has to be one of our most stunning and distinctive bracket species, is often around in early summer and can be found on a variety of different trees including Cherry and Yew. Photo 3 is also Sarah's of a similarly impressive showing but found a week later in Priestfield Arboretum on White Walnut / Butternut which seems to be an extremely unusual host tree for the species.

Previous finds
Suillus granulatus  by Jesper Launder Suillus granulatus  by Jesper Launder May 2nd Suillus granulatus (Weeping Bolete)

Penny has been wondering when our first Bolete would turn up as so many unseasonal species have been appearing this spring. Here it is! Jesper Launder found this singleton under Pine (its host tree) in Gerrards Cross where he found also it last year in August. See the notes about the species with that entry.

Previous finds

May 1st 2024

Entoloma conferendum  by Sarah Ebdon May 1st Entoloma conferendum microscope (Star Pinkgill)

In a grassy area at Burnham Beeches Sarah Ebdon found these LBJs and was uncertain of the genus even when she looked at the microscopy. The spores of this particular Pinkgill are amazingly star-shaped, reminiscent of the nodulose spores found in some Fibrecaps - another very tricky genus of LBJs. She smelt a rat, however when noticing that the sporeprint and gills had a pinkish tinge, and having now realised it was missing the typical Inocybe cystidia, she quickly homed in on this Pinkgill. This is one of our commonest species and once you've seen these spores it's an easy one to identify with a scope. The ID problems start when you find differently shaped spores ................

Previous finds

April 29th 2024

Tragopogon pratensis by Jesper Launder Pustula tragopogonis  by Jesper Launder April 30th Pustula tragopogonis (a fungus belonging to the Oomycetes but with no English name) microscope

Jesper Launder went out early to Gerrards Cross in search of the flower Goat's-beard - another name for which is Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon because the flower closes by midday. He successfully found an open flower (photo 1) but noticed the plant was covered in a fungal pathogen (visible in both photos) which he was later able to track down to this species for which we have no county records (not surprisingly!). There are under 50 national records on FRDBI.

April 30th 2024

Mycena pelianthina  by Jesper Launder Mycena pelianthina  by Jesper Launder April 29th Mycena pelianthina (Blackedge Bonnet)

In Beech litter in Chalfont St. Peter, Jesper Launder spotted this early fruiting of a Bonnet we often find in deciduous litter in autumn. Though it has a somewhat dull nondescript cap, this species is easy to recognise once you spot the obvious dark gill edge (though it's never truly black but deep purple as seen here!). It also has a sharp smell of radish as an extra clue to its identity. We have many records but extremely few earlier than August with just one in July and one in late May, so today's find is yet another example of how topsy-turvy fungal fruiting has been this spring. (Jesper apologises for his photos taken at dusk.)

Previous finds

April 28th 2024

Puccinia festucae  by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia festucae  by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia festucae  by Sarah Ebdon April 28th Puccinia festucae (a Rust with no English name) microscope

In Lacey Green Sarah Ebdon - now on the hunt for rusts which are prevalent at this time of year and with her new book to help with ID - found two different species, this one being the first and more unusual. Like many rusts it is host specific , so often if you can identify the plant you can also identify its accompanying rust, and this particular rust affects the leaves of Lonicera (Honeysuckle) though appears as yet not to have a suitable English name. Visible on both surfaces (as shown in photos 1 and 2), the underside forms the tiny orange blobs seen here which contain the spores. Apart from one record which has neither a date nor a site name though no doubt was genuine and likely to have been found during the BMS Spring Foray based at Green Park in May 2002 - we have no county records so this is a new entry for Finds.

Puccinia sessilis  by Sarah Ebdon Puccinia sessilis  by Sarah Ebdon April 28th Puccinia sessilis (Arum Rust) microscope

This was the second of two Rusts found by Sarah Ebdon In Lacey Green today. This one - a common species - is host specific to Arum maculatum (Lords & Ladies) and affects the leaves. The fruiting body part in photo 2 is found on the underside of the leaves but is tiny - Sarah apologises for her less than brilliant photo!

Previous finds
Monilinia johnsonii  by Jesper Launder Monilinia johnsonii  by Jesper Launder April 28th Monilinia johnsonii (Haw Goblet) microscope

In Jordans Village Jesper Launder has been on the hunt for this species in its anamorph stage which affects fresh Hawthorn leaves in May / June and can be detected by crushing the leaves which produce a strong aromatic scent and which also curl up and brown as seen here. (In photo 1 it is the brown leaves which is the fungus, not the white flower buds!) He reports the smell was amazing! The 'Goblet' teliomorph stage is found on last year's old fallen Haws in March / April, forming tiny brown cups with long stems and which we have yet to record in the county. We have just two previous records of the anamorph stage made by E. Mordue - a recognised specialist in such species - at the BMS Spring Foray week held at Green Park back in May 2002. This is a new entry for Finds.

April 26th 2024

Hygrocybe chlorophana  by Sarah Ebdon April 26th Hygrocybe chlorophana (Golden Waxcap) microscope

In the lawns at Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens Jesper launder found first one, then several more, of these stunning beauties. Penny, he and Sarah were not at all sure which of the yellow / orange species it might be; the depth of colour here made us wonder about H. quieta but it entirely lacked any typical oily smell, so we were left with the possibilities of H. chlorophana or ceracea though the general 'jizz' didn't seem quite right for either. However, at home Penny found the amazingly long gill trama (strands of hyphae) which typifies H. chlorophana and the spores size and shape matched also. This is the second spring appearance of the species within a month - amazing! (The photo is Sarah's.)

Previous finds
Puccinia anthoxanthina  by Jesper Launder April 26th Puccinia anthoxanthina (a Rust with no English name) microscope

At Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens Jesper Launder found this rust on the leaf of Sweet Vernal Grass which Sarah Ebdon - now armed with a copy of Dutch Rust Fungi - was later able to identify. (The photo is Sarah's.) There is debate as to the correct name for this species which has previously been included as a variety of P. brachypodii, but a note written by expert Paul Cannon on his website favours following its acceptance by another author as an independent species with the name given here. Though not yet officially accepted in the UK we go with that name. There are plenty of UK records under its previous name which however includes collections made on several different plant hosts; once the name P. anthoxanthina is accepted universally it will be applicable only to collections made on Sweet Vernal Grass. Under whichever name, the species is new to the county and to Finds.

Uromyces muscari  by Sarah Ebdon Uromyces muscari  by Sarah Ebdon April 26th Uromyces muscari (Bluebell Rust) microscope

At Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens Sarah Ebdon was on the lookout for rusts on plant leaves and quickly spotted this one showing nicely on several Bluebell leaves. Knowing your plants helps a great deal with naming rust fungi because they are very often host specific though the species name here implies a different host which is somewhat confusing! It is very possible that this particular species when found on Bluebell - probably its commonest host - will be given a different name at at some stage. Our very few county records reflect how little recording of such fairly common species in spring goes on here. This is a new entry for Finds.

Perenniporia fraxinea  by Jesper Launder April 26th Perenniporia fraxinea (an unusual bracket with no English name) microscope

At the base of a mature Sycamore at Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens Penny together with Sarah Ebdon and Jesper Launder spotted this huge bracket hiding behind some nettles - hence Jesper's photo from above! It was at least 40 cm across and also quite thick, absolutely hard and with a green glint in the outer section. Jesper took a small sample to check for spores which later proved his ID suggestion at the time to be correct. Though not rare, we have just 7 previous county records on a variety of different deciduous tree hosts though this is the first on Sycamore. It is commonest on Ash as its species name suggests. This is a new entry for Finds.

Russula grisea  by Penny Cullington Russula grisea  by Penny Cullington Russula grisea  by Penny Cullington April 26th Russula grisea (False Charcoal Burner) microscope

In Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens Penny was astounded to find two separate specimens of a Russula (Brittlegill) under Oak - in April?! She's been leading an autumn walk here for the last 15 years or so when a bothersome atypical Russula has often been present - usually recorded as R. parazurea though with some doubts. She never imagined it would show up here in April, however. Sporeprint colour amongst various other features eventually led her to this species though not quite all features were convincing, so for this reason - although it's not a rarity - this collection will be sequenced. Photo 3 shows the strong salmon pink reaction when the stem is rubbed with a crystal of Iron salts.

Previous finds
Amanita rubescens var. annulosulphurea  by Penny Cullington Amanita rubescens var. annulosulphurea  by Penny Cullington Amanita rubescens var. annulosulphurea  by Penny Cullington April 26th Amanita rubescens var. annulosulphurea (Blusher)

In Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens Penny was surprised when she spotted this very early fruiting Amanita in grass under Lime. Thinking it was possibly A. excelsa from the brown cap colour and lack of pink in the nibbled parts, she was further surprised when turning it over revealed not only the telltale signs of pink staining thus separating it from A. excelsa but also a clearly yellowish rather than white ring - hence the varietal name here. (Sadly the yellow does not show up well in photos but her companions agreed with the ID at the time!). We have hundreds of records of the Blusher (both varieties) and glancing though them it is noticeable how the very few June records start to increase in the last 15 years when just three May records also occur (none before this). However this is a first for April! What's more, photo 3 is of the same species found by Jesper Launder in nearby Sefton Park just two days earlier.

