Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cooper's Hill & Ampthill Park

Two striking but very different fungi encountered locally:

Southern Bracket (Ganoderma australe), here close to the base of a Silver Birch tree over Cooper’s Hill. When this occurs in a living tree, a corresponding white rot means that the trees days are numbered! You can see the brown dust below the fungus, the result of millions of cocoa-brown spores being released.

And this is the Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera), growing in the midst of a stand of Silver Birch trees in Ampthill Park. I was thrown for a moment because it looked smaller than the grandiose specimens that I often find in the Park, but the snakeskin pattern below the cap confirms its identity. Notice, too, the double ring on the stem, or stipe as it is known in fungi circles!

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