Late bloomers, etc.

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on November 18.

Here’s a note from Sharon that will be of interest, along with a lovely photo of gumweed, a “late bloomer” [click the photo to enlarge it]:

The Kamloops Wildflower Project and especially Clapperton Ranch have some interesting winter/fall photographs on their Facebook page.  I shared one of their posts on the Comox Valley Nature Facebook page also.

I walked through Kin Beach Park a few days ago and was struck by the winter colours and how striking the silvers and rusts were against the green of the mosses. 

Grindelia with its last bloom of autumn at Kin Beach
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Recording available for microplastics talk

CVN’s November webinar was Establishing a baseline of microplastics in marine food webs: a case study in Baynes Sound, B.C., presented by oceanographer Natalie Mahara. If you missed this event or would like to see it again, the recording is now available here. To access it you will need to provide your name and email address.

For more information about this talk, see the announcement in our earlier post.

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Colourful Cortinarius

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on November 14.

Cortinarius is the biggest genus of gilled mushrooms in the world, with thousands of species. The Pacific coast is a hotspot for “corts,” with a rich abundance and diversity. A few distinct features of this genus:

  • Many have a “cortina” (from the Latin word for curtain) that forms a cobweb-like veil over the developing gills. Traces of the veil often appear as a ring-like band of fibrils on the stipe (stem).
  • Spore prints are typically rusty-brown.
  • All grow in soil or humus (never on wood) and are ectomycorrhizal.

Species in this genus come in a variety of sizes and colours. Some have brightly coloured gills (yellow, orange, red), and others have shades of green, lilac or purple. In a shaft of sunlight the gills can be spectacularly bright and satiny. Many more species are brown & dull, and these have a more subtle beauty.

Here are some examples of Cortinarius that I have seen this fall. These are all from four locations: Buttle Lake area, lakes north of Campbell River, the Merville Woods, and Miracle Beach Park. Note that #6 & 7 are a review of the lilac and purple corts discussed by Alison earlier in her debrief on green, blue and purple shrooms.

[Click a photo to enlarge it.]

  1. This yellow-gilled cort might be Cortinarius croceus.
  1. An orangy-gilled cort, possibly Cortinarius cinnamomomeus.
  1. A red-gilled cort, likely Cortinarius smithii.
  1. Close-up of the red gills of the above.
  1. A beautiful “viscid” cort that looks like it is covered in a glaze (which reflects the canopy above!) Possibly Cortinarius vanduzerensis. Note the purple blush at the base of the stipe.
  1. A lilac-coloured cort (there are many different lilac-toned species, which all look very similar!). Note the cortina on the stipe, which shows nicely here.
  1. Violet cort (Cortinarius violaceus).
  1. A brown-gilled cort…of some sort!
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Fly agarics and more!

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on November 10.

[Click a photo to enlarge it.]

Here are some fly agarics (Amanita muscaria) growing in an unusual spot! (More down the hole, but I didn’t look too closely.) You never know where this cosmopolitan shroom will pop up!

I have seen a variety of button forms of this iconic species…some studded with warts, some hot-orange without warts, and others the size of an orange. Always interesting! Here are photos of some fly agaric forms:

  • Warty button
  • Wartless button
  • Orange-sized 
  • Classic amanitas (from the edge of a Comox parking lot)

There is nothing else that really looks like the fly agaric, though I was almost fooled by a tricholoma (I think this might be Tricholoma zelleri which in some books is the same thing as Tricholoma focale) at Merville Woods the other day. It was large and bright orange, but had a more slimy cap, and scaly stipe.

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