The Mushroom Formerly Known as Prince

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Friday, 20 November 2015 07:57

Last Sunday I went to Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey with the WWFRG again but this time I took Bryony in addition to meeting up with Tony and Shaun. We found a wealth of fungi that day but none were as showy as the HUGE (sorry Artist Formerly Known as Prince, the similarities stop there) the Prince or Agaricus augustus as it prefers to be known these days. Always wanted to see this beast of a mushroom.

I was amazed at how rich the site was and it wasn't long before we found the Snaketongue Trufflecub, a Cordyceps species that parasitises False Truffles! Such strange looking things.

In a matter of minutes Bryony got me a tick! Here is Lactarius subumbonatus.

And this Tricholoma batschii is found here and only two other sites in the country!

But it was the Cedarwood Waxcap that I was perhaps most excited about seeing, or should I say smelling! Waxcaps have been so fantastic this autumn that they have become my favourite fungi family of the year! It smells of Russian leather or lead pencils, both smells that I have no experience with but I can tell you the smell is quite distinct. It makes me think, what will the books state that fungi smell like in another generation or two? Smells strongly of chai latte or an iPhone perhaps.

We also found a couple of interesting Amanitas. This Jewelled Amanita was a looker...

And Bryony found this specimen that Dick Alder hasn't been able to identify as it might not have opened up enough. I was hoping it was going to be Warted Amanita but it looks like we might have to let this one go. A huge thanks again to Dick and the WWFRG, I would be very lost with fungi without their guidance so I am very grateful for these field trips. Now, I'm only 18 species away from 6000. 

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