This report by Alison M., Some common bright winter / early spring fungi to be found in our forests, was distributed to the Botany Group on January 19.
I picked a few chanterelles and hedgehogs (Hydnum umbilicatum) in our woods on January 1st – unheard of!!!! Photo #1 shows the latter ready to be cooked. In any of our parks in the Valley, you should be able to find some other bright orange and yellow fungi that are appropriate to the season.
The jelly type commonly called “witches’ butter” is exemplified by a Dacrymyces species (probably D. palmatus) on conifer (#2), as well as what used to be called Tremella aurantia, now Naematelia aurantia on hardwood (#3). The latter is similar to Gary’s enormous Tremella (sp. = mesenterica?) circulated at the beginning of the month. Photo #3 shows the Naematelia aurantia with to its right the colourful orange, reddish brown and beige polypore that it parasitizes, namely Stereum hirsutum, which in growth habit is similar to the Turkey Tail or Trametes genus. Photo #3 of both together was taken in Horne Lake Provincial Park.
Another frequently seen jelly fungus is the one commonly called gumdrops – Guepiniopsis alpina (formerly Heterotextus alpinus) with its little translucent yellow “cups” attached by a short stalk to dead conifer branches (#4).
Pithya vulgaris is also common at this time of year – it has a small opaque brilliant orange saucer-like body. It is specific to dead branch ends of the Abies grandis (#5 and #6) and is usually very prominent amid the dark browns of dead leaves and fallen branches on the forest floor.
And another January surprise – amid the dark brown seedbearing stalks (# 7) of last year’s Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe or ghost plant) was a nice little clump of this year’s new shoots (# 8). And we won’t mention the English daisies and dandelions already in bloom.