Previous finds

April 24th 2024

Morchella elata     by Jesper Launder Morchella elata     by Jesper Launder April 24th Morchella elata (Black Morel)

At Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens Jesper Launder found a good fruiting of this elusive springtime genus growing in the quantites of wood chip at this site. This species probably the commonest - has a preference for conifer wood chip, often fruiting in gardens where this substrate has been imported. So do keep an eye out for it if you've used this garden product at home.

Previous finds

April 23rd 2024

Agaricus bitorquis  by Justin Long Agaricus bitorquis  by Justin Long Agaricus bitorquis  by Justin Long April 23rd Agaricus bitorquis (Pavement Mushroom)

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder came across this singleton mushroom in a roadside verge and on turning it over was able to name the species Besides the fact that it favours urban habitats it has a very distinctive and persistent 'double' ring with a raised upper and lower edge - clearly visible in photo 3. The cap has clearly pushed its way through the soil with debris still attached and the gills are still quite pink and showing their 'free' attachment. Though not considered rare, we have just three previous county records and this is a new entry for Finds.

Hypholoma fasciculare  by Penny Cullington Hypholoma fasciculare  by Penny Cullington Hypholoma fasciculare  by Penny Cullington April 23rd Hypholoma fasciculare (Sulphur Tuft)

On a fallen very rotten Lime trunk at Turville Heath Penny spotted three yellow rather nibbled caps. On closer inspection she recognised the species, then spotted more fruitbodies lurking inside a hollow in the trunk. Photo 2 shows how the sulphur yellow young gills soon darken to almost black as the spores mature and colour them accordingly. This is one of our commonest mushrooms growing on wood and is not that unusual to find at this time of year.

Previous finds
Trametes gibbosa  by Penny Cullington Trametes gibbosa  by Penny Cullington April 23rd Trametes gibbosa (Lumpy Bracket)

Inspired by Sarah and Jesper's recent Truffle hunting success, Penny went searching in the Lime avenue at Turville Heath but found nothing! The only fungi of interest were this cluster of brackets on an Ash stump together with the entry above. Typical of the species is the green algal coating which often forms on its bumpy upper-surface, also the mazelike under-surface - all features showing nicely in photo 2. This is a very common bracket on fallen deciduous wood.

Previous finds

April 22nd 2024

Balsamia platyspora  by Justin Long Balsamia platyspora  by Justin Long April 22nd Balsamia platyspora (a Truffle with no common name) microscope

This species, in Jesper Launder's garden, was his fourth species of Truffle to be found under his Lime tree in the space of two days! Amazing! This is the third year running that he's found it here though this is by far the earliest date as can be seen from our previous entries. See the notes with those records for more. Photo 2 is of a further find he made on June 3rd under Hornbeam in Gerrards Cross.

Previous finds
Tuber aestivum  by Sarah Ebdon April 22nd Tuber aestivum (Summer Truffle)

Under Lime in Hughenden Woods Sarah Ebdon discovered this somewhat early fruiting of a distinctive and quite common truffle species (genus Tuber is a member of the hypogeous ascomycetes - ie related to cup fungi but growing underground). It is certainly the truffle we have the most county records for but these still can be counted on two hands! Its black knobbly surface and marbled interior are easy to recognise and it can get to 8-9 cm across though today's was pretty tiny judging from the leaf in Sarah's photo! What a good find!

Previous finds
Tuber rufum  by Justin Long Tuber rufum  by Justin Long Tuber rufum  by Justin Long April 22nd Tuber rufum (a Tuber with no English name) microscope

This was the third tuber species Jesper uncovered under the Lime in his garden in Jordans Village in the space of two days! This is one of the ascomycete hypogeous species (those related to cup fungi which grow just under the surface of the soil). Though he checked for spores to confirm his ID the specimen was still too immature to produce any, but he knows the species well and the uniform round shape together with pale colour already developing rufous tones were enough for him to make his ID. It rarely gets bigger than 2 cm across or so and the size here can be assessed by the leaf he's placed it on. We have just two previous county records though the likelihood is that this is a common species. Photo 2 is of a further sizeable collection Jesper made from under Chestnut in Gerrards Cross, June 6th, where he commented that there were many 'dig holes', half of which had specimens remaining in them - the more mature ones having their distinctive smoky aroma. Photo 3 is of a collection of remarkably large specimens he found in Little Chalfont under Oak on June 8th - the largest he's ever seen!

Previous finds

April 21st 2024

Hymenogaster arenarius  by Justin Long Hymenogaster arenarius  by Justin Long Hymenogaster arenarius  by Justin Long April 21st Hymenogaster arenarius (a Tuber with no English name) microscope

This is the second of two different Tuber species Jesper Launder found lurking in the soil under a Lime tree in his Jordans Village garden - this one new to the county with only 17 FRDBI records, mostly under either Beech or Lime. Photos 2 and 3 are of a collection Jesper made under Lime and Oak in Beaconsfield, June 7th. See the notes for the entry below for a little more general information about the genus.


Hymenogaster tener  by Justin Long Hymenogaster tener  by Justin Long April 21st Hymenogaster tener (a Tuber with no English name) microscope

This is one of two different Tuber species Jesper Launder found lurking in the soil under a Lime tree in his Jordans Village garden. Then two days later he found this species again under Hornbeam in Gerrards Cross (photo 2).The genus which has over 30 different species - all under 2 cm across - is apparently and surprisingly related to Cortinarius (the Webcaps)! This particular species has the smallest spores and its size here can be assessed by the comparative size of the leaves in Jesper's photos. This is just our second county record (and new to Finds) with only 30 FRDBI records, though it is not considered rare.

April 20th 2024

Gymnopus ocior  by Sarah Ebdon Gymnopus ocior  by Sarah Ebdon April 20th Gymnopus ocior (Spring Toughshank)

At Stampwell Farm this unusual Toughshank has appeared several times in the last few years and is often an early fruiter. Similar to the much more common G. dryophilus (Russet Toughshank) it has a more intensely coloured cap as can be seen here, also the gills tend to be yellow though this colour always seems reluctant to show well in photos! Jackie assures me the gills looked decidedly yellow here. We found a possible third lookalike species in the Burnham Beeches Mire on our midweek walk there a few days ago. See my report for a photo and further comment on the issues involved here.

Previous finds
Agrocybe pediades  by Sarah Ebdon Agrocybe pediades  by Sarah Ebdon April 20th Agrocybe pediades (Common Fieldcap) microscope

At Stampwell Farm this species is a regular at this time of year, and Jackie Ewan reports that it is just starting to appear in the grassy areas. She often notes that the stem tends to have a kink, clearly visible here. The genus has spores (also gills given time) which are brown, fruits in spring and several members, like this one, tend to lose the ring on the stem quite quickly.

Previous finds

April 18th 2024

Kuehneola uredinis  by Sarah Ebdon Kuehneola uredinis  by Sarah Ebdon April 18th Kuehneola uredinis (Pale Bramble Rust)

At Dancersend Sarah Ebdon noticed this distinctive Rust species on living Bramble stems. This is a very common Rust affecting only Bramble and forming lines of rusty orange 'dust' along the stems in Spring. Many rusts go through two or more stages, using a different host plant for each stage, but this one stays entirely on one host plant. This appears to be a new entry for Finds.

April 16th 2024

Fomitopsis pinicola  by Sarah Ebdon April 16th Fomitopsis pinicola (Red-belted Bracket)

In Gt. Beard's Wood nr Beaconsfield Sarah Ebdon came across this example of a bracket which is becoming increasingly common locally, this time found on Birch and really showing off its red outer belts to perfection. When looking as it is here it is an easy one to name, but glancing through our many other entries will show how very different in appearance it can be depending on its stage of maturity. It seems to be common on both Beech and Birch though is less frequent around here on Pine despite its Latin species name.

Previous finds

April 12th 2024

Leucoagaricus leucothites   by Jim Wills Leucoagaricus leucothites   by Jim Wills Leucoagaricus leucothites   by Jim Wills Leucoagaricus leucothites   by Jim Wills April 12th Leucoagaricus leucothites (White Dapperling) microscope DNA

Jim Wills noticed this impressively large pair of white mushrooms fruiting in a trough in a pub garden near Stoke Poges containing winter / spring flowers. The largest cap was 12cm across, so these were sizeable specimens! He took a spore print to make quite sure the spores were indeed white as its white gills suggested (hence pointing to genus Leucoagaricus), then checked the microscopic details which indicated it was L. leucothites or some closely related species. However, its impressively he large size pointed to the rare L. subcretaceus which would have been new to the county, so a sample was dried for sequencing. Disappointingly the result showed a perfect match for the much more common L. leucothites though this is our earliest county record by several months.

