Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, April 30, 2007

Funny Fungi everywhere

A perfectly formed, but young Fairy Toadstool
The people of Robertson are blessed with an extraordinary outbust of the red Fairy Toadstool every year. This is not something one wishes to do anything other than look at, admire, and have a bit of a childhood fantasy about.

Certainly one does not want to eat them, for the stories of their toxicity are legendary.

But, pretty? Well, I think so.

Toadstool just emerging
covered with the "veil" still
These Toadstools emerge from a sac or "veil", and as their caps grow, the sections of the veil break up, and some drop off, leaving the typical flecked patterns on their caps.

These Fly Agarics (Agaricus muscaria) are very common, as the climate in Robertson seems to suit them, and also the Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) which is the main host plant in this district.

Find a bunch of old pine trees in Robertson, and look underneath them, this week and next, and you will find the Fly Agarics growing there, almost certainly.

This one is unspotted
which is unusual
It is unusual to find such a small (tight) ball-shaped Toadstool without any flecks of the veil on it. It is very pretty, though. So shiny that it is almost reflective.

These fungi have appeared suddenly, following another burst of autumn rain.

Watch out, though, near these Fairy Toadstools.
You may find a photographer or two, lurking somewhere, trying to get that "special shot" !!!

Starfish Fungus
Growing alongside the these Fly Agarics were several small members of the Stinkhorn family of fungi. These are bizarre looking Fungi which are attractive to flies (for they reputedly have a foetid odour). The flies spread the spores of the Fungi.

In the centre of the fungus is a black slimy substance which is where the spores are held.

Aseroe rubra
This one is known as the "starfish fungus" (Aseroe rubra). In this second photo you can see the hollow tube below the head of the fungus. The "starfish" name comes about from the sets of "arms" (in this case six double arms).
These were growing in grass, underneath large pine trees, at the rear of the CTC@Robertson.
These "fruiting bodies" of the fungus are very fragile and delicate, and dry out quickly, so they do not last long, above ground.

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