Σάββατο, 30 Απριλίου 2011

fairyhouses - rosy spike

Gomphidius roseus, commonly known as the rosy spike-cap or pink gomphidius, is a gilled mushroom found in Europe. Although it has gills, it is a member of the order Boletales. It is a coral pink-capped mushroom which appears in pine forests in autumn, always near the related mushroom Suillus bovinus, on which it appears to be parasitic.
Gomphidius roseus was initially described by Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries as Agaricus glutinosus ß roseus in 1821, before he elevated it to species status and gave its current genus and binomial name in 1838. The genus name is derived from the Greek 'γομφος' gomphos meaning "plug" or "large wedge-shaped nail". The specific epithet roseus is the Latin adjective "pink". 

The mushroom has a coral-pink cap up to 5 cm (2 in) in diameter, though sometimes larger, which is initially convex and later flattening and becoming a more brick colour with maturity. Often slimy or sticky as with other members of the genus, its cap lacks the blackish markings of the related G. glutinosus. The stipe is 2.5–4.5 cm (1–1.6 in) high and 0.4–1 cm wide and bears an indistinct ring. It is white with a pinkish or wine-coloured tint and often flushed yellow at the base. The whitish flesh may also be tinged pink and has little taste or smell. The decurrent gills are grey, and the spore print is brownish-black. 

An uncommon fungus, Gomphidius roseus is found in Europe, but not in North America. A similar pinkish species, G. subroseus occurs in North America. It is found in pine woods, particularly Pinus sylvestris, associated with Suillus bovinus, and is often hidden in undergrowth. Fruiting bodies sprout in the autumn. 

Like other members of the family Gomphidiaceae, Gomphidius roseus has been thought to be ectomycorrhizal, forming symbiotic relationship with their host trees. However, there is now evidence that many (and perhaps all) species in this group are parasitic upon ectomycorrhizal boletes, in relationships that are often highly species-specific, in this case Suillus bovinus.
Gomphidius roseus is not known to be toxic but is reported to be of poor quality and hence not recommended for picking.


fairyhouses - black morel

Morchella elata is a species of fungus in the family Morchellaceae. It is one of three related species commonly known as the black morel. The fruiting bodies of M. elata are known to be consumed by grizzly bears (species Ursus arctos horribilis) in Yellowstone National Park.

Fruiting bodies are hollow, and usually 5 to 10 cm tall, with an ovoid or conical head. The stipe (often swollen at the base) is 4 to 10 cm tall by 1.5 to 5 cm thick. M. elata is characterized by the production of brown or reddish-purple, elongated, cylindrical, slightly pointed globular, longitudinal pits. M. elata may be distinguished from the other black morels by smooth, white stalks in younger specimens, by steel-gray colors in the ridges and pits of the pileus, and by the production of spores larger than those of M. angusticeps.The spore deposit is cream-colored. This is an edible species, although like other morels, some individuals may be allergic.

Morchella elata grows in small groups on soil in forests. It is most well-known in North America and Europe. The variety M. elata var. purpurescens, known only from Scotland, has a purple-colored fruiting body.

The spores of this species are typically colorless, smooth, ellipsoid in shape, and 20—28 by 12—15 µm. Like other species in the genus Morchella, M. elata has operculate asci (i.e., having an ascus opening by an apical lid to discharge spores), and unicellular hyaline ascospores with polar oil droplets.


Πέμπτη, 28 Απριλίου 2011

fairyhouses - yellow houseplant

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, commonly known as the yellow houseplant mushroom, previously known as Lepiota lutea, is a fungus that commonly grows in greenhouses or with potted plants. Other common names include the flower-pot parasol and the plantpot dapperling.
The main identifying feature is the bright yellow color of the mushrooms. The cap (pileus) in the young fruit-bodies is usually taller than broad, though becoming convex, often with shallow radial grooves near the margin, with maturity. There is a ring left on the stipe and the cap can be campanulate when mature.
Can cause significant stomach problems and is quite poisonous.

It has a tendency to pop up unexpectedly in people's flower pots--even indoors!
Leucocoprinus birnbaumii won't hurt you, unless you eat it. It won't hurt your plant. It won't hurt your pets or your children, unless they eat it. There is no getting rid of it, short of replacing all the soil in your planter (and even then it might reappear). Since it makes such a beautiful addition to your household flora.


fairyhouses - elegant blue cap

Cortinarius rotundisporus, also known as the elegant blue webcap, is a basidiomycete mushroom of the genus Cortinarius found in southern Australia, where it is found in eucalypt forests and rainforests. The cap of the fruiting body is a steely blue colour, with a yellowish boss, and paler similarly coloured stipe.