Previous finds
Peziza petersii  by Penny Cullington April 12th Peziza petersii (a cup fungus with no common name) microscope

On some recently cleared burnt ground at Turville Heath Penny noticed a couple of dark brown cups which she guessed might be this species - one which favours bonfire sites - but having been fooled by a very similar lookalike from a different genus found on another bonfire site here just a month earlier, she took it home to check. The lookalike, Plicaria endocarpoides, has very different microcharacters, but today's matched the Peziza species fine and is one she found here last year.

Previous finds
Scutellinia subhirtella  by Penny Cullington April 12th Scutellinia subhirtella (an Eyelash Fungus with no common name) microscope

On some recently cleared burnt ground at Turville Heath Penny noticed a few tiny bright orange red spots on some rotten wood. Sure enough on closer inspection they had dark hairs around the edge placing them in genus Scutellinia, though the hairs at first glance didn't look convincingly long enough for the common S. scutellata, also they had a slightly translucent more orange appearance. Taking note of the spore size and markings together with the length of the hairs, it keyed out in various different keys to S. subhirtella, a species for which we have a good handful of records - a couple from burnt ground. Apologies for the very ordinary photo but luckily Claire Williams's photos in Previous finds shows the species off much better.

Previous finds

April 8th 2024

Verpa conica  by Sarah Ebdon April 8th Verpa conica (Thimble Morel) microscope

Near Saunderton Sarah Ebdon spotted a likely piece of habitat for this relative of the Morels and was rewarded with a couple of specimens. The tall stem with relatively small head is not unusual with this distinctive species which here is showing nicely why its English name was chosen. The comments written for the entry below apply just as aptly for this springtime fruiter.

Previous finds
Morcella esculenta  by Sarah Ebdon April 8th Morcella esculenta (Morel) microscope

On a spot near Princes Risborough where she saw this species in good numbers last year, Sarah Ebdon went searching for Morels again and found just this one rather squat example. There are good years and bad years for these springtime fruiters; last year was especially good but this year seems not nearly so prolific. There's still time, however, but they remain as elusive and unpredictable as ever.

Previous finds

April 6th 2024

Ganoderma pfeifferi  by Jesper Launder Ganoderma pfeifferi  by Jesper Launder April 6th Ganoderma pfeifferi (Beeswax Bracket)

On a mature Beech in Chalfont St. Peter Jesper Launder saw this substantial bracket which from its shape, colour and pale pores which bruise brown was clearly some sort of Ganoderma. Suspecting that the cuticle on the upper surface had the waxy resinous coating which would bubble and melt if flamed, he tried this which then confirmed his ID. The cuticle of G. resinaceum also reacts in this way but in our area is more often found on Oak whereas G. pfeifferi is more often on Beech. Both species occur on mature trees but neither are very common.

Agaricus dulcidulus  by Jesper Launder Agaricus dulcidulus  by Jesper Launder April 6th Agaricus dulcidulus (Rosy Wood Mushroom)

In Chalfont Park (Chalfont St. Peter) Jesper Launder found this singleton small purplish brown Mushroom under Cypressus. He noticed on collection that the stem was clearly yellowing where handled, then checking in Kibby vol 3 found the lilaceous colours, small size and yellowing all pointed to Agaricus purpurellus, given as close to A. dulcidulus but separate from it. However, as Species Fungorum still lists it as a synonym of A. dulcidulus we stay with that name here though suspect this may change as this is known to be a species complex still to be fully resolved.

Previous finds
Bovistella utriformis  by Jesper Launder April 6th Bovistella utriformis (Mosaic Puffball)

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder noticed this young puffball just emerging in the same spot where he found the species last year (though a month later). Previously in genus Calvatia (and more recently in Lycoperdon with the other better known Puffballs), the species develops only a short stout stem and can get to 15 cm across, so much bigger and squatter than other Puffballs. The English name refers to the markings left on the surface once the scales / spines seen forming here eventually wear off with age.

Previous finds
Lentinus substrictus   by Jackie Ewan Lentinus substrictus   by Jackie Ewan Lentinus substrictus   by Jackie Ewan April 6th Lentinus substrictus (Fringed Polypore) microscope

At Stampwell Farm Jackie Ewan noticed this brown cap appearing above the grass, then investigating further found it was growing on a branch which was completely grassed over and was not a mushroom as one might have guessed from the top view (photo 1). The cap was about 5 cm across and the pores beneath together with thin tough flesh pointed to a Polypore. The fringed edge to the cap, stem markings and tiny pores together with spore size and shape then led her to this species - better known by its previous name of Polyporus cilatus.

Previous finds

April 4th 2024

Laccaria proxima  by Jackie Ewan Laccaria proxima  by Jackie Ewan April 4th Laccaria proxima microscope(Scurfy Deceiver)

Here's yet another surprise early fruiting! At Stampwell Farm Jackie Ewan found this pair just emerging in a grassy area and luckily checked the spores, only to find they were oval and not round, making this L. proxima rather than the much more common L. laccata, though for either species to be fruiting now is unusual. Young fresh examples of this species are virtually impossible to separate from L. laccata in the field though the stem here does appear pretty streaky and fibrous which would indicate the possibility of it being the rarer of the two. The only sure way is comparing their spore shape.

Previous finds
Agrocybe praecox  by Jackie Ewan Agrocybe praecox  by Jackie Ewan April 4th Agrocybe praecox (Spring Fieldcap) microscope

In a grassy area at Stampwell Farm Jackie Ewan found this nice example of this seasonal grassland species, one that she regularly turns up here. Typified by its pale cap, brown gills and spores and ring on the stem usually seen as pendant, the ring here must have only just detached itself from the edge of the cap and has yet to hang down downwards.

Previous finds

April 2nd 2024

Antherospora hortensis  by Sarah Ebdon Antherospora hortensis  by Sarah Ebdon Antherospora hortensis  by Sarah Ebdon Antherospora hortensis  by Sarah Ebdon April 2nd Antherospora hortensis (a Smut with no English name)

On a visit to Bekonscot with her daughter, Sarah Ebdon - who'd been told by Jesper Launder to check any Grape Hyacinth flowers by giving them a gentle shake - eventually after much trial and error (and a rather embarrassed daughter!) struck lucky and was rewarded by a deposit of brown spores on her hand! This recently described Smut species is host specific to Grape Hyacinth, is so far rarely recorded (with no FRDBI entries) and is new to the county.

March 31st 2024

Mitrula paludosa  by Barry Webb FRPS March 31st Mitrula paludosa (Bog Beacon)

This is a relatively rare springtime species which we have recorded in the Burnham Beeches Mire area several times in the last few years. Today's find was made by Barry Webb in the stream there leading from the Mire to the first pond. Previous records are mainly from May or June though last year we found it in mid April. So Barry's find here is certainly the earliest we've seen it here.

Previous finds

March 30th 2024

Hygrocybe chlorophana  by Jackie Ewan Hygrocybe chlorophana  by Jackie Ewan Hygrocybe chlorophana  by Jackie Ewan March 30th Hygrocybe chlorophana (Golden Waxcap) microscope

From the grassland at Stampwell Farm comes yet another unseasonal Waxcap, found by Jackie Ewan. She at first suspected it was H. quieta (Oily Waxcap) on account of its rather orange colour and oily smell, but the microscopic characters matched H. chlorophana - which is also by far the commoner of the two species - so we have to assumed it must be that despite the uncharacteristic smell.

Previous finds
Entyloma ficariae  by Penny Cullington Entyloma ficariae  by Penny Cullington March 30th Entyloma ficariae (a common species of Smut with no English name)

At Turville Heath Penny found the Lime avenue understory covered in Lesser Celandine and it was not long before she noticed the telltale pale angular patches on many leaves made by this species of host specific smut. It is very common in spring but appears to do no permanent damage to the plant.

Previous finds
Uromyces ficariae  by Penny Cullington Uromyces ficariae  by Penny Cullington March 30th Uromyces ficariae (Bitter Chocolate Rust) microscope

At Turville Heath Penny found this second fungal species on Lesser Celandine. This is a host specific Rust and was affecting many plants on both stems and undersides of leaves. It English name refers to a later stage of this rust which is no longer rusty but dark brown. An earlier Finds entry shows this later stage. It is very common in spring but appears to do no permanent damage to the plant.

Previous finds
Psathyrella spadiceogrisea  by Penny Cullington Psathyrella spadiceogrisea  by Penny Cullington Psathyrella spadiceogrisea  by Penny Cullington Psathyrella spadiceogrisea  by Penny Cullington March 30th Psathyrella spadiceogrisea (Spring Brittlestem) microscope

Under the Lime avenue at Turville Heath Penny spotted one fresh brown cap amongst the litter (photo 1), then turned it over to find the typical white stem of this genus though the gills were still amazingly pale for a genus having dark brown spores (photo 2). A little further on she came across a group looking entirely different in cap colour though, knowing the caps in this genus often fades in this way, she was fairly confident these finds were all the same quite common springtime Brittlegill. A scope confirmed it. Photo 4 shows how the dark spores have now coloured the gills to match.

