Thursday, 3 June 2010

Fairy toadstools

I believe that in stories for English kids fairies were often drawn sitting on toadstools, typically a red capped form with white spots.  That fungus, Amanita muscaria (or fly agaric) has spread to Australia where is is commonly found under exotic trees such as pines.

I had never seen these until, on Sunday, we found some growing in a street in Eltham.  However running along Widgiewa Rd this morning I spotted some more and have photographed them for your pleasure.  I was going to say 'delectation' but that sounds a too much as though tasting them is an option.  Like most Amanita they are poisonous - there is a reason that red is the colour for danger!

The first image is of an exposed specimen which is pretty old, judging by the concave cap.

This is the most 'dome-shaped one I found.  The white spots are remnants of the veil.

The insect suggests why they are called 'Fly Agaric'

Note the fallen pine needles.  This one was well underneath some vegetation and only scoring a little light from the setting sun.

1 comment:

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
Love those Fly Agarics.
We had a really poor season fro them here, this year.
It rained too early for them (February) then dried up completely.
Good to see there are still some around. I will check the usual pine tree haunts in the next few days, as we have had lots of rain in the last 72 hours.