Monday, January 4, 2010

Mushrooms in Roofscape's Garden

The mushrooms I photographed above appear from time to time in Roofscape's garden in the Fenway. They are quite magical and mysterious. Somehow, I'd never bothered to ID them, but always enjoyed their elusive appearances.

Peter, our mushroom (and bee) man had never seen them and didn't recognize them from the photo. But he went online, googled translucent mushroom, and in seconds found photos, a description and an (tentative) ID ... Coprinus lagopus.
A few days ago I noticed some of these on a pile of wood-chips in the woods between Farnborough North and Frimley stations. I also noticed that they seemed to change form between the mornings and the afternoons. I have tentatively identified them as Coprinus lagopus, a type of ink-cap mushroom.

In the mornings their stems are straight (up to 12cm long) and their caps neat little inverted translucent grey umbrellas (up to 5cm across), as shown above. By the late afternoon, the stems have drooped and the caps are ragged, shrivelled and blackened, as shown below. However, by the afternoon, the next day's mushrooms are already thrusting their heads up.

Tristram Brelstaff, Reading, UK. Photo: Stephen Bastide.

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