Monday, 29 October 2012

We just can't get enough fungi fun

This autumn is turning out to be Fungitastic with more and more mushrooms popping up and spotted by students out and about making the most of learning outside the classroom.

Lycoperdon Pyriforme (Common Puffball)
Our latest favourites are the Lycoperdon Pyriforme or more commonly known as the Common Puffball.  Apparently the genus name Lycoperdon means 'Wolf wind' which does make you wonder just how the mushroom came to get its name and who got close enough to a wolf to know what their wind was really like!  More commonly it is thought they got their name by the process of them 'exploding' their spores when ready, hence the name puffball.

Left:Russula Queletii (Fruity Brittlegill) right:Common Puffball

Another favourite that has popped up in the last week is the Russula Queletii or Fruity Brittlegill which also appears to have been a tasty favourite to slugs.  Apparently when crushed it smells like gooseberry jam but has a very bitter and unpleasant taste.

Fungi ring in the coniferous plantation

All of these fungi were spotted by Clifton High School Year 13 students who were carrying out diversity investigations as part of their A Level Biology course and added a little extra wow to a coniferous plantation. The fungi are thriving off the mulch and leaf litter and studies have shown that coniferous trees surrounded by fungal rings actually grown better living in symbiotic relationship with the tree.

Please remember:  Unless you are with an expert NEVER eat any fungi that you find as some are very poisonous!

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