Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fanciful Fungi #7: Fungi and Fairy hunting at Bendora Arboretum

Projectgus and myself decided to go for a Sunday walk around Piccadilly Circus in Namadgi National Park. Bendora Arboretum is the only arboretum left in Namadgi after the 2003 bushfires. Walking through the pines reminded me of being a young girl; hunting for fungus in the pine forest near home. The pines from around the world bring some amazing magical fungus.

These awesome light brown caps almost look like delicious Swiss Brown Mushrooms! Unfortunately, I was unable to find this one in my book. Not sure if you can actually eat them!

These two slightly different Basidiomycota are probably Marasmius elegans, brown and orangey in colour, with different stem colours and often found in native and pine forests.

These grey specimens are probably a Tricholoma species, maybe T. virgatum. They are conical and become flat and crack with age. They are also often found in pine forest.

Another of my favourites, the Lactarius deliciosus or Saffron Milk Cap. It is an edible fungus, which is a rich orange colour and vibrant orange dots on the stems. It is known to live along with pines. 

These two specimens are most likely mature dark Agaricus augustus. It is an edible fungi, and can have a unpleasant smell when raw.

This is the second Phlebopus marginatus I have found; the other was at Tidbinbilla. This is a much smaller specimen of the fleshy-pore fungi. The largest on record was 29kg from western Victoria. They are often found in eucalyptus forest and are well loved by flies!

I am very excited to have found this puffball. It is a Lycoperdon perlatum, white and darkening with age. It is often found in leaf litter in forest. Its puffball head can be popped to release the spores. 

I have seen this beauty many times before. Amanita muscaria or Fly Agaric is a toadstool from childhood. They remind me of my childhood; walking through the pine forest near my house and pretending the red and white toadstools were home to fairies.

Not sure what to do with the kids for a day? Take then fungus hunting. They may even find a fairy house!

Happy fungus hunting!

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