Previous finds
Exidia glandulosa  by Penny Cullington March 30th Exidia glandulosa (Witch's Butter)

At Turville Heath Penny found this well irrigated collection of jelly fungus after the recent rains. This genus quickly shrivels in dry weather but then can swell and become gelatinised when it rains, so is thriving this spring! Note the finely bobbly surface on the underside visible here, a feature which helps to eliminate other similar members of At Turville Heath Penny found this well irrigated collection of jelly fungus after the recent rains. This genus quickly shrivels in dry weather but then can swell and become gelatinised when it rains, so is thriving this spring! Note the finely bobbly surface on the underside visible here, a feature which helps to eliminate other similar members of Exidia in the field. in the field.

Previous finds

March 28th 2024

Cystoderma amianthinum  by Jesper Launder March 28th Cystoderma amianthinum (Earthy Powdercap)

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder was a bit surprised to find this grassland species fruiting in spring. Apart from one late May collection, all our many county records are from August onwards when it is not uncommon.

Previous finds

March 26th 2024

Gliophorus psittacinus  by Jackie Ewan Gliophorus psittacinus  by Jackie Ewan March 26th Gliophorus psittacinus (Parrot Waxcap)

If we in Finds used another colour to indicate entries of species fruiting out of season we'd have a veritable rainbow here! This is yet another that would qualify, found by Jackie Ewan at Stampwell Farm - a site now renowned for its Waxcaps, but not in March, furthermore she found Hygrocybe ceracea here a couple of week ago (see Finds March 16th). Remarkable!

Previous finds

March 24th 2024

Calomyxa metallica  by Barry Webb FRPS Calomyxa metallica  by Barry Webb FRPS March 24th Calomyxa metallica (an unusual slime mould with no English name)

Whilst on our BFG walk at Rushbeds Wood Barry Webb collected a slime mould unfamiliar to him and was unable to identify it later. He hung on to it and a few weeks later investigated it a bit further, putting his photos on to the slime mould facebook page for help. Back came the name from both John Holden and Edvin Johannesen (both recognised specialists) and comparing other images online etc this ID looks extremely likely. Not a rarity with over 100 FRDBI entries, it is however new to the county.

March 22nd 2024

Sclerotinia trifoliorum  by Jesper Launder Sclerotinia trifoliorum  by Jesper Launder March 22nd Sclerotinia trifoliorum (a rare ascomycete with no common name) microscope

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder noticed this tiny orange disc growing in soil near moss and other vegetation. He suspected it was a species of Octospora but it failed to match anything he could find, so his photos were sent to expert George Grieff who had assisted him recently. George came back with an entirely different name though said that the species does indeed look similar to Octospora but differs in having a stem which had not been obvious to Jesper in this specimen. However the microscopic details all matched. This is a plant pathogen affecting various clovers amongst other things and develops a tiny black sclerotium (like a tiny hard pea) at its base - hence the genus name. This is a new county record and there appear to be no FRDBI records as yet this century.
Cortinarius vernus  by Jesper Launder Cortinarius vernus  by Jesper Launder Cortinarius vernus  by Jesper Launder March 22nd Cortinarius vernus (Spring Webcap) microscope

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder came across this unremarkable LBJ under Birch and, recognising the genus, knew that it was likely to be something interesting if appearing at this time - very unusual for Webcaps. He keyed it out to this species, one which in fact he found here last year in May when new to the county. However, this will need sequencing to confirm his ID because there are many extremely similar species within the Telamonia section of the genus, and so many unseasonal things seem to be appearing this spring that anything is possible! Photo 3 is of another collection he made a month later under Lime at Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens.

Previous finds

March 21st 2024

Peziza fimeti  by Sarah Ebdon March 21st Peziza fimeti (a Cup with no English name) microscope

On a dung heap near Saunderton Sarah Ebdon found this group of Cups and took one home to examine. Once armed with the spore details, following the key became quite easy owing to this specific substrate, and she then found it matched in appearance as well - very satisfying! Previously P. bovina, it is not that often recorded - around 100 records in FRDBI, the majority in springtime; our Bucks records consist of several springtime finds at Pulpit Hill in 2000 and 2002. This is a new entry for Finds.
Laccaria fraterna  by Jesper Launder Laccaria fraterna  by Jesper Launder March 21st Laccaria fraterna (Gumtree Deceiver) microscope

This find was another unseasonal surprise for Jesper Launder in Gerrards Cross. The two common members of genus Laccaria (Deceiver), l. laccata and L. amethystina, are so common that we tend to forget that this is one of our mycorrhizal genera (living in symbiosis with trees – in their case apparently any deciduous trees). L. fraterna grows only in association with Eucalyptus, arriving in this country with the import of that tree and as such is only to be found in its presence. The 50 odd UK records date from 1995, so it's still a rarity and new to the county though likely to be found if looked for under Eucalyptus. As can be seen, it's very similar in appearance to L. laccata (incidentally which also occurs in Eucalyptus!) but differs in having 2-spored basidia making a scope imperative for positive ID. The real surprise, however, is not finding it in the county but finding it in March! Jesper reported about 200 fruitbodies here, then found it the following day under another Eucalyptus the other side of town!
Gyromitra esculenta  by Jesper Launder Gyromitra esculenta  by Jesper Launder March 21st Gyromitra esculenta (False Morel)

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder found two of these beauties in Pine mulch near some Pines. This distinctive springtime species is not related to the Morels though appearing somewhat similar - hence its English name - and unlike Morels should not be eaten despite its Latin species name indicating the opposite! Our only other records come from Wavendon Heath in the north of the county so this is a nice find and should also be present on Stoke Common amongst the Pines there.

Previous finds
Helvella acetabulum  by Jesper Launder March 21st Helvella acetabulum (Vinegar Cup)

Jesper Launder has now found several of these springtime cups coming up in Gerrards Cross though his photo here was the earliest. As both this species and the fairly similar Disciotis venosa are likely to be around at this time, care is needed by the less experienced to separate them. The English (and Latin species) name here refers not to its smell but to its shape - similar to that of the ancient Roman or Greek cup used for vinegar. Unlike D. venosa which smells strongly of chlorine / bleach and has wrinkles / veins on the inner surface, H. acetabulum has no smell and has wrinkles / veins running up the stem and onto the outer surface. Both are relatively common in spring in grassy woodland glades / soil.

Previous finds
Inocybe flocculosa  by Jesper Launder Inocybe flocculosa  by Jesper Launder March 21st Inocybe flocculosa Inocybe flocculosa microscope

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder continues to turn up unseasonal fungi, this certainly being one. The genus is rarely reported earlier than June though Jesper did find one here in May last year. This collection was near to both Oak and Pine and is considered one of the commoner Fibrecaps, but there's a chance - once we get this collection sequenced - that it may turn out to be the extremely similar I. tigrina, the differences between the two (both macro and micro) are still unclear. If so this entry will be updated.

Previous finds
Entoloma ventricosum  by Jackie Ewan Entoloma ventricosum  by Jackie Ewan Entoloma ventricosum  by Jackie Ewan Entoloma ventricosum  by Jackie Ewan March 21st Entoloma ventricosum (a rare Pinkgill with no English name) microscope

In a grassy area at Stampwell Farm Jackie Ewan came across what at first glance might have been a Mycena (Bonnet) but turning it over and suspecting it had pink spores Jackie guessed it was a small species of Entoloma. A quick look at the spore shape under the scope confirmed this, and she then researched to come up with the name E. ventricosum. A springtime fruiter - there are several in the genus - it is characterised by widely spaced ventricose gills (those which are swollen in the middle), a brownish translucent cap having a Mycenoid appearance. This is new to the county and there are extremely few national records. The collection will be dried and sequenced. Photo 4 is of a further specimen found at the same spot two weeks later and showing off the ventricose gills particularly well.
Agaricus phaeolepidotus  by Jesper Launder Agaricus phaeolepidopus  by Jesper Launder March 21st Agaricus phaeolepidotus (Dusky Scaled Mushroom)

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder came across this somewhat early fruiting singleton. This mushroom is not that common and related to the A. xanthodermus group (ie the Yellow Stainers), members of which have an inky smell. Though superficially easily mistaken for A. sylvaticus (Blushing Wood Mushroom), that species stains red (cap and stem) when scratched and has the typical pleasant 'mushroomy' smell whereas today's species does not redden anywhere and tends to stain yellow at the stem base (though not as strikingly as in others in this group).

Previous finds
Lycoperdon perlatum  by Jesper Launder Lycoperdon perlatum  by Jesper Launder March 21st Lycoperdon perlatum (Common Puffball)

Yet another very unseasonal find: Jesper Launder spotted these fresh Puffballs in Gerrards Cross, showing their diagnostic warts which rub off on your finger and separate the species from the equally common but much smoother-surfaced L. perlatum (Stump Puffball). It is exceptionally early in the year to find any Puffball fruiting though it's not unusual to find last year's old dried-up fruitbodies still surviving at this time.

