Fungi spotting at West Runton and Beeston Regis Heath
Autumn is a great time to spot a wide range of fungi. How many different types can you spot?
On heathland or the woodland floor you will see a variety of fungi emerging especially in a damp year. The massive networks of fungal mycelia in the leaf litter and topsoil are producing lots of fruiting bodies that produce reproductive spores.
They appear at astonishing speed.
Amongst the fungi you may spot are:-
The fly agaric
It is almost unmistakable, with its red or orange cap and cream/white spots.
This fungus is very commonly seen in woodland and heathlands.
For many people it is the archetypal toadstool and looks like the ones pictured in children's books and nursery rhymes.
The common name stems from the tradition of using this fungus as an insecticide. In some countries the caps are put into milk and any flies attracted die from the toxins that are dissolved from within the mushroom.
These are very common in the summer and autumn. They may well be spotted in damp woodland or heathland often in small groups.
They have no stem just a few threadlike "roots" and seem to grow straight out of the ground.
They are generally round or potato shaped. They have a tough thick skin and are covered with irregular scales. They can be white, cream or yellow. As they age the skin can turn ochre-brown or green
These closely resemble the much prized chanterelles.
They are yellow–orange with a funnel-shaped cap.
They are very common and are mainly found in woodlands (often coniferous woodlands) and on heathland and are usually found in groups.
There are many types of bracket fungus. One that is common is the turkey tail fungus.
It has a range of colours, browns, blues, greys and greens. However the edge is always creamy white.
It gets its common name from its fan shape and mix of colours that is seen to resemble the tail of a turkey.
But please remember that many species are poisonous.