5 more fungi to look for in the Adelaide Hills

Are you a fungi fanatic? Many of you loved the first batch we dished up, so here are some extras to look out for.

If you’ve got a keen eye for spotting fungi, you might have already encountered the collared earth star, the jelly baby, or some of the other weird and wonderful types of fungi we showcased in the first part of this series.

But don’t despair, there’s plenty more where those came from. 

 Here are five you might spot around the Adelaide Hills this time of year:

1. Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor)

(Image courtesy of David Catcheside)

Turkey tail fungi come in a variety of colours, and are often striped. They are shelf-like structures and can be found growing on wood of all descriptions, sometimes even fence posts.

Some of the brown turkey tail varieties can actually look a bit like wood, so they blend in with their surrounds and can be hard to spot.

2. Bird’s nest (Cyathus olla)

(Image courtesy of David Catcheside)

This intriguing greyish yellow fungus resembles a little nest filled with eggs. These egg-like structures are called peridioles, and are actually packets of microscopic spores.

Raindrops splash the ‘eggs’ out of the nest so the spore packets are spread. The spores germinate and eventually new ‘nests’ may be produced.  

3. Green skinhead (Cortinarius austrovenetus)

(Image courtesy of Phil Bridle)

Green is a rare colour for fungi. So with its green-coloured top or cap, the green skinhead is somewhat unusual.

It’s known as a gilled fungus, because of the plate-like structures (gills) on the underside of its cap where the spores are produced. 

Green skinheads are mycorrhizal, which means they have an essential relationship with the plant they grow on. The fungus collects nutrients and water which are then used by the plant, and the plant provides energy to the fungus in the form of sugars.

4. Ghoul fungus (Hebeloma aminophilum)

(Image courtesy of David Catcheside)

Do you think ghoul fungus sounds creepy? Anything that grows on or next to rotting flesh or bones is bound to seem that way.

Not only will ghoul fungus grow on something dead, it can also be found along areas where people have urinated. Charming. In fact, the ‘aminophilum’ part of this species’ name actually means ammonia-loving.

Ghoul fungi often grow in a mass and can reach a height of about 12 centimetres.

5. Pixie’s parasol (Mycena interrupta)

(Image courtesy of David Catcheside)

Pay close attention to tree trunks and logs to see if you can spot this species. It’s uncommon in South Australia, so if you find one, count yourself lucky!

With a blue cap perched on a white-coloured stem, pixie’s parasols look as pretty as they sound. This species is saprotrophic.

Here’s what you’ve found

Check out this selection of fungi found by park-goers in our national parks, including at Morialta, Cleland and Scott Creek conservation parks.

(Images courtesy of: [top left to bottom right] Rosemary Goland, Bridgette Doudy, Bridget Fox, Bridgette Doudy,
Southern Ocean Retreats, Cindy Leary, Adam (jermin8), Sarah Bray, Sarah Bray, Sarah Bray, Sarah Bray, Sarah
(Images courtesy of: [top left to bottom right] Rosemary Goland, Bridgette Doudy, Bridget Fox, Bridgette Doudy, Southern Ocean Retreats, Cindy Leary, Adam (jermin8), Sarah Bray, Sarah Bray, Sarah Bray, Sarah Bray, Sarah Bray).

Note: It is prohibited to take fungi (including mushrooms) from national parks and gardens for the health and safety of the public.

You’ll find our five featured fungi plus many others in the Fungi of the Adelaide Hills identification chart, produced by the Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges’ Natural Resource Management Education team and the Adelaide Fungal Studies Group. For more in-depth information, check out Bruce Fuhrer’s book Fungi, or the field guide, Fungi down under.

(Main image courtesy of David Catcheside)

This story was originally posted in August 2017

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