Fun with Fungi

UK National Fungus Day – Sunday 12 October 2014


We’re celebrating the wonderful and diverse world of fungi, from the large to the microscopic, the good, bad and the ugly.
Check your favourite search engine and discover if there any events near you; if not go for a walk and see what you can find.
It doesn’t matter if you can’t name it, just enjoy; but please don’t eat it unless your identification skills are professional.

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10 thoughts on “Fun with Fungi

    • We thought it was going to be a good fungi year with a promising start in early September, then we had three weeks without rain. Although we have had some rain (actually quite a lot) there is still very little about, however, we always manage to find something of interest.

  1. I tried to dig out some huge toadstools from our front lawn the other day, but they will probably come back. I will see what I can find. No I wouldn’t dare eat anything, though I have really fond memories of collecting mushrooms in the early morning with my Nana. It is magical for a child; something not many children get to do these days.

    • Hi Annette, perhaps I can save you some hard labour – if you don’t like the fungi just remove the mushroom bit. The main body of the fungus (a network of fine threads {mycelium}) probably covers the entire lawn and digging won’t remove it. Most fungi are harmless (unless it’s something like honey fungus or a rust or mildew) and the majority are beneficial. They form a commensal relationship with plant roots and provide the plant with inorganic nutrients from the soil in exchange for sugars. The mushroom bit you see is the fruiting body which produces the spores.
      Fungi have complex and fascinating life histories and are an essential part of the planet’s ecosystem, and for children they really do have magical qualities.

      • Thanks so much for that comprehensive reply. I will do as you suggest. I don’t mind them but I wouldn’t want the lawn (I say lawn but it is moss really) to be taken over by them.

  2. Sometimes I get puffballs here, which is the only one I dare eat. They don’ t appear every year though. I love the pretty Fly Agaric which grows round my birch trees. The scary thing is the honey fungus. My garden which is an ancient orchard is riddled with it. Still, it is of course nature’ s way of getting rid of rotten wood. Ancient woods must be full of it but the trees seem to cope. I have found that by looking after young trees really well and never letting them get stressed I can keep them. I have lost roses though and quite a few plums and apples.

    • Puffballs can be very elusive – lovely to eat when you can find them at the right age. Honey fungus can be a problem especially around old trees and it will attack young trees too. It is possible that in naturally diverse woodland it is not quite so prevalent due to a good ecosystem and broad mix of species, so perhaps it is the garden/orchard environment with a reduced level of species diversity and a “manicured” environment?

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