Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Yet more Fungi!

Today (24 March 2010) the Australian native Plants Society (Canberra Branch) perpetrated a walk to the Smokers Flat area of Namadgi National Park.  There were quite a lot of interesting flowering plants and birds (plus not a small number of reptiles) along the way.  However I am finding that this season is delivering a particularly good array of fungi.




The first two images are of, I believe, Anthurus archeri - the Seastar Stinkhorn, a Fungimap target species.  This was seen at 35:32: 08S 148:54:13E (about 1340m AMSL) in grasses under eucalpyts, close to a highland swamp.
 
On looking at Fungi Down Under I was impressed to see that they only had 37 reports of the species so this is quite a find.



 
 The third image is of a fungus passed by many members but very close to the Square Rock trail car park at 35:31:12S 148:54:35E (1238m AMSL - no wonder the last couple of kms seemed easy walking).  I think this is Omphalina sp: in this case the target species is O. chromacea but the specimen seen was about 3x the size quoted in Fungi Down Under for that species.  Interestingly, on scouring my old emails I find that we had found O. chromacea on our property in August 2008: recalling that specimen emphasised the size differential!  And wait, there's more: I found another sample of O. chromacea at Tinker's Creek TSR (about 20km NW of Canberra) on 26 March!

The fungus was identified by a Fungimap volunteer (many thanks Graham) as Austropaxillus infundibuliformis.  He also commented "Omphalina chromacea is actually a lichenised fungus and is always found in combination with a green alga. As in your photos, you can usually see a smear of the alga around the base of the fruit body."
At an earler stage in the process we had found two large (10cm diameter) boletes.  It isn't the Fungimap target species (Boletellus obscurecoccineus) as the red is in the pores rather than the cap.  On googling 'bolete' I got to a family level key for these but as I didn't have a spore print or a magnifying glass couldn't fully explore it (and it appears to refer mainly to specimens found in North America so is as much use as a 3-speed walking stick).  Anyhow, here is a picture of the underside of one of the specimens
 The final image from Smokers Trail is of an agaric (less brave statement there) taken about mid-way between the other two.  My interpretation of the "crinkly edges" of the gills is that this is another species of  Macrolepiota. 
There is of course more to report.  On 29 March while taking the small dog for a walk at home I noticed a very large fungus growing halfway up the block.  On inspecting it more closely it was yet another bolete: I had never noticed this type of fungus before this year and now they are turning up everywhere!   I have a suspicion that it is Phelopus marginatus - described as 'probably Australia's largest terrestrial fungu'.
This one has yellow pores and a light brownish top.  Its most noticeable feature was its size: 30cm across the cap and the stem (which sounded hollow)  was 10cm across.  The stem also seemed to be covered with small spore-like stuff.  These two stem features seemed to be a major distinguishing feature for the N. Am.  genera.  The underside shot includes a little  Melachrys which gives (for those familiar with that shrub some idea of the scale of this thing.
The last image of this species is a close up of the stem and the edge of the cap.
I am going to include any more fungi - and they still seem to be springing up (perhaps Autumning up, or even better, Falling up) all over the place.  However this one is I think a polypore.  It seems to have a concentric arrangement on the top of the cap; the cap was hard and leathery rather than spongey as with the boletes, and there weren't the obvious "sections" as with the boletes.  It was growing on (or at least extremely close to) a Yellow Box Eucalyptus meliodora.  Note the reflected image in a mirror positioned below the fungus.






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