From the Newsletter of the Warwickshire Fungus Survey NO. 36, 2002


    You will no doubt have seen Alick Henricis note on Daldinia in Field Mycology 2(3):80 (2001) which raises the possibility of the existance of several species of Daldinia with different host ranges in Britain. I have been looking at various papers on Daldinia published in the last four years and certainly there are outstanding questions of identity and names but I was looking particularly for the hosts mentioned for the species considered as probably British. These are: Betula, Fagus, Sorbus, Ulex, Ulmus and possibly Crataegus, Populus and Prunus; burnt host material is specifically mentioned for Betula, Fagus, Ulex. There may of course be yet other hosts involved.

    Brian Spooner at Kew is keen to see fertile Daldinia specimens from named hosts and I am happy to act as a clearing house for such material. Would you please check that specimens are fertile by leaving on white paper under cover overnight. Please send the spore print so obtained with the specimen and some of the substrate, particularly if its identity is uncertain.

    Also in Field Mycology 2(4):138 (2001) Brian Spooner is requesting specimens of Epichloe typhina on named grass hosts. We are not all capable of naming grasses, so the material should ideally show flower or seed-head and stem with upper and basal leaves. Again I will be happy to act as a clearing house. In all cases please give date, location and grid reference.

    Bert Brand.



    The project to enter all Warwickshire fungus records onto the national database is progressing reasonably well. The foray records for 1991-1999 have now almost all been entered and some progress has been made on personal non-foray records. The foray records for 1981-1990 have been collated and are ready for entry and some of these have been distributed to the keyboard team (David Antrobus, Gill Brand, Bill Moodie and John Sells). The earlier records contained in the published Flora cause more difficulty because these records were presented in totally different form from the requirements of the database. The paper pusher (Bert Brand) has made a start in getting these records into a suitable form for entry into the database.

    Bert Brand


    Found! Gymnosporangium confusum on garden juniper

    Last year we reported that we had found aecia of the rust fungus Gymnosporangium confusum on hawthorn in four successive years, from 1997 onwards, in the Stratford-upon-Avon area. However, according to the British Rust Fungi (Wilson and Henderson, 1966), the spores formed on infections on hawthorn do not re-infect this host and instead infect Juniperus sabina (a garden species whose varieties include a common, prostrate and very spreading form.

    In 2000 we had recognised several hot spots with intense infections on hawthorn and last spring (April 2001) we searched the four hot spots where we could obtain access to neighbouring ground. We found telial infections on J. sabina at all four sites. On a wet day we found groups of telia on swollen spindle-shaped areas on twigs of J. sabina . The triangular gelatinous telia were yellow with brown streaks and up to 1cm. across when engorged with water. They readily dropped off leaving small scars. In dry weather the telia dried to tiny brown scraps which were much more difficult to see. Later we found once again infections on nearby hawthorns.

    Our appeal in Field Mycology (April 2001) for other people to look out for this fungus has not yielded any additional finds anywhere in Britain. The source and persistence of G. confusum in the Stratford-on-Avon area remains puzzling.

    Gill Brand

    Notes - 1999 to 2000

    by A.W. and G. M. Brand

    Seasonal Fruiting

    One of the interesting finds of fungi in Warwickshire during 1999 was Geopora sumneriana (Sepultaria sumneriana in A Fungus Flora of Warwickshire). Many fruit bodies were found by John Price on the ground under a mature Cedar tree in the Avonbank Gardens, Stratford-upon-Avon, on 8th March 1999. It is a cup fungus and the 4-7cm diameter fruit bodies have a bulb-like appearance as they push their way up to the ground surface. At this stage the cup is nearly closed with long brown felted hairs almost concealing the opening between the lobes. The lobes later split apart to form an irregular star shaped cup. It characteristically grows under Cedar and is reported to be found in the same place year after year.

    There is only one previous record in Warwickshire since the survey began in 1965. It was found by Malcolm Clark under a Cedar tree in a vicarage garden at Tanworth in Arden in 1970. In the Flora he commented that it could be elsewhere in the county, since there are many Cedar trees in private grounds which have not been inspected.

    The Stratford find is conveniently placed in a public garden, so that it will be possible to monitor the site over the years. Shortly after this find, John Price searched under other accessible Cedars in Stratford and found the fungus a mile away under a Cedar, in the cemetery on 23rd March 1999. At the same time we heard from a friend that it was fruiting in the Shropshire area. Some fungi characteristically form a flush of fruit bodies at about the same time over a wide area, a notable example amongst commoner fungi being one or more members of Armillaria mellea agg. This suggests that fruiting occurs in response to some combination of climatic features which are common to the diversity of individual sites. In our experience G. sumneriana is a rare fungus.

