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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Fungi in a Sussex wood

The forests are alive with fungi just now and a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing as to which are safe to eat?  Please do NOT use this blog for suggestions as to what is or is not safe to eat.  Get proper guide books.  Some easily misidentified fungi are deadly.
A mix of deciduous and coniferous trees like this wood this evening provides a rich habitat for fungi.
The Fly Agaric is poisonous and is hallucinogenic.
I am not yet sure what this is and may return for a second look, armed with mirror and torch to inspect the gills without disturbance to the fungus.  Collectors for commercial gain are having a deleterious effect on the fungi in our woodlands.
Isn't this a beauty?  It might be the Grey Spotted Amanita, which is edible but of poor quality, or it might be the Panther Cap, which is very poisonous and will kill you.
Here is another.
"The Sickener" fungus, Russula emetica, is not one that you would choose to cook.  It is poisonous.  It is common and usually red.  But don't be fooled; it is very variable in colour.
Above might be an Amethyst Deceiver.  To confirm, I need to go back with torch and mirror!  Kicking them over to check the colour of the gills is eco-vandalism.
These might be Sulphur Tufts, which would upset your stomach but perhaps not kill you.  I don't know what the brown ones are at this stage.
It is time to dust off the fungi identification books and get out there. 
Click here to find a Ramblers' walk in woodland at this time of year, when the woods are bursting with Fungal fun....or potential death!

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