Previous finds

March 20th 2024

Gliophorus reginae  by Sarah Ebdon Gliophorus reginae  by Sarah Ebdon Gliophorus reginae  by Sarah Ebdon March 20th Gliophorus reginae (Jubilee Waxcap)

In Lacey Green churchyard Sarah Ebdon (who knows this species well from this site) was somewhat surprised to find a singleton up at this time. Though rare, this poorly known Waxcap - named in honour of our late Queen's jubilee - first turned up here in December 2021 and has fruited here every year since though late in the year and once into January. But March?! This is now our second Waxcap within the week, and bearing in mind the several other unseasonal recent finds it is clear that something unusual is going on at the moment presumably as a result of our mild winter / climate change? See previous notes on Finds for more about this species.

Previous finds
Daldinia concentrica  by Sarah Ebdon Daldinia concentrica  by Sarah Ebdon March 20th Daldinia concentrica (King Alfred's Cakes)

In Beaconsfield Sarah Ebdon was bowled over by this magnificent display at the base of an Ask trunk. Her apt comment to Penny: 'The day King Alfred not only burnt the cakes but added WAY too much baking soda!'. She likened it to lava bubbling out of the tree and reported that it was on all sides of the trunk as well. A common species, yes, but this is an extraordinarily massive outbreak, the largest in her and Penny's experience. But for how much longer will the species be common, bearing in mind the demise of our Ash trees upon which it depends? Time will tell.

Previous finds

March 18th 2024

Lamprospora miniata var. ratisbonensis  by Jesper Launder March 18th Lamprospora miniata var. ratisbonensis (a rare cup fungus with no English name) microscope

In moss in Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder found about 20 of these miniscule orange hairy-edged cups and knew he'd need help with identification. He sent his macro- and microphotos - the species has beautiful round spores ornamented with a distinct reticulation - to expert George Grieff who was able not only to name the moss genus as Didymodon but also to make a likely suggestion for the fungus too. Jesper then confirmed this using various keys etc. There appear to be no records in FRDBI and this is new to the county.
Hebeloma mesophaeum  by Jesper Launder Hebeloma mesophaeum  by Jesper Launder March 18th Hebeloma mesophaeum (Veiled Poisonpie) microscope

Under Birch and Eucalyptus in Gerrards Cross, Jesper Launder was amazed to come across this genus in March - one we expect to find in the autumn. Microscopy confirmed it, however, and also enabled him to determine the species - not that rare (in the autumn) and sometimes with a two-tone cap with distinctly darker centre (as will be seen in our other previous Finds entry which was also made under Birch). However, bearing in mind the extraordinarily unseasonal date and possible association with Eucalyptus, today's collection will be sequenced.

Previous finds
Calocybe gambosa  by Jesper Launder March 18th Calocybe gambosa (St. George's Mushroom)

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder found a nice fresh collection of this springtime species with its typical chunky pale cap with slightly inrolled edge, thick stem and equally pale gills. One whiff of its strong farinaceous smell (mealy / of rancid flour) is all the confirmation one needs: this is pretty well the only mushroom answering to this description found at this time, so an easy one to identify. Named after its regular appearance on or around St. George's Day (April 23rd), it is common in grassy verges from April to May (or even June) and our earliest record is for March 2nd though we have almost no other March records besides today's.

Previous finds

March 17th 2024

Disciotis venosa  by Jesper Launder March 17th Disciotis venosa (Bleach Cup) microscope

In Gerrards Cross Jesper Launder noticed this singleton species fruiting in a hotel car park verge. There are several similar cup fungi which fruit in Spring, usually in April though we do have some early March records for this one which favours grassy banks. Its English name refers to its strong smell - one of the clues which help to confirm its identity.

Previous finds

March 16th 2024

Hygrocybe ceracea  by Jackie Ewan Hygrocybe ceracea  by Jackie Ewan March 16th Hygrocybe ceracea (Butter Waxcap)

Penny was surprised to receive details of this species from Jackie Ewan, found at Stampwell Farm in grassland. Waxcaps occur most often in latish autumn though we also have summertime records, but the earliest we have for this particular species is one doubtful record in August 20 years ago! The similar but larger H. chlorophana was found last year in May (see in Finds) which was also an exceptionally early record. Glancing through the first half of the 2500 odd national records, Penny found just a few for January - presumably late autumn season fruiters - but none from February to July.

Previous finds
Panaeolus fimicola  by Jackie Ewan March 16th Panaeolus fimicola (Turf Mottlegill) microscope

At Stampwell Farm Jackie Ewan noticed an early fruiting of this species in manured grassland. Though the Latin species name suggests an association with dung, this is not necessarily the case though it often occurs on or near to dung. It is less common (or not as obvious to identify) as the Mottlegill below, usually with a shorter stem and larger cap, but to be sure a scope is needed to locate the special cells which occur on the gill face and which are not easy to find!

Previous finds
Panaeolus acuminatus  by Jackie Ewan March 16th Panaeolus acuminatus (Dewdrop Mottlegill) microscope

At Stampwell Farm Jackie Ewan noticed an early fruiting of this species in manured grassland. The 'Dewdrop' name refers to its tendency to have fine droplets - usually coloured black from fallen spores - on the upper stem; these provide a useful clue to species in the field as other similar Mottlegills lack them. This is one of our commonest grassland LBJs.

Previous finds

March 13th 2024

Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa  by Barry Web FRPS March 13th Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa (a Slime Mould with no English name)

At Burnham Beeches Barry Webb found this tiny, delicate and beautiful species on rotting Beech. It is in fact a Slime Mould on a Slime Mould because the black slimy base from which it is emerging is the plasmodium stage of Metatrichia floriformis, a species we found at this spot the previous day (see more mature examples just below). The two species together appear like an underwater marine scene!

Previous finds
Arcyria ferruginosa  by Barry Webb FRPS March 13th Arcyria ferruginea (a Slime Mould with no English name)

The previous day a small group of us found a few fungi at Burnham Beeches, one being this Slime Mould to which Barry Webb returned today to check its identity and take his photo. This is a good example of the mature stage of the genus Arcyria (when not slimy at all!) showing in the background the fine mesh of fluffy 'elaters' which form the protective framework containing the spores which here have almost entirely blown away. Note also the now empty cups - all that is left of the entire sporangia (fruiting body) once the rest has blown away.

Previous finds
Cephalotrichum purpureofuscum  by Stephen Plummer Cephalotrichum purpureofuscum  by Stephen Plummer March 13th Cephalotrichum purpureofuscum (a rare hyphomycete with no English name) microscope

In Rushmere Country Park Stephen Plummer (now a Greensand Trust volunteer) collected a Rhododendron leaf with a fungal infection he didn't recognise and took it home to work on. Hours later he'd solved the mystery by matching the microscopic details with available literature and photos online. This is a rarely recorded fungus (though not purely restricted to this host) with just 17 previous national records and is not surprisingly new to the county. In photo 2 the simply miniscule tall spike with whitish head is the fungus.

March 12th 2024

Cylindrobasidium laeve  by Claudi Soler March 12th Cylindrobasidium laeve (Tear Dropper) microscope

At Burnham Beeches our small group found a stick coated with a pinkish brown quite thick Corticioid which we were unable to name in the field though several of us knew it was familiar. At home Claudi Soler found the telltale spores of this species which are shaped like tear drops, hence its English name. The species is very common on fallen deciduous wood.

Previous finds
Metatrichia floriformis  by Linda Seward Metatrichia floriformis  by Linda Seward Metatrichia floriformis  by Linda Seward March 12th Metatrichia floriformis (a Slime Mould with no English name)

At Burnham Beeches our small group found several large colonies of this distinctive and common species on fallen damp rotting deciduous trunks, showing all stages of its development from the black blobs with dark orange stalks to the mature stage with fully opened tops with fluffy orange spore masses ready to be distributed by air currents etc (photo 3). The photos are Linda Seward's.

Previous finds
Auricularia auricula-judae  by Linda Seward Auricularia auricula-judae  by Linda Seward March 12th Auricularia auricula-judae (Jelly Ear)

At Burnham Beeches our small group found a fresh display of this common species fruiting on fallen bare Elder - its commonest host. It is not unusual to find it on fallen Beech also, and occasionally on other deciduous woods. It is nearly always an easy fungus to recognise from its shape, colour and malleable rubbery texture when fresh, and can be found at any time of year given suitable damp conditions. The photos are Linda Seward's.

Previous finds
Sarcoscypha austriaca  by Linda Seward Sarcoscypha austriaca  by Linda Seward March 12th Sarcoscypha austriaca (Scarlet Elfcup)

At Burnham Beeches our small group of forayers were delighted when good numbers of this eye-catching cup fungus were found. The species is having a 'bumper year' this winter and spring, no doubt encouraged by the mild wet months, and has been seen in extraordinary numbers in several places. However, very surprisingly it had never been recorded here before today though this site must have one of the lengthiest species list in the county, going back over a century or more. The photos are Linda Seward's.

Previous finds
Byssomerulius corium  by Linda Seward Byssomerulius corium  by Linda Seward March 12th Byssomerulius corium (Netted Crust)

At Burnham Beeches our small group of forayers found a deciduous stick coated with a whitish corticioid species. Its distinctive 'merulioid' (soft, wrinkled with low ridged) surface and ease of peeling away from its substrate made it nameable in the field by several members present. This is one of our most common flat whitish fungal species on fallen wood, most of which require specialised skills plus a scope to name. The photos are Linda Seward's.

