Back to the Index page

Fungal Foray, Gilling Woods 11th October 2008

led by Colin Stephenson

birch bolete Leccinum scabrum There were ten of us and we met at the end of the road by the Gilling lakes. These are a series of three artificial lakes surrounded by mixed woodland of oak, beech, sycamore, Scots pine, larch, birch and rhododendron belonging to Gilling Castle and managed by the Forestry Commission. We walked slowly round the bottom, northern-most lake. We walked slowly just because there were so many interesting fungi and it was marvellous to have Colin Stephenson to identify them and tell us all about them. We saw lots of a slightly felty pinkish Milkcap called Lactarius pubescens that lives under birch and makes a whitish milk when broken, and later on the much shaggier Lactarius torminosus that also lives under birch. There were areas with a great many dirty cooked-liver coloured Lactarius blennius under birch and a chestnut-coloured suede-like milkcap called Lactarius tabidus whose white milk goes yellow when dabbed on a white handkerchief. Colin pointed out the Leccinum scabrum (left), a pored fungus with a brown cap and a white stipe covered in powdery brownish scales – and showed us how this did not discolour when broken whereas Leccinum variicolor which looks rather similar turned bluish-green when cut. There was a beautiful Blushing Bracket – Daedaleopsis confragosa – which is a glossy flattish brown bracket fungus with slightly pinkish maze-like pores underneath, which was growing on a small willow on the lake edge, as well as the very common and dramatic Turkey Tail – Trametes versicolor – which grows on decaying wood (see pictures below).

Blushing bracket Daedaleopsis conflagrosa
Blushing Bracket Daedaleopsis conflagrosa
Turkey tails Trametes versicolor
Turkey Tail Trametes versicolor

One of the highlights were the Green Woodcups Chlorosplenium aeruginascens (now known as Chlorociboria aeruginascens) on an old rotting fence post. This is a tiny blue-green cup which also stains the wood a turquoise colour. The infected wood, known as ‘green oak’, was formerly used in the manufacture of Tunbridge ware, a traditional method of decoration where woods of different colours were arranged into blocks to give the desired pattern, compressed, then cut transversely into thin strips of veneer.

Green Woodcups Chlorosplenium aeruginascens Green Woodcups Chlorosplenium aeruginascens detail
Green Woodcups Chlorospenium aeruginascens
detail © Gill Smith 2009

Once round the damper west side of the lake we saw a good many specimens of Helvella crispa in the grass as well as some rather slug-eaten Chanterelles – Cantharellus cibarius on a mossy damp bank, a tiny Beefsteak fungus Fistulina hepatica on an old tree stump, and lots of Stinkhorns – Phallus impudicus in all stages of development in the needles under the Scots pine trees.

Chanterelles Cantharellus cibarius
Chanterelles Cantharellus cibarius
Helvella crispa
Helvella crispa

Species list

Thanks to Colin and Beryl Stephenson for this list.

Fuligo septica on fallen Betula twig
Spinellus fusiga on Mycena galericulata
Erysyphe alphitoides on Quercus leaves
Erysyphe heraclei on Heracleum sphondylium
Erysyphe sordida on Plantago major
Phyllactinia fraxini on Fraxinus leaves
Sawadea bicornis on Acer leaves
Xylaria hypoxylon on fallen deciduous litter
Chlorosplenium aeruginascens on fallen deciduous wood
Helvella crispa ride side
Leotia lubrica with Fagus
Phacidiostroma multivalve on fallen Ilex leaves
Rhytisma acerinum on Acer leaves
Trochila ilicina on fallen Ilex leaves
Hormotheca robertiani on Geranium robertianum
Rhopographus filicinus on Pteridium
Amanita citrina var alba with Fagus
Armillaria ostoyae with Rubus
Cantharellus cibarius in moss
Collybia butyracea with conifer
Collybia confluens with Fagus
Collybia maculata with conifer
Collybia peronata with Picea
Cortinarius flexipes with Fagus
Cortinarius flexipes var flabellus with Betula
Gymnopilus penetrans on conifer stump
Hebeloma sacchariolens with Betula
Hypholoma fasciculare on deciduous stump
Inocybe geophylla in deciduous litter
Laccaria amethystina with Fagus
Laccaria laccata with Fagus
Lactarius blennius with Fagus
Lactarius pubescens with Betula
Lactarius tabidus with Betula
Lactarius torminosus with Betula
Lactarius turpis with Betula
Leccinum scabrum with Betula
Leccinum variicolor with Betula
Lepiota cristata in deciduous litter
Lyophyllum decastes ride side grass
Mycena galericulata on Quercus stump
Mycena polygramma on deciduous stump
Paxillus involutus with Betula
Pleurotus pulmonarius on fallen deciduous wood
Psathyrella conopilis ride side grass
Russula betularum with Betula
Russula caerulea with Pinus
Russula cyanoxantha with Betula
Russula ochroleuca with mixed
Russula sardonia with Pinus
Suillus bovinus with Betula
Tricholoma fulvum with Betula
Tricholoma scalpturatum with Betula
Tricholoma terreum with Pinus
Fistulina hepatica on Quercus stump
Fomes fomentarius on Fagus
Hydnum repandum with Fagus
Hydnum rufescens with Fagus
Piptoporus betulinus on Betula
Trametes versicolor on deciduous log
Calocera viscosa on conifer stump
Lycoperdon perlatum ride side
Phallus impudicus with Picea
Melampsora epitea on Salix caprea leaves
Melampsoridium betulinum on Betula leaves
Naohidemyces vacciniorum on Vaccinium myrtillus leaves
Phragmidium violacium on Rubus leaves
Puccinia coronata on Lolium perenne
Ramularia rhabdospora on Plantago major

Colin R Stephenson
Recorder for Mycology
Scarborough Field Naturalists’ Society

Text and photos © Rhona Sutherland 2009