Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A initially puzzling fungus

A small cluster of fungi have appeared just outside our garden.
Having just acquired a new fungus book which includes a key to genera of gilled fungi I thought I would try using it.  The key begins with the colour of the sporeprint.
This looked rusty-brown so quickly directed me to Key 3 "Spore print some shade of brown or black".   I then look at the image from my mirror shot:
This shows pretty clearly that the gills are not separate from the stipe (aka stem) but are what I consider to be at least adnate and possibly decurrent (run down the stipe) .

At this point enthusiasm replaced sense as I noticed that the genus Cortinarius had rusty brown spore print and this influenced my answer to the points in the guide so that I ended up with Cortinarius.  However I overlooked the presence of an annulus (a ring around the stipe showing that a veil had disintegrated).  Applying that correctly directed me to Gymnopilus sp which can have a bright rusty brown spore print.

While the colony is not, as usual, against a tree trunk, it is very likely that there is wood for it to grown on under the ground.  I'll thus conclude it is G. junonius, which is common in this area.

My confusion is probably a generalisation ot Trewin's law (which states that "an interesting statistic is probably a processing error").  I'l call the outcome Marto's Maxim: "An interesting outcome is probably an  error in procedure."

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