Previous finds
Exidia thuretiana  by Sarah Ebdon Exidia thuretiana  by Linda Seward March 12th Exidia thuretiana (White Brain) microscope

At Burnham Beeches Linda Seward found this thick lump of white jelly on a deciduous stick and suspected it was the somewhat translucent and common E. nucleata (Crystal Brain and now in genus Myxarium), but luckily Sarah Ebdon was at hand and recognised that from its shape, more milky appearance and more solid texture it was more likely to be the less common E. thuretiana. A scope later revealed that the spores were a much better fit for the Exidia and too large for the Myxarium; she also found that close examination revealed the absence of the telltale 'inclusions' of calcium oxelate - little hard white lumps - inside, further eliminating the Myxarium. Though not rare, this is a new entry for Finds. Photo 1 is Sarah's, photo 2 is Linda's.

March 10th 2024

Battarrea phalloides  by Russell Ness Battarrea phalloides  by Russell Ness March 10th Battarrea phalloides (Sandy Stalkball) microscope

In an urban lane near Burnham Russell Ness happened upon a rare species he'd long been hoping to see one day. This strange fungus, related to Puffballs and the like, was growing in the litter under some Cypress trees - about 11 stems were present, mostly missing their puffball tops but two were complete enough for him to photo and collect some remains which still retained some spores which he was able to examine. No doubt this collection fruited here back in the autumn and their remarkable tall woody fibrous stems enable them to survive for months afterwards. We have just two other known sites for this rare and often elusive and unpredictable species, so this was a notable find.

Previous finds

March 9th 2024

Kretzschmaria deusta  by John Catterson Kretzschmaria deusta  by John Catterson March 9th Kretzschmaria deusta (Brittle Cinder)

On a rotten unidentified stump in Tinkers Wood John Catterson noticed this Pyrenomycete fungus - common though often overlooked - showing both fresh and old specimens. In photo 1 the old black hard crusty lumps can be seen alongside the fresh softer grey patches with white edges which can be seen close up in photo 2. This is likely to have been on Beech which is its favoured host wood. (There can't be many Latin genus names which boast six consecutive consonants!)

Previous finds
Daldinia concentrica  by John Catterson Daldinia concentrica  by John Catterson March 9th Daldinia concentrica (King Alfred's Cakes)

In Tinker's Wood John Catterson found some nice examples of this very common fungus on fallen branches of Ash, with which it is host specific. Maybe in years to come this will become a rarity as our Ash trees succumb further to Ash Dieback Disease, following the same demise as Rhodotus palmatus (Wrinkled Peach) - once common when Elms were plentiful. John's photos here show both fresh (brown) and old (black) examples.

Previous finds

March 5th 2024

Kuehneromyces mutabilis  by John Catterson Kuehneromyces mutabilis  by John Catterson March 5th Kuehneromyces mutabilis (Sheathed Woodtuft)

In Wycombe Rye John Catterson noticed and recognised this tight cluster of mushrooms flourishing on an old stump. A familiar sight on fallen wood in the autumn, this clumping species is not that usual to find at this time - we have no March records though several for April and May - but here is displaying the typical fading which occurs in the cap centre, often giving a 'two-tone' effect, together with the ringed stem and pale gills visible in photo 2.

Previous finds

March 3rd 2024

Plicaria endocarpoides  by Penny Cullington March 3rd Plicaria endocarpoides (a rare Cup Fungus with no English name) microscope DNA

At Turville Heath Penny made sure to check out a particularly productive bonfire site, but was sad to see that it has been cleared and flattened since her last visit. (In fact much of the dead and lying wood at this site has recently been removed, more's the pity.) However, she was surprised to see in the remains of this bonfire site a whole load of 'cups' still flourishing. The majority were pale brown - see the entry below for more - but there were a few dark reddish brown cups amongst them which she guessed (incorrectly) were likely to be Peziza petersii. At home, however, a scope revealed they were not even that genus, with round spores - not ellipsoid as in Peziza. A few emails were sent asking for help, and Asco expert Paul Cannon was able to put Penny onto the possible genus which favours burnt ground, the round spores indicating this particular species. This is new to the county with under 50 records on the national database. The collection has now been confirmed with sequencing.

Peziza repanda  by Penny Cullington Peziza repanda  by Penny Cullington Peziza repanda  by Bob Simpson Peziza repanda  by Bob Simpson March 3rd Peziza repanda (Palamino Cup) microscope

On an old bonfire site at Turville Heath Penny found good numbers of large Cup Fungi, the majority of which were a pale brown species of Peziza (photo 1) which she collected to check later at home. Photo 2 shows this pale Peziza together with a much darker brown cup growing adjacent to it - clearly there were two different species here. See the entry above for more on the darker species. Microscopic features confirmed this pale cup was P. repanda - one which she'd found at this same spot before and which quite commonly occurs on soil or burnt ground. Photos 3 and 4 were sent in by Bob Simpson, found in soil / woody debris at Salden Wood two weeks later and keyed out with care using his scope.

Previous finds
Psathyrella spadiceogrisea  by Penny Cullington Psathyrella spadiceogrisea  by Penny Cullington Psathyrella spadiceogrisea  by Penny Cullington March 3rd Psathyrella spadiceogrisea (Spring Brittlestem) microscope

In woody litter under the Lime avenue at Turville Heath Penny was pleased to find just a fresh young singleton of this species (photos 1 and 2), but a little further on came across a small group showing the typically darker gills of the genus as the spores mature and the tendency for the cap to fade, staring from the centre. As the English name suggests, this is common in Spring though our database shows that this is one of our earliest records for it, April and May being the main months when it appears.

Previous finds
Nectria cinnabarina  by Penny Cullington March 3rd Nectria cinnabarina (Coral Spot)

At Turville Heath there was very little of fungal interest about, but amongst some woody remains Penny noticed this decidious stick with the bright orange spots of this distinctive and very common species.

Previous finds

February 23rd 2024

Seifertia azaleae  by Jesper Launder February 23rd Seifertia azaleae (Bud Blast)

In Chalfont St. Peter Jesper Launder spotted a nice example of this common fungus which affects the buds of Rhododendron, preventing the affected bud from flowering. Previously in genus Pycnostysanus though common this is a new entry for Finds.

February 20th 2024

Ganoderma carnosum  by Matt Vaughan Ganoderma carnosum  by Matt Vaughan Ganoderma carnosum  by Matt Vaughan February 20th Ganoderma carnosum (a rare bracket with no common name) microscope

A friend of Sarah Ebdon's, Matt Vaughan, an arboriculturist, sent her a photo of a bracket (photo 1) found in Cublington (near Leighton Buzzard) on Feb 5th fruiting on Yew, suggesting that it might be this rare species of Ganoderma. Unfortunately there were no in-situ images taken at the time but he sent Sarah a sample which she was able to use for microscopic study and, consulting various keys etc, she was confident the ID was correct. She also sent detailed photos to tree / fungus expert David Humphries who confirmed her thoughts. This species is one of the shiny red resinous Ganoderma species which we come across far less frequently than the common and familiar G. australe and G. adspersum which lack this shiny surface. Its occurrence on conifer including Yew helps to distinguish it from the very similar G. lucidum - most often found on deciduous trees though apparently occasionally on Spruce. Of the under 50 records on the national database, all but one are on Yew and all but one Scottish record are in southern England counties. Luckily when the site was revisited today another bracket was discovered, hence photos 2 and 3.This is an exciting find and new to Bucks. (The photos are Matt Vaughan's)
Tremella mesenterica  by John Catterson Tremella mesenterica  by John Catterson Slime Flux  by Sarah Ebdon Slime Flux  by Sarah Ebdon Slime Flux  by Sarah Ebdon February 20th Slime Flux (no Latin name and not fungal but an aggregation of various bacteria) microscope

In a hedge near Tinkers Wood John Catterson noticed this impressive example of what he could only think was the common Tremella mesenterica (Yellow Brain) fruiting prolifically on a stem of Old Man's Beard. He sent his photos (1 and 2) to Penny but with a query because its abundance appeared atypical and its host plant seemed strange also. With no microscopic check available, Penny also assumed it must be the Tremella but when Sarah Ebdon saw the subsequent entry in Finds she smelt a rat because this rang a bell with her. Two years previously she'd gone through this same questioning process with a similar collection which had turned out to be not fungal but a bacterial infection. She contacted John and together they returned to the spot to examine this somewhat strange and smelly growth which she then collected together with some genuine T. mesenterica nearby to facilitate a proper microscopic comparison. Conclusion: it was microscopically completely unlike anything fungal and indeed matched descriptions of Slime Flux which apparently can often attack damaged Clematis plants, especially in the Spring. Sarah's photos 3-5 show samples of Slime Flux placed adjacent to genuine much shinier T. mesenterica. We felt it was well worth including these photos in Finds as yet another example of how misleading fungal identification can be! Sarah should be congratulated on recognising this strange organism and bringing it to Penny's attention.

