19 October 2014: Fungus Foray – Stoke Wood, nr. Stoke Lyne

Leader: Pedro Collins

This was a morning outing, with us gathering at 10.00am at the car park for Stoke Wood, just over the fence from the M40 Service station at the A43 junction. Although there had been quite a lot of rain over the previous day or two, Pedro, our leader, was pessimistic about there being many large fungi since the temperature was a bit high. However we set off, those with more protective clothing plunging straight through the briars - led by Pedro (complete with wicker foraging basket) - and the less protected taking the more open ride along side. Our first finds of some small Mycenae were an opportunity for Pedro to explain the main families we were like to encounter and some of the distinguishing diagnostic characteristics of them - especially of the basidiomycetes. Our first big find was three large Fly Agarics, which we all recognised. Thereafter, we turned up new species quite steadily as our eyes sharpened. This worked out very well indeed, since the pace of finds was just right for discussion, identification, photographs and Pedro’s insights. The wood is mixed deciduous, interspersed with small conifer stands, with areas of light bramble and nettle undergrowth and more open areas, particularly under beech. Fortunately dropped branches had been left so the fungal ecology on decaying dead wood was rich. Pedro stressed to us the comprehensive interactions of fungi in healthy natural forests. So we found Birch bolete around birch, dead branches covered with Dead Moll’s fingers or Candle snuff like works of art themselves. Our last discovery was a translucent white jelly cup-like fungus which Pedro took home to identify – possibly a first for Stoke Wood!

What a good morning Pedro - Thanks.

Amanita muscaria (Fly agaric), Auricularia auricular-judae (Jelly ear fungus), Chalciporus piperatus (Peppery bolete), Calvulina_cristata (White coral fungus), Clitocybe dealbata (Ivory funnel), Clitocybe_geotropa (Trooping funnel mushroom), Clitocybe_odora (Aniseed toadstool), Collybia butyracea (Butter cap mushroom), Coprinus comatus (Shaggy ink cap), Coriolus versicolor (Turkey tail fungus), Daldinia concentrica (King Alfred’s cakes), Flamulina velutipes (Velvet shank fungus), Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s fungus), Leccinum scabrum (Birch bolete), Lycoperdon perlatum (Common puffball), Macrolepiota mastoidea (Slender parasol), Marasmius rotula (Pinwheel mushroom), Mycena pura (Lilac bonnet), Nectria cinnabraina (Coral spot fungus), Polyporus squamosus (Dryad’s saddle), Ramaria stricta (Strict branch coral fungus), Stereum fasciatum (Flat bracket fungus), Tremella mesenterica (Witches butter), Xylaria hypoxylon (Candle snuff fungus), Xylaria longipes (Dead Moll’s fingers).
Graham Bateman, Nigel Gregory, Lucille Savin, Michael Bloom, Adrian Allsop, Hugh Summers, Vivienne Summers, Fran Webb, Ben Webb

Hugh Summers