Deceivers

After getting really interested in fungi for the first time last year my eyes were opened to the amazing variety of shapes, colours, sizes, and even scents of different species. Aside from providing vital ecosystems functions, many are also aesthetically beautiful to look at. But I am learning, unsurprisingly, that identification is not always straight forward! One genus, Laccaria, known fittingly as ‘Deceivers’, can be very variable in appearance as I discovered during a trip to Kingston Cemetery last month, inspired by this blog post by Alison Fure, who I have also to thank for confirming IDs!

Laccaria laccata, cap with central depression

Laccaria laccata, cap with central depression

Laccaria laccata, with orange-brown cap

Laccaria laccata, with orange-brown cap

Laccaria laccata

Laccaria laccata

Laccaria laccata, gills widely spaced, irregular and interspersed with shorter gills

Laccaria laccata – gills attached to the stem, widely spaced, irregular and interspersed with shorter gills

These deceivers Laccaria laccata were found together in the same area, showing variation between specimens particularly in cap colour which lightens with age.

Even more baffling was this specimen from Putney Heath, found at the entrance to one of several tunnels that appeared to be part of a badger set (hairs were also found on a fallen tree nearby). I settled on Amethyst Deceiver Laccaria amethystina but the cap has obviously become extremely twisted and furrowed.

Laccaria amethystina

Laccaria amethystina

It looks like a petticoat! 😉 although difficult to see, the gills are fairly widely spaced and irregular, similar to Laccaria laccata.  I’m pretty sure on the ID but as always open to any suggestions!

Other fungi found during my trip to Kingston cemetery….

IMG_3714

Snowy Waxcap, Hygrocybe virginea

IMG_3681

More Snowy Waxcaps

IMG_3649

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria

Yellow Stainer, Agaricus xanthodermus

Yellow Stainer, Agaricus xanthodermus

 

 

 

 

 

 

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