    This year's three finds, at close to the same time, suggest that a rather special triggering combination of climatic features occurred over an extended area in 1999. We do not know what these features are but there is a useful take-home message. 'When there is one find of a rare fungus (especially with known habitat preference) go out and look for it elsewhere straight away. The problem is to find time for this'.

    Gill Brand

    Purplish Peziza spp.on Burnt Ground There is some confusion in this area; spore characters are the main differentiating features:

  • Smooth spores with oil drops present                  Peziza pseudoviolacea Donadini
    (= P. violaceaPers. sensu Dennis in 'British Ascomycetes' and in 'Fungi of Switzerland' Vol. 1)

  • Warted spores with oil drops present                   Peziza violacea Pers. = P. praetervisa Bres. sensu Dennis in 'British Ascomycetes' and in 'Fungi of Switzerland' Vol. 1( = P. subviolacea Svrcek)

    Abizohar & Nemlich have described a smooth spored species without oil drops which they have called P. moseri (= P. violacea Pers. sensu Bres. = P. subviolacea Svrcek [invalid name])
    This species is not known in Britain.

  • So, if you find a purplish Pezizaon burnt ground which seems to have a different combination of characters, I am sure Brian Spooner at Kew will be interested.

    Bert Brand

    Notes - 1998 to 1990

    by A.W.Brand



    Separation of Clavaria acutaand C. vermicularis.

    At Draycote Meadows there was some debate concerning the differences between Clavaria acutaand C. vermiculariswith the macroscopic consensus voting for the latter but microscopic examination determined the former. The following descriptions are from Corner: 'A Monograph of Clavaria & Allied Genera' pages 222, 251 and the Supplement to ibid.- page 24.

    Clavaria acuta:

    1 - 8cm high, simple, solitary or gregarious in small groups or densely fasciculate, shining white, very brittle. I - 3mm wide, cylindric and acute, becoming compressed, hollow and obtuse, slender, delicate; stem 0.5 - 2cm x I - 1.5mm, usually distinct. Spores 7 - 10 x 5 - 9 microns. Differs fundamentally from the following in the loop-like clamp at the base of the basidium and in the broad multiguttulate spore.

    Clavaria vermicularis:

    6 - 12(15)cm high, simple, densely caespitose, occasionally gregarious or in small fasciculate clusters of 3 to 6 or occasionally solitary, white, very brittle. 3 - 5mm wide, cylindric then elongate fusiform, becoming flattened and sulcate often curved or flexuose, solid then generally hollow, acute becoming obtuse, often yellowish towards the tip, wholly pale yellowish with age; stem indistinct, as a short, slightly narrower sterile base of the fruit body. Spores 5 - 7 x 3 -4 microns.

    Separation of Chlorociboria aeruginascens and C. aeruginosa

    The Flora refers to Chlorosplenium aeruginascensbut consulting Dennis 'British Ascomycetes' 1981 and Cannon, Hawksworth and Sherwood-Pike 'The British Ascomycotina, An Annotated Checklist' 1985 reveals there are two possible species:

    Chlorociboria aeruginascens(Nyl.) Kanouse ex Ramamurthi, Korf and Batra (1958) with spores 6 - IO x 1. 5 - 2 microns and

    Chlorociboria aeruginosa(Pers.) Seaver ex Ramamurthi, Korf and Batra (I958) with spores 9 - 15 x 1.5 - 2.5 microns.

    The Flora quotes Grove 1888 for an early record as Chlorosplenium aeruginosum. This is a reference to a paper by Grove in 'The Midland Naturalist' 1888 page 106 in which he states that he has compared material in his herbarium with descriptions in the newly published Phillips 'A Manual of British Discomycetes' 1887 and revised his records accordingly. Phillips description gives spores 10 - 14 x 3.5 - 4.5 microns, but the illustration (Plate 5, Figure 28) shows spores of narrower proportions, so all collections seeming to beC aeruginascens should be critically examined. Annotated Checklist states, 'most of all British records of C aeruginosaareC aeruginascens'.

    Naming Lepista flaccida

    The correct name for what was originally Clitocybe flaccidawould appear to be Lepista flaccida.Bon separates L. inversaunder conifers. 'Nordic Macromycetes' synonyinises the names as also does 'Flora Agaricina Neerlandica' with the comment that colour and stature differences are governed by early or late in the season and/or light and shade conditions.

    Extracted from 'The Newsletter of the Warwickshire Fungus Survey', No. 33 February 1999.

      Melanophyllum echinatum


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