Fabulous fungi around Emmetts Garden and Toys Hill
Know your dusky puffball from your mealy bonnet? Ever heard of an elfin saddle? The mushroom kingdom is full of peculiar caps, quirky growths and bizarre names. Autumn at Emmetts Garden and the surrounding Toys Hill countryside is a great time to immerse yourself in it, with an abundance of fungi popping up all over.
Did you know...
- Some fungi can release up to 2.7 million spores a day.
- The marbling effect you see on antique wooden furniture is caused by fungi specimens within the tree trunk. It's called 'spalting'.
- Many varieties of fungi are poisonous, so it’s best to simply photograph and avoid touching them.
Take a scroll through our fungi foray
Otherwise known as candlesnuff fungus, the white powdered tips resemble a snuffed out candle when fully matured. Look out for it on decaying tree stumps.
Arguably the most recognisable fungi out there, the fly agaric is iconic with its red cap and white spots. It’s commonly found within birch groves and woodlands.
Whimsical in name but ghoulish in looks, this fungus likes to appear around rich soil and burnt ground making it a hard one to spot on a black background.
Did you know the puffball contains 7.5 trillion spores? You can tell the dusky puffball from its common cousin as it's darker and prefers to grow singly.
One of the more colourful fungi on the list, the spectacular rustgill proves its name when it shines gold in the sun. Look out for it on stumps and at the base of trees.
Easily mistaken for dead leaves, this fungus is a common sight in conifer woods from late summer to the end of autumn, sprouting straight from the ground.
Unlike its dusky friend, this fungus grows in large clusters on decaying wood. When it matures a pore opens up on top which releases the trillions of spores within.
Popping up amongst fallen leaves in late autumn is the classic mealy bonnet with its small grey cap. As the name suggests, it emits a mealy smell into the woodland.
A few varieties of fungi pop up around the garden at Emmetts each year, such as the iconic fly agaric and the birch polypore. For the best displays though head out into the woodland where the undergrowth is moist and dark; perfect mushroom habitat.
Scords Woods is particularly good for a day of fungi spotting and can easily be reached from Emmetts Garden or Toys Hill.
Remember to check out dead tree stumps and branches along with decaying leaves and fruits on the ground to find the best varieties.
We've listed our favourite fungi walks for you below to help point you in the right direction. Download a walk today and get out exploring; why not share what you find with us on Facebook too?