See previous entries of Tremella mesenterica

February 18th 2024

Rigidoporus ulmarius  by Russell Ness Rigidoporus ulmarius  by Russell Ness Rigidoporus ulmarius  by Russell Ness February 18th Rigidoporus ulmarius (Giant Elm Bracket)

On the banks of the Thames in Eton (apparently just within VC24!) Russell Ness came across this enormous and impressive bracket, about 3ft across, on a rotting stump - possibly Poplar. A passer-by informed him that it had been there for years. Once commonest on old Elm stumps (hence its species name) it can occur on several other broadleaved stumps including Poplar. There are examples online showing a coating of algi as here. This is a new entry for Finds though the species is not that uncommon.

February 14th 2024

Geastrum striatum  by Derek Bourne Geastrum britannicum  by Jesper Launder Geastrum britannicum  by Jesper Launder Geastrum britannicum  by Jesper Launder Geastrum britannicum  by Jesper Launder February 14th Geastrum britannicum (Vaulted Earthstar) microscope

On a bank in a lane near Bourne End Derek Bourne noticed these unusual Earthstars, thought they looked interesting and was surprised to find them fruiting at this time, so sent the photo to Penny for ID etc. From his photo (photo 1) it was clear that this was no common species and close to G. pectinatum with its arched rays, distinct neck and plicate central opening (from which the spores are expelled). Noting the presence of a small but distinct collar-like structure - the apophysis - joining the central 'puffball' to its neck and clearly visible on two of the fruitbodies in photo 1, Penny made the assumption that this was likely to be the rare G. striatum, especially as she could see no sign that the base of the rays were attached to a mycelial cup. (If this cup was present, however, it would eliminate both species mentioned. Penny was acting purely on Derek's photo with no examination of the material - a dangerous thing to do, as it proved!) Ten days later Jesper Launder sent in his photos of a Geastrum he'd collected in Chalfont St. Peter and worked carefully on. Though not obvious at first, he'd found a mycelial cup present (photo 5), measured the spores which were very small for the genus, and this together with all other features led him to the even rarer G. britannicum - a species only described in 2015. Penny then started to doubt her ID of Derek's collection which appeared so similar, so asked Derek to collect another sample from the original site for proper examination. Sure enough she then was able to extricate the vital mycelial sack lurking at its base and measure the tiny spores, thus eliminating her initial ID. This was not G. striatum as shed' thought but was also G. britannicum, and as such new to the county. A sample will be sequenced to confirm. The moral of this tale: identifying purely from photos can be misleading and unsafe, emphasising the importance of microscopic examination especially where rare species are involved.

February 10th 2024

Hohenbuehelia mastrucata  by Russell Ness Hohenbuehelia mastrucata  by Russell Ness Hohenbuehelia mastrucata  by Russell Ness February 10th Hohenbuehelia mastrucata (Woolly Oyster) microscope

In Egypt Woods back in November Russell Ness found one fruitbody of this somewhat unusual pleurotoid mushroom on a huge fallen Beech at about the time that Sarah Ebdon identified and took images of a good display of it from Naphill Common. As the winter had been so mild Russell returned in February to check on it and found these fresh examples in the same spot. He comments that the Latin species name means sheepskin and that as it dries the woolly cap surface becomes much more apparent - almost like a whitish coating (seen in photo 3).

Previous finds
Leucocybe houghtonii  by Penny Cullington Leucocybe houghtonii  by Penny Cullington February 10th Leucocybe houghtonii (Pinkgilled Funnel) microscope

In Naphill whilst searching under Cedar in the hopes of finding Cedar Cups, recently entered in Finds, Sarah Ebdon saw to her surprise not that species but two pale funnel-shaped mushrooms. These reminded her of a collection made in January 2023 which turned out to be L. houghtonii, previously in genus Clitocybe and this was later confirmed. A typical pale Funnel in many ways, the decurrent gills tend to become distinctly pinkish especially after collection as it dries (though this colour is hard to catch on camera), furthermore it also develops a smell of tomato leaves though this can be fleeting or even almost absent. Not rare, it often seems to fruit in late autumn or winter but is no doubt often overlooked as just one of the many similar pale Funnels.

Previous finds

February 9th 2024

Venturia oleagina   by Jesper Launder Venturia oleagina   by Jesper Launder February 9th Venturia oleagina (a rare pathogen) microscope

Having just learned from a friend about this much under-recorded species recently found - one which occurs on Olive leaves and first recorded in the UK by Asco expert Brian Spooner in 2010 - Jesper Launder went searching on all the Olive trees he could find in Gerrards Cross. He eventually discovered it outside a restaurant! This is new to the county and the name is as yet not accepted in Species Fungorum or Index Fungorum; apparently extremely few records exist. So if you know of an Olive tree this species is well worth checking for now.

February 8th 2024

Helvella leucomelaena  by Jesper Launder Helvella leucomelaena  by Jesper Launder February 8th Helvella leucomelaena (Sooty Cup)

In Gerrards Cross, having just spotted the Geopora entered below, Jesper Launder felt inspired to check the site nearby he knew for this unusual Helvella species despite it being somewhat early in the year for it. There it was under Pine as before, though last year when new to the county it was fruiting in April. See the notes of that find for further information.

Previous finds

February 6th 2024

Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma  by Sarah Ebdon Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma  by Claire Williams February 6th Chaetosphaerella phaeostroma (Black Velvet) microscope

In Hughenden Wood Sarah Ebdon noticed this black fuzzy flat patch on fallen deciduous wood, suspected she recognised it and took it home to confirm with the microscopic features. The English name here is hopefully about to be adopted onto the official list and describes one state of the species well though when mature it develops tiny bobbles (shown well in our only previous Finds entry). This is a common species, often overlooked and can be found at any time of year. (Photo 2 is Claire Williams's)

Previous finds

February 4th 2024

Geopora sumneriana  by Jesper Launder Geopora sumneriana  by Jesper Launder Geopora sumneriana  by Jesper Launder February 4th Geopora sumneriana (Cedar Cup)

In Gerrards Cross under a Cedar tree not previously noted for hosting this unusual 'semisubmerged' species of Cup, Jesper Launder was surprised to find it fruiting so early in the year. A few days later he checked under another Cedar in Gerrards Cross where he'd found it before and sure enough there it was. We have under 10 county records though all are from mid to late March or April, so this is one to look out for now under Cedar.

Previous finds

January 26th 2024

Biscogniauxia nummularia  by Jim Wills Biscogniauxia nummularia  by Jim Wills January 26th Biscogniauxia nummularia (Beech Tarcrust)

On fallen Beech at Stoke Common Jim Wills noticed these black lozenge-shaped patches which were easily recognisable as this species - given the correct host wood. Compare his photos with those of Diatrype stigma (Common Tarcrust) - very similar and also found on fallen Beech but forming much larger patches and not lozenge-shaped as here. Both species, however, are equally common despite their common names. (Incidentally the black blobs beneath were thought to be Hypoxylon fragiforme though this determination was questioned by Penny therefore not included as a separate entry in Finds for that reason.)

Previous finds
Hypoxylon fuscum  by Jim Wills Hypoxylon fuscum  by Jim Wills January 26th Hypoxylon fuscum (Hazel Woodwart)

In Chalfont St. Peter Jim Wills found this stick under Hazel with a good display of this very common fungus. A typical species of Hypoxylon, it is smaller than H. fragiforme (Beech Woodwart) and only occurs on Hazel, often in large colonies on dead but still attached branches.

Previous finds

January 25th 2024

Fomitopsis pinicola  by Sarah Ebdon Fomitopsis pinicola  by Sarah Ebdon Fomitopsis pinicola  by Sarah Ebdon January 25th Fomitopsis pinicola (Red-belted Bracket)

We have a growing number of examples of this interesting bracket which is becoming quite common, but despite its name all so far have been on Birch or Beech. Here, however, is an nice example found significantly on Pine at Burnham Beeches by Sarah Ebdon and Jesper Launder. (The photos are Sarah's).

Previous finds

January 24th 2024

Exidia gladulosa  by Jim Wills Exidia gladulosa  by Jim Wills Exidia gladulosa  by Jim Wills January 24th Exidia gladulosa (Witches' Butter) microscope

In Austenwood Common (nr Chalfont St. Peter) Jim Wills came across this Jelly Fungus on fallen bare deciduous wood. There being two very similar black species, he took it home and checked the spore size which confirmed his initial field ID. Both E. glandulosa and E. nigricans (previously plana) have the same slightly bumpy uneven 'warty' undersurface visible in places in both photos 2 and 3. E. glandulosa forms loose cushion-like structures (seen here) rather than the smaller more wrinkled 'brain-like' structures of E. plana (Warlock's Butter). NB Do not confuse either species with Bulgaria inquinans - similarly black and jelly-like but not in any way related) which leaves a black deposit on a finger when rubbed - not the case with Exidia.