The cap ranges from 2.5 to 7 cm (1–3 in) in diameter, and is initially convex before flattening. It has a slight boss which is mustard-, honey- or cream-yellow tinged and steely blue elsewhere. The adnate gills are creamy or lilac-tinged early, and darken with the spores. The slender 5-7.5 cm (2–3 in) stipe lacks a ring; it is pale yellow or white with a tinge of the cap colour. The flesh is yellowish and may have a lilac or pale blue tinge. The spore print is reddish brown and the oval to round spores measure 8.5 × 6.5 µm. There is no particular taste or smell. Potassium hydroxide will produce a pink-purple reaction in the stipe or cap. The mycelium is white. 

It can vary in colour, from dark blue-black to a pale yellow-brown as it dries.


Τρίτη, 26 Απριλίου 2011

fairyhouse - arched earthstar

Geastrum fornicatum, commonly known as the acrobatic earthstar or the arched earthstar, is an inedible species of mushroom in the family Geastraceae. Like other earthstar mushrooms, the thick outer skin splits open at maturity to expose the spore sac to the elements; the specific epithet fornicatum  refers to the arched shape of the rays which extend downwards to rest on the mycelial sac and elevate the spore sac.

When first described in the late 17th century, the species was called Fungus anthropomorphus due to its resemblance to the human figure. In his 1799 treatise Colored Figures of English Fungi or Mushrooms, English naturalist James Sowerby wrote:
''So strange a vegetable has surprised many; and in the year 1695 it was published under the name of Fungus Anthropomorphus, and figured with human faces on the head. It is at first roundish; in ripening the head bursts through the two coats or wrappers; the inner wrapper, detaching itself from the outer, becomes inverted, connected only by the edges; the coats most constantly split into four parts.''

The immature fruit body is roughly spherical in shape, typically 1.5–2.5 cm (0.6–1.0 in) in diameter, and dark brown in color. At maturity, the exoperidium (outer layer) splits into four to five rays which curve backwards so as to elevate the fruit body and raise the spore sac for optimal spore dispersal; the tips of the rays remain attached to a basal cup. The spore sac contains an ostiole, a small opening near the apex. The mature fruiting body may be up to 6 cm (2.4 in) in diameter and 8 cm (3.1 in) tall. The exoperidium is attached to the soil by rhizomorphs. Spores are spherical, warted, thick-walled, nonamyloid and 5–6 µm. In mass, the spores have a dark-brown color.
This species is found singly or in small groups under bushes and in deciduous woods.


Κυριακή, 24 Απριλίου 2011

fairyhouse-aniseed funnel

When fresh and unfaded, Clitocybe odora is a gorgeous shade of bluish green and smells strongly of anise (like black licorice or ouzo), making it a fairly unmistakable mushroom. Whitish specimens are not uncommon, however, as a result of fading or lack of moisture (or sometimes simply because they're whitish)--and if these have lost the anise odor they can be rather difficult to separate from a host of similar Clitocybe species.

Ecology: Saprobic; growing scattered or gregariously on hardwood litter in eastern North America and on the debris of conifers (or hardwoods) from the Rocky Mountains westward; summer and fall (or winter in warmer climates); widely distributed in North America.
Cap: 2-11 cm; convex with an inrolled margin at first, becoming flat or shallowly vase-shaped; dry; finely hairy or smooth; blue-green to greenish, sometimes with a paler central area; fading quickly; in dry weather sometimes whitish; the margin often lined at maturity.
Gills: Attached to the stem or running down it; close or crowded; whitish to pinkish buff (or, in the Pacific Northwest's var. pacifica, green like the cap).

Stem: 2-8 cm long; up to 15 mm thick; more or less equal; dry; finely hairy; whitish (green or greenish in var. pacifica); with copious white mycelium at the base.
Flesh: Thin; whitish.
Odor and Taste: When fresh, strongly of anise.
Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface erasing green to pale orange.


Πέμπτη, 21 Απριλίου 2011

nature spirits-hooded pitcher plant

Sarracenia minor, also known as the Hooded pitcher plant, is a carnivorous plant in the genus Sarracenia. Like all the Sarracenia, it is native to the New World.
In 1788, the first description of S. minor was written by Thomas Walter. The specific epithet minor means "small" and refers to the typical size of the pitchers. The common name refers to the characteristic lid of this species.
The plant can be found in the coastal regions of northern Florida up to the southern part of North Carolina. An especially large form, with pitchers up to four feet high, grows in the Okefenokee marshes. The species exhibits the southernmost range of any member of the Sarracenia genus extending to fragmented populations surrounding Lake Okeechobee in south-central Florida.
The typical form is a relatively small plant with pitchers 25-35 cm in height. S. minor and S. psittacina are the only species in the genus to employ domed pitchers with translucent white patches that allow light to enter. It has been suggested that the light shining through these patches attracts flying insects further into the pitcher and away from the pitcher's mouth in a similar manner to Darlingtonia californica and two Nepenthes species, N. aristolochioides and N. klossii. The tubes are mostly green throughout, but can also be reddish in the upper part. Flowering occurs from March to May. Flowers are yellow in colour.

newest version of this drawing

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