Nature Notes from Skye
(and occasionally other places)

Mon 11 Oct 2004

Fungi again, this time in a Spruce plantation.  Once again a wide variety was present (despite Spruce not being a native tree) so I had to make a selection.  Some were in deep shade making photography difficult.  Some were near the forest edge where the light was better, and this is sometimes stated in the description, but in all such cases they were still very much fungi of a Spruce forest habitat, growing in bare needle litter well away from the start of the forest edge greenery.

Laccaria laccata under Spruce   Laccaria laccata under Spruce

This is the Deceiver, which we've had before.  Common under Spruce with low light levels.

Hypholoma   Hypholoma

This is a Hypholoma species, growing directly on the wood of a Spruce tree, all around its base, in deep shade.  Had to use flash.  These were quite common.  Gills grey.  Spores dark brown, looking black when massed together (not purplish as those of H fasciculare are said to be).  Flesh of cap bright lemon yellow.  Stem fibrous, hollow, sparsely shaggy.

Amanita muscaria   Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca

The familiar Fly Agaric was there.  I've previously only noticed it under Birch in Skye, but it was obviously quite happy under Spruce, as some had caps as big as dinner-plates.  Here is a baby one.  The orange fungus with gills running down the stem is the False Chanterelle, Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca.

 Small grey mushroom under Spruce   Small grey mushroom under Spruce   Small grey mushroom under Spruce

This Mycena-like mushroom did not give a spore print and I've no hope of identifying it.  It was in a fairly well-lit area of forest edge.  It grew with the False Chanterelle; there is a small one of these in the first picture.

Unknown white mushroom under Spruce   Unknown white mushroom under Spruce

Am admitting defeat on this one too.  Gills adnate, brown even in very young specimens, cap, stem and flesh white.  The outer part of the stem is fibrous, but the inner flesh and that in the top of the cap is sort of crumbly-sugary or like dense cottonwool.  Spores mid-brown.  Smell like Sweet Chestnut or even coconut, with a touch of must.  Grows in forest edge where there is some light.

Brown Lactarius

Brown Lactarius

I only found one patch of these dark brown Lactarius, but it was very extensive, starting at the forest edge and going back a long way into the darkest depths.  Nearest I can get to the ID is L hepaticus, but it's too big for that.  It gives white milk when cut.  The gills have a frosty white mottling on their edges away from the margin.  When left to give a spore print it gave a large amount of water, some of which was vaguely brown-tinged, but no spores were visible, and it also by this time had a horrible rancid smell.  Gills not decurrent, just sloping downwards in a straight line parallel to the cap above them.

 Gymnopilus junonius   Gymnopilus junonius   Gymnopilus junonius

This one was an absolute stunner; the pic doesn't do it justice.  Had to use flash.  There were just 3 of them, these two on the base of a Spruce and one round the other side of the same tree.  The stem base is firmy attached to small wiry tree roots.  Cap viscid, its flesh pale yellow, stem flesh a more lurid yellow.  Stem tough.   Water bubbles out when squeezed.  Spore print dark cocoa brown, copious water also given out when left for spore print, but when the spore print is left to dry it turns pale brown, same colour as cap.  Gills down-sloping but then up a little just before they meet the stem.  Apparently it's Gymnopilus junonius.  Thanks to Howard Fox for this and many other fungus ID suggestions.

Tricholomopsis rutilans   Tricholomopsis rutilans

This one was also incredibly beautiful, but impossible to capture the subtle washed-out effect of the colours.  It too was in deep shade.  This is a non-flash picture which seems more accurate than the flash ones.  There are also occasional splashes of yellow in the cap colours.  Cap viscid, spores white.  Stem fibrous with a small hollow.  Tricholomopsis rutilans, or Plums and Custard.

I only explored a tiny fraction of the forest; just think what else there must be in there!  And I always thought Spruce plantations were dull places.

Oh, I almost forgot...

Rosa canina agg - autumn bud   Hypochaeris radicata

Plenty of hips on the wild roses at the moment; a bud is rather more unusual.  This was in one of the forestry rides, where the most profusely flowering plant at the moment is the Common Catsear, above right.



All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer