Fungi Frolic

On July 15th a group of 10 Foggies met at Jimmy’s Creek for our Fungi day. Those who arrived early shared a classic FOGGs picnic in the carpark. After all it was actually a beautiful sunny winter’s afternoon. Historically this site has been a winner for us. This year things are a bit dry compared to past fungi days. The constant frosts in recent weeks have also taken their toll on the fruiting bodies we were searching for. We were pleased to have Dave and Lynn Munroe in attendance as members, offering us their extraordinary knowledge. Over the years they spent much time with the great Ian McCann looking at fungi. And Dave is a Fungi (fun guy) to hang out with! The first thing you learn is that many fungi species do not have a common name. Latin is all you get!
We had barely crossed the bridge to hit the track when we found our first fungi. A calsera sp. commonly known as Pretty Horns. They looked like tiny yellow deer antlers and were growing in a miniature garden- like plot along a rotting log. The first of many wood digesters we found. I tried my best to photograph with my phone camera, but sometimes you just can’t do justice out in the field, no matter the camera. We also started to see bums from this point!! If you haven’t been looking at fungi with Dave, bum doesn’t refer to the derrières on view as we bend over to look, it’s a specialised acronym for mushrooms and toadstools that are much harder to differentiate in the field, particularly when age and weather conditions have caused them to become degraded and hard to key out. Brown Ubiquitous Mushroom. BUM.
We wandered along the track for a while finding various fungi. We also found several lichens that seemed to be fruiting well. Lichen is a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and an algae and can be found on rocks, logs and leaf litter. The two work together in a colony and some of the fruiting bodies look like something drawn by Dr Zeus, you just have to get close to see them.
We found White jelly fungus (fusiformis sp.), white punk (laetiporous portentosus), various licaria sp., crepidotus, mycena, Lilac Shelf Fungus (fanitopsis lilacinogilva) and many more. Even the lyrically named omphalina chromacea, the Belly-button fungus. After an hour and a half of slowly meandering along the path we turned back to see what we could see from the opposite angle. At this point the sun had dropped behind the mountain and it was cold. I think we were all pleased to head back down and out into the sun still shining in the carpark for a coffee, cakes and a debrief. It was not the long list that we had found in the past, but considering the season it was a good day out.
  • Calocera sp.Gymnopilus sp.
  • Trumella Fusiformis (white jelly)
  • Laetiporus portentosus (white punk)
  • Laccaria sp.
  • Lichen
  • Crepidotus variabilis
  • Mycena sp.
  • Crepidotus sp.
  • Fomitopsis lilacinoglivia
  • Hypholoma sp.
  • Inocybe sp. (silky head)
  • Rameria sp. (coral fungus)
  • Omphalina chromacea. (Bellybutton fungus)
  • Courtinarius sp.
Editor’s note: It is a delight to inform you that Andy McCann has donated FOGGS a box of his late father Ian’s book “Australian Fungi Illustrated”. We will be able to share them around at future fungi frolics. Thank you Andy. Not able to be taken into the bush but useful at home is This freely downloadable e-book (PDF format), from the Field Naturalists of Victoria , consists of 9 parts, and is intended to serve as a resource to assist in the identification of some fungi that may be encountered in our native forests. It contains 340 species and over 1700 photographs of fungi, plus references for further study.