|This is the story so far of Hydnellum spongiosipes in a wood near my home in Gwynedd.
About a dozen mature specimens were found in an area of about a square metre on 19th September 2000|
Most were at least partly hidden under dead oak leaves and it is only because I bent down to examine a different fungus that I saw them at all.
Initially I thought it was Hydnellum caeruleum and as such my text books mostly stated that this fungus is restricted to the Scottish Highlands but further research revealed that there is also mention of this as ocurring in the New Forest in Hampshire. I have also seen statements to the effect that it does not occur in Wales.
|The next year I looked again for this fungus from mid August to October but found no trace. I guess it was probably there somewhere...hiding.|
|The next year on 31st August 2002 I found a single small specimen about 3 metres from the original location growing out of short moss at the side of a footpath Nearby trees were Oak, Birch and Rhododendron|
|The next day on 1st September 2002 a single large specimen was found some 200 metres from the original site growing out of short moss at the side of a footpath Nearby trees were Beech, Sweet Chestnut and Oak. Nearby Fungi were lots of chanterelles and jelly babies. The colours of this and the next photo have not been realistically produced because of the use of a flash. More realistic colours are shown on this picture.|
|This view of the underside clearly shows the teeth and the way this fungus wraps itself around any inconveniently placed objects such as moss or grass or twigs|
|On 3rd September 2002 I found 50-100 immature specimens of what I thought was the same tooth fungus a few metres from the original site of 2000 growing from a mossy/grassy bank covering an old stone retaining wall. Nearby trees were Oak,Birch and Rhododendron|
|This close up of part of the group shown with a 20p piece to give an idea of scale. To the untrained eye this group could easily be mistaken for a scattering of bird droppings. I shall be watching the development of this group closely over the next month.|
|The first sign of the fruiting body is an insignificant white blob this one being about 2mm wide|
|Which widens and develops the spore bearing structures( the teeth) at an early stage|
|This apparently shows the fruit body developing into two fused structures|
|As the fruiting body expands it starts to darken to a purple brown colour from the centre outwards merging with other fruiting bodies and growing around obstacles|
At this point I entered into discussions with the mycology department of Kew and with great reluctance I took samples and sent them for identification. To my surprise I had two different tooth fungi. The first was identified as Hydnellum spongiosipes and the second was identified as Phellodon confluens. Neither has been recorded in Wales before according to the Kew and British Mycological Society records.
|Phellodon confluens on 12th September 2002 |
Hydnellum spongiosipes on 12th September 2002