fascinating fungi flourishing
I've spotted a few different types of fungi growing in the garden. Yay! That shows biodiversity is increasing in the little ecosystem that is my garden. Their appearance has been helped by two things: the very chunky wood mulch that I liberally spread a couple of years ago, and consistently good rainfall over the last couple of years.
These photos (except for the last one) are of fungi sighted in the garden over the past few weeks. Identifying fungi is very difficult though, and in the cases of Gold Tuft and Crepidotus, the labels I have given them should be regarded not so much as definitive identification - but identification in progress.
These subtle brown fungi are not as dramatic as some fungi, but I adore them. They are Fairy-ring Champignons (Marasmius oreades). These are mainly found in urban areas, in parks, gardens and grassy nature strips. They're probably an introduced species. They tend to grow in groups, and often form 'fairy rings'.
If I'm right, this is a pretty exciting find because this orange fungus is uncommon, the only representative of the genus Cyptotrama in Australia. Found on rotting wood in native forests and mountain fern gullies in southeast Australia, this is a small, young specimen of Gold Tufts (Cyptotrama aspratum). It's a one-off - the only specimen I've seen in the garden so far.
These toadstools are very tiny, glimpsed as a pinprick of red among the brown and the green. They are, unsurprisingly, called Ruby Bonnet (Mycena visidocruenta). I've seen a couple of groups of these in the garden, but mostly I've just seen individuals. They grow in litter - dead leaves, twigs, bark of native wood - just what I provide. They're generally found in moist forest areas, fern gullies and drier native bush. If you're lucky, they'll also turn up in southeastern Australian suburban gardens like mine, with native vegetation.
The ACT Government Health Directorate is reminding people to steer clear of the world's most deadly mushroom - the Death Cap. All parts of this mushroom are poisonous, and eating just one mushroom can be fatal. The Death Cap mushrooms often grow near established oak trees and are found when there is warm, wet weather. Given recent weather conditions it is likely that Death Cap mushrooms are already growing in Canberra...
... If it is in your own yard, the best option is to leave it be. It will die in a few days. Alternatively, you can step on it to destroy it. Do not kick the mushroom as this spreads the spores further. Never touch the mushroom with bare skin.
Three weeks ago a woman died after eating a meal containing Death Cap mushrooms that she picked in a park in Box Hill, a nearby suburb.
Earlier this year two people died in Canberra after eating the mushrooms.