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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Through the Cracks

Fencepost of the Week #105

Moss-green coming up through the cracks...

Monday, 22 February 2016

Blackening Russule

Monday Mushroom #99

The blackening russule begins as a stout, creamy white mushroom with a coffee-coloured flush to the depressed center of its cap.

Young blackening russule - Russula nigricans

This mushroom's gills are very distinctive: exceptionally thick and widely spaced. To me, they look rather like sliced almonds and have the same brittle texture.

blackening russule - Russula nigricans - gills.

As they age, they shrivel and turn black...

Mature blackening russule - Russula nigricans

Persisting as cryptic black lumps on the forest floor after the season ends. 

Blackening russule - Russula nigricans - old, detatched fruiting body. This one is still recognisably a mushroom, but will disintegrate into charcoal-like lumps over time.
 Last time, I covered Asterophora lycoperdoides - the powdery piggyback fungus, which grows out of these black lumps.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Friday, 12 February 2016

Wooden Toothed Maw

Fencepost of the Week #103

Monday, 8 February 2016

Powdery Piggyback

Monday Mushroom #98

The blackening russule - Russula nigricans is well named for the way it turns black on maturation, eventually degenerating into nondescript brittle black lumps that strongly resemble charcoal. It is a very common fungus round these parts and has developed parasitic hangers on - another fungus called the powdery piggyback fungus - Asterophora lycoperdoides - which emerges as little white mushrooms as the russule blackens.

These parasites are unusual in that their caps disintegrate into a brownish, spore bearing powder by a process totally unrelated to the development of spores on their gills.

Friday, 5 February 2016


Fencepost of the Week #102

Nails jut in the half-light of the forest understory.