MERIPILUS giganteus (Giant Polypore)

by Clive Knight

This is the fungus I found at the base of an oak tree in the reserve at the beginning of October. Rich Murphy identified it as a Giant Polypore (Meripilus giganteus). I took the first picture (see above) on October 15th when the fungus was about 10cm across.
Rich and I have followed its progress and photographed it regularly through October, November and up to the 3rd December when it had started to decline. At its fullest it was approx 55cm across by 25cm height.

Fly agaric again

This is fly agaric, a mycorrhizal fungus, Amanita muscaria, which is found in the reserve every year despite our lack of its preferred partners: birch and pine trees. In classic pictures of this red and white fungus, those that don’t have an elf sitting on top are usually growing picturesquely in the moss under a birch tree.

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Fly agaric

Clive Knight’s yearly search among the reserve’s fungi has turned up fly agaric, the classic spotted toadstool from our fairy tales. Here is a gallery of some of the pictures of Amanita muscaria we have been sent over the years.

Header image by Clive Knight

Time-lapse fungi

None of these species of fungus are local, in fact they all come from the other side of the planet. But this is such stunning time-lapse photography by Australian Stephen Axford that we felt you should see it.

Header image by our own wildlife photographer Simon Knight.

The Wood Wide Web

by David Feather

I enjoy mushrooms, particularly as part of a full English breakfast. What I have never, till now, known, is that they and their other fungi relatives could save the planet.

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Fly Agaric

by Clive Knight

This is a sequence of pictures of a Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) taken every day from last Friday, the 22nd, up until today, Tuesday 26th. The last picture shows the fungus fully developed at approximately 17cm across, but collapsed. I have found that when they are fully open they do not last long so I am keeping my eye on some more in the reserve hopefully to take pictures of one fully open and still upright.

The header picture is the first in this series, taken by Clive Knight on Friday 22nd October.

Wood ear

This post was first published in January 2019

Auricularia auricula-judae is one of the few fungi that produces fruiting bodies all year round. Winter hardly seems to trouble it and we found these specimens in the strip of wood between Lambrok Meadow and Kestrel Field, in the second week of January with the early sunshine just beginning to melt the frost that had covered them overnight.

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Identifying fungi

This is a picture  of a bracket fungus on an oak tree in the park. The mycelium, which is the main part of the fungus, is growing invisibly inside the tree. This beautiful outgrowth is the fruiting body, part of the fungus’s reproductive system.

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