Previous finds

January 15th 2024

Exidiopsis effusa  by Claire Williams Exidiopsis effusa  by Claire Williams January 15th Exidiopsis effusa (Hair Ice)

It's almost a year to the day when Claire Williams sent Penny her photos of this beautiful phenomenon found on fallen wood near Lane End. Suspecting the recent frosts would have triggered this to happen again, she and Sarah Ebdon returned to the site, finding it here again for the fourth year running. See last year's comments for further information.

Previous finds
Trichaptum abietinum  by Jim Wills Trichaptum abietinum  by Jim Wills Trichaptum abietinum  by Jim Wills January 15th Trichaptum abietinum (Purplepore Bracket)

At Stoke Common Jim Wills found this small and quite common bracket on bare felled Pine. It tends to form colonies of tight lines along the wood, becomes pale and washed out above but the pores beneath are rather jagged and irregular and distinctly violet, especially when fresh. It occurs only on conifer whereas the quite similar Chondrostereum purpureum (also violet underneath, inhabits deciduous wood.

Previous finds
Jackrogersella multiformis  by Jim Wills Jackrogersella multiformis  by Jim Wills January 15th Jackrogersella multiformis (Birch Woodwart)

At Stoke Common Jim Wills noticed this colony of Pyrenomycetes on felled Birch though was unsure of the species, suggesting it might be J. cohaerens. Penny, however, questioned this as his photos matched exactly her concept of J. multiformis (previously in genus Annulohypoxylon and before that in Hypoxylon). Checking a variety of sources confirmed that J. cohaerens occurs on Beech along with H. fragiforme whereas today's species is very common on Birch, occasionally on Alder. Typical is the somewhat elongated rather than round individual fruitbodies as seen here in photo 1.

Previous finds

January 14th 2024

Didymium squamulosum  by Barry Webb FRPS January 14th Didymium squamulosum (a Slime Mould with no common name)

In Hodgemoor Wood Barry Webb found this attractive squat little cluster under Holly whilst searching for anything tiny and fungal etc lurking there. This is a very common species found in rotting damp leaf litter, typified by its short stout white stalk contrasting with its darker subglobose head. (Note the trail of tiny droplets adhering to the spiders web between the two central fruiting bodies!)

Previous finds
Lentinellus ursinus  by Russell Ness Lentinellus ursinus  by Russell Ness Lentinellus ursinus  by Russell Ness January 14th Lentinellus ursinus (Bear Cockleshell) microscope

In North Burnham Russell Ness found this attractive cluster on a felled dead Elm trunk and identified it using various sources which entailed checking both spores and flesh which blacken strongly with Melzers reagent (photo 3) and help to separate it from other species. This is a rare mushroom though similar at first glance to Pleurotus but the sharp saw-edged gills (photo 2) immediately single it out as belonging to genus Lentinellus. We have just 4 previous county records.

Previous finds

January 13th 2024

Tulostoma brumale  by Russell Ness Tulostoma brumale  by Russell Ness Tulostoma brumale  by Russell Ness January 13th Tulostoma brumale (Winter Stalkball) microscope

On an arid gravel bank at Dorney Wetlands Russell Ness spotted these tiny fungi amongst moss, with 25 counted at one spot and a further 11 at another. Each 'head' is less than 1 cm across and spores are puffed out of the central opening when mature in the same way as in puffballs. The species was new to the county from Gerrards Cross in November when found by Jesper Launder, so Russell's find is our second county record.

Previous finds

January 12th 2024

Lamproderma scintillans  by Barry Webb FRPS January 12th Lamproderma scintillans (a Slime Mould with no common name)

In Hodgemoor Wood Barry Webb found this attractive little cluster whilst searching for anything tiny under Holly. The Holly leaf here clearly gives a good sense of perspective - the whole fruiting body being smaller than the two prickles visible either end! The species name describes well its iridescent metallic glint. Not rare, its miniscule size makes the species so easy to overlook unless you specialise in such tiny objects, as does Barry! We now have five county records.

Previous finds
Tremella mesenterica  by Claire Williams January 12th Tremella mesenterica (Yellow Brain)

In Naphill Common on a fallen mossy stick (likely to be Oak) Claire Williams noticed this brightly colour jelly fungus. Often fruiting in winter, this is a common and distinctive species which is unlikely to be confused with anything else.

Previous finds

January 11th 2024

Botryosphaeria visci  by Russell Ness Botryosphaeria visci  by Russell Ness Botryosphaeria visci  by Russell Ness January 11th Botryosphaeria visci (an Ascomycete with no common name) microscope

In South Burnham Russell Ness found this seldom recorded species on fallen Mistletoe under some Limes and identified it using the website Plant Parasites of Europe - the species is not included in Ellis & Ellis. He comments on the striking speckled effect and yellowing of the host and notes that he first found it here back in February 2023, also at two other sites during December 2023, pointing to the likelihood that it is not that rare but just goes unnoticed. This is a new record for the county and for Finds.
Calycina citrina  by Bob Simpson Calycina citrina  by Bob Simpson Calycina citrina  by Claire Williams January 11th Calycina citrina (Lemon Disco) microscope

In Salden Wood Bob Simpson noticed this colony of tiny yellow discs on a deciduous log and sent photo 1 to Penny for identification. She emailed him a copy of the microscopic details to check but suspected it would be this very common species, better known under its previous genus name Bisporella. A day later Claire Williams found what she thought was this same species in Downley Common (photo 2 - though not checked microscopically). Two days later Bob then collected further material (photo 3) which he checked and which matched microscopically, confirming the ID.

Previous finds
Fomitopsis pinicola  by Claire Williams Fomitopsis pinicola  by Claire Williams January 11th Fomitopsis pinicola (Red-belted Bracket)

In Burnham Beeches Gill Ferguson noticed this species still fruiting prolifically on the same large fallen Beech trunk where we've observed it before. It certainly seems to be increasingly common at this site, occurring on both Beech and Birch despite its species name implying a preference for Pine. The photos here are Claire Williams's.

Previous finds

January 8th 2024

Marasmius hudsonii  by Barry Webb FRPS January 8th Marasmius hudsonii (Holly Parachute)

Barry Webb and Gill Ferguson excel at finding this beautiful but tiny little mushroom, one that only occurs on dead Holly leaves and until recent years not known in the county. It is now a regular at Hodgemoor and a couple of other sites but today's find was the first for Burnham Beeches - much to Barry's delight as he, and others, have been searching for it in vain there until now!

Previous finds
Metatrichia floriformis  by Barry Webb FRPS January 8th Metatrichia floriformis (a Slime Mould with no common name)

In Hodgemoor Wood Barry Webb found this little cluster under a Holly bush. Though not yet mature enough to have opened out into its typical 'floral' shape, in this form it is already recognisable with its shiny black round top and blackish stalk (officially mushrooms have stems but slime moulds have stalks!). This is one of our commonest Slime Mould species and found (if you search carefully) on fallen rotten wood and woody debris of all sorts.

Previous finds

January 4th 2024

Melastiza cornubiensis  by Jim Wills Melastiza cornubiensis  by Jim Wills January 4th Melastiza cornubiensis (Orange Cup) microscope

In soil in a roadside grassy verge in Chalfont St. Peter, Jim Wills found this nice cluster of small orange cups. He noticed an initial similarity to various other genera including Scutellinia, but a scope revealed very different spores and marginal hairs much shorter than would occur in that genus. Possibly better known by its previous name, M. chateri, it favours sandy soil, also burnt ground, and is considered relatively common though we have just 8 previous county records, several of these from Wotton Park Estate. This is a new entry for Finds.

January 3rd 2024

Sarcoscypha austriaca  by Penny Cullington January 3rd Sarcoscypha austriaca (Scarlet Elfcup)

An appropriate species to start off our 2024 entries! This little beauty was sent in by Bob Simpson, found in his Salden Wood in mossy woody litter, and is a species which thrives in damp conditions at this time of year. So it's no surprise it should be fruiting now, and in fact was also found a few days ago in Penn Wood (see December 29th in the previous Finds page).

Previous finds
Flammulina velutipes  by Bob Simpson Flammulina velutipes  by Bob Simpson January 3rd Flammulina velutipes (Velvet Shank)

On a moss covered broadleaf stump in Salden Wood Bob Simpson found this typically winter species. It favours deciduous wood, often tightly clustered on living trunks and flourishes in both frosty and snowy conditions. Caps are brightly coloured but the give-away feature is the dark lower stem which is finely furry. One to look out for at this time of year.

Previous finds
Tubaria furfuracea  by Bob Simpson Tubaria furfuracea  by Bob Simpson January 3rd Tubaria furfuracea (Scurfy Twiglet)

In Salden Wood Bob Simpson found this very common mushroom in grassy soil at the woodland edge but was unsure of its identity. This is a typical LBJ which often causes doubt in the field, being initially somewhat similar to both Conocybe and Galerina in size and colour. It favours woody debris and can often be found in sheets covering a large area, but when single or in small groups it is less easy to recognise. It tends to have a duller more reddish and less yellow tinge that the two genera mentioned. The gills are possibly paler than in those genera and can quite often be slightly decurrent too.

Previous finds