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The Fungi of St Paul's Churchyard

by Sue Young

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We have many wonderful fungi in our churchyard that like the unimproved grassland and trees. Which one do you like best?

Meripilus giganteus (50+cms)

Grows on roots & trunks of living trees, especially beech. A weak parasite, it causes white rot that kills the tree and then can live on the dead wood for years.
It grew on our old beech tree and its roots and killed it!

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Meripilus Giganteus

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Aleuira aurantia

Aleuria aurantia Orange Peel Fungus (3-4cms)

Growing near the beech stump, it is found on disturbed soil by woodland paths. If it is windy and something lands in the shiny lined cup a puff of tiny spores are released to spread in the wind!

Hygrocybe conica - Blackening Waxcap (4-7cms)

Can you see 1 or 2 species in the photo? (there is just 1!)

Growing beside the path from the lych gate they are often on moist mossy hillsides. They start red, orange or yellow and turn black (more quickly if touched) and stand, black and shiny, for days.

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Hygrocybe conica

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Amanita ceciliae

Amanita Ceciliae - Snakeskin Grisette (6-12cms)

Uncommon. Caps usually flatten with irregular grey ‘veil’ fragments.

Exidia plana Donk – a jelly fungus.

Grows particularly on dead beech, ash and hazel, this was on our beech stump. Shrivelled and brown when dry, shiny black when wet

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Exidia plana

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Peziz varia (?micropus sp)

Peziza varia (?micropus sp) (1-5cms)

(Micropus means 'with a small leg' - you can’t see its stalk!) (1-5cms) Found especially on rotting beech and elm, these were in our shredded beech wood chips.

Caloboletus calopus - Bitter Beech Bolete (5-14cms)

Uncommon. Often under oak or beech trees. Bitter with strong fungal smell.

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Caloboletus calopus

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Hygrocybe reidii

Hygrocybe reidii - Honey Waxcap (2-5cms)

A scurfy topped waxcap that often splits radially when mature.
If cut or bruised, especially on the stem, it releases a honey odour.