Know your fungi: six to spot
The main autumn glut may have passed but plenty of fungi are still to be found in our fields and woods. Some have lingered from milder days; others are the result of a final push of fruiting bodies; a few simply thrive in the cold.
Laccaria amethystina One of our most stunning toadstools. A lingerer from autumn, it is small enough in size to shelter from early frosts among the forest’s leaf litter.
Pleurotus ostreaus Often seen in tubs in supermarkets,
this familiar fungi is also found on dead or dying wood, especially beech, and can survive freezing temperatures.
Flammulina velutipes An edible mushroom that enjoys winter, it is often found near water on broadleaved trees and was formally, and aptly, known as ‘winter fungus’.
Perhaps our most iconic fungi, fly agaric is not fond of frost but is easily spied when sheltering under bramble
or bracken, its bright red cap contrasting with autumnal browns.
Lepista nuda Popular with foragers as it appears
late in the year, the wood blewit has a violet cap, tightly packed gills
and a distinct smell that is reminiscent of cheap perfume.
Craterellus tubaeformis This master of subterfuge blends into the dead leaves and dropped needles on the forest floor. Finding the first one is tricky – you may then see hundreds.