Try a fungi foray

What Bri­tish wildlife springs to mind when you think of au­tumn? Surely, it has to be fungi?

EDP Norfolk - - Nature -

THERE ARE around 15,000 types found in the UK. Some of them are very large, some very small, some are smelly, others are oozy.

But not only are they com­pletely fas­ci­nat­ing to look at, they are also re­ally vi­tal for our health as many are im­por­tant sources of food and medicine.

They also change peo­ple’s lives. Lots of medicines, like an­tibi­otics, are based on chem­i­cals that are found in fungi.

Lots of fungi have sym­bi­otic re­la­tion­ships with the roots of the trees or plants that they grow next to. This means that both the fun­gus and the plant ben­e­fit and it hap­pens when the fun­gus grows around the roots of the plant, pass­ing on wa­ter and min­er­als that the plant might not eas­ily be able to get. In re­turn, the fun­gus gets car­bo­hy­drates which they need to be able to sur­vive.

Here’s a guide to a few you might spot this sea­son.

FLY AGARIC

No guide to com­mon Bri­tish fungi would be com­plete with­out this. The fly agaric is our most recog­nis­able toad­stool – if you love fairy tales then you must be fa­mil­iar with it. You’ll know this one when you see it: its red cap and white warts are un­mis­take­able. DID YOU KNOW? It’s known as the glück­spilz or lucky mush­room in Ger­many.

PINK WAXCAP

This is a pretty lit­tle fun­gus that you can find grow­ing most com­monly in grass­lands. As well as its beau­ti­ful pale pink colour, it’s usu­ally iden­ti­fied by its peaked cap. How­ever, as it ages the cap be­comes flat­ter and the edges flick up. DID YOU KNOW? Also known as ‘The Bal­le­rina’ due to its tutu-like edges.

YEL­LOW STAGSHORN

This colour­ful jelly fun­gus can be found grow­ing on de­cay­ing conifer wood, so look closely. Its colour is so strong that if the wood­land is dark enough it can ap­pear to glow. It gets its com­mon name from its branches, which look a lit­tle like antlers. DID YOU KNOW? The branches of this fun­gus are slimy to the touch.

HORN OF PLENTY

You’ll have to look very care­fully to see the horn of plenty, as they blend in very eas­ily with leaf lit­ter on the wood­land floor. They par­tic­u­larly like grow­ing near moss, so look out for dark ar­eas on the ground. DID YOU KNOW? Another name for this fun­gus is ‘trum­pet of the dead’.

Never pick and eat wild mush­rooms un­less you are with a qual­i­fied ex­pert who has told you it is safe.

You can sup­port the work by join­ing your lo­cal WildlifeTrust­to­day.Visit www.nor­folk­wildlifetrust. org.uk or go to www.wildlifetrusts.org to choose the trust you would like to join.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.