Fungi from Strathcona Park

This report by Alison M. was distributed to the Botany Group by Jocie on November 5. Click a photo to enlarge it.

In the last week of October we have been into three locations in the Park in the hopes that the recent rains have awakened the fruiting bodies of some fungi—Mckenzie Lake and Meadows on the 23rd (on Sunday to avoid the logging operations along Murex Main), Divers Lake on the 26th (where the gate was open!!) and Elk River Trail on the 28th.

There has been enough moisture, especially on the trails along Highway 28 that benefit from the weather coming in from the west coast inlets. However, not a single chanterelle—their look-alikes yes, namely the ubiquitous wooly pine spike Chroogomphus tomentosus (photo 1) and false chanterelle Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca, golden on the cap, bright orange on the underside (photo 2), and also the scaly chanterelle Turbinellus floccosus (photo 3).

We did find the unusual so-called blue/black chanterelle—Polyozellus atrolazulinus—on the ERT, a little past its best, with some hypomyces, but the general form and the veining on the underside are still clear. (photos 4 & 5).

On all the trails, clusters of the honey mushroom Armillaria mellea group were prolific. Most of the examples would be Armillaria ostoyae that parasitizes conifers ( photos 6, 7, 8)—the clusters of large shroom with obvious veil ring, scaly on top can be a whole range of browns. The spore print is white as can bee seen in photo 8.

Apart from the Polyozellus on the ERT, stunning was the Stropharia aeruginosa (iNat gives verdigris agaric as the common name), which when young has a cap like blue porcelain (photos 9 and 10). Distinctive features of the Stropharia genus include the very wooly surface of the stipe, and when the cap opens some of the wooly particles cling to the rim of the cap in a fringe.

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