British Mycological Society, Recording Group Leaders Meeting, 21-22 June 2014

Forty delegates attended this biennial meeting held at Three Counties Hotel at Hereford. Also there were representatives from the BMS grassland fungi workgroups, the BMS headquarter and the Mycology Section of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The invited speakers included David Bullock, National Trust, who enthusiastically described the work of the trust and why the trust appreciated the fungus community in their grounds. From Kew, Martyn Ainsworth spoke of Kew’s future research plan, and Pau Cannon of their newly launched ‘Lost and Found Fungi’ project. From SFSG Mariko Parslow attended and gave a short presentation on the Group’s activity. Some Powerpoint snapshots from her presentation are shown here.

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Paul Cannon, Kew (Mycology), explains a new project. Our Dick Alder, this time representing West Weald FRG.


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Some snapshots from SFSG’s Powerpoint presentation.  

For detailed minutes of the meeting, see

Juniper Hall ‘BioBlitz’, Mickleham, 27 July 2014

The event, organised by the Field Studies Council in conjunction with Surrey Biodiversity Information Centre, was attended by three of our group members, Ray Tantram, Dick Alder and Brian Spooner. Although they were distracted with rich displays of other interesting subjects, they enjoyed talking with many visitors and recording some summer fungi. 14 Ascomycetes and 6 Basidiomycetes were recorded. Among the Ascomycetes were powdery mildews and leaf spots on plant leaves. Interesting ones are: Erysiphe platani, on Platanus x hispanica, shoot tip leaves: Golovinomyces verbasci, on Verbascum nigrum: Podosphaera dipsacacearum, on Dipsacus fullonum: Ramularia sambucina on Sambucus nigra: Septoria cornicola on Cornus sanguinea: Septoria cymbalariae, on Cymbalaria muralis (new to Surrey, perhaps only 4th GB locality).
      Also recorded on the same day were two downy mildews (non-fungi, ‘Chromista’ or Chromalveolata). Bremia lactucae, a downy mildew on a wide range of Asteraceae plants, was found on Arctium lappa. Surprisingly, this proved to be a new host record for Britain. This species was also seen on Cirsium vulgare. Peronospora potentillae was new to Surrey, found on Potentilla reptans.

Rowhill excursion, 26 October 2014

Everyone being engaged everywhere, no Group foray was held this autumn. All members were busy attending forays of the British Mycological Society, or those of fungus groups elsewhere, giving lectures at a school or at a Field Study Centre or attending local wildlife recorders’ event. We have only one set of pictures available to show, courtesy of Rowhill Nature Reserve Society, situated at the border between Farnham (Surrey) and Aldershot (North Hampshire), where Brian Spooner led their annual foray. Rowhill LNR, owned by Rushmoor Borough Council, is managed by enthusiastic members of the Society. Among the collections in Brian’s basket (as in the photograph) was a single, non-descript fruitbody of Crepidotus, which turned out to be C. calolepis, only the 4th collection from Surrey. So far, over 600 species of the fungi have been recorded at the reserve.


Brian at Rowhill, courtesy of Rowhill Nature Reserve Society

Change at Kew Mycology

As reported by various media, the Science department of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, underwent drastic changes towards the end of 2014. The staff of Mycology has now been split into three independent sections. The Fungarium is now a part of ‘Collections’, and has a new manager from a non-mycological background. Another section called ‘Identification and Naming’ is led by Paul Cannon, and includes Martyn Ainsworth as the Fungal Research Team Leader. Begona Aguirre-Hudson is the Assistant Curator and reports to Martyn. Bryn Dentinger will oversee the ‘Comparative Fungal Biology’ team.

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Previous Mycology building which was demolished in 2006 Brian Spooner (retired, Chair SFSG), David Pegler (retired), Paul Cannon (ID and Naming, 2014), Bryn Dentinger (CFB, 2014)

A new project by Kew, ‘Lost and Found Fungi’, launched in the summer 2014, aims to survey a selection of species from Great Britain and Northern Ireland with restricted historical distributions. Funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the project is led by Paul Cannon and Martyn Ainsworth. The project aims (online, BMS web page) “to establish whether they (the fungi, the subjects) are genuinely rare or only apparently so due to lack of recording effort in the past. They will include species that have not (or rarely) been found during the past 50 years, newly discovered species that may be recent immigrants or historically overlooked, species that are the subject of conservation management and action plans, and those of particular interest on a local scale.” Kew is to engage two officers who assist the project team.

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Martyn Ainsworth sampling live tissue of a Paxillus using a ‘Plant Card’ … which is designed to retain DNA viable for analysis for an ‘indefinite’ period

Latest Finds
(June – December 2014)

Fellhanera bouteillei, mould on leaves, Buxus sempervirens, seems to be the 1st collection to Surrey, Kew, 18 Jun, Alick Henrici.

Hohenbuehelia petaloides Ockham, 3 Jul, collected by Ted Brown, identified by Geoffrey Kibby

Septoria cymbalariae, on Cymbalaria muralis, the 1st record for Surrey, Mickleham, 27 Jul. See News, under Juniper Hall ‘Bioblitz’. Also see ‘Non-fungi’ records, below.

August was ‘quieter’ with relatively few, large toadstools. A leaf-spot fungus, Discogloeum veronicae, was found on leaves of Veronica persica, the 1st record for Surrey, West Molesey, 2 Aug, leg. Brian Spooner.

Marasmiellus tricolor, Woking area, 11 Aug, collected by Ted Brown, identified by Geoffrey Kibby and Alick Henrici.

Marasmius tricolor on dead grass. Coll. Ted Brown, Photograph © Geoffrey Kibby.

But exciting was a mildew, Erysiphe baptisiae, the 1st British record, on Baptisia cultivar, Kew, 14 Aug, collected by Alick Henrici, confirmed by Uwe Braun & Roger Cook. This species was recorded again on B. australis, 2 Oct.

Inocybe squamata, the 3rd record for Surrey, the 1st record since Pearson’s record in 1951, Esher, 20 Aug, then followed by the 4th record, Morden, 1 Sep, collected by Ted Brown, identified by Geoffrey Kibby.

Cercospora mercurialis, leaf spot on Mercurialis annua, West Molesey, 23 Aug, leg. Brian Spooner.

Two ‘1st for Surrey’ records are from Morden. Amanita simulans, and Paxillus ammoniavirescens, 26 Aug, collected by Ted Brown, identified by Geoffrey Kibby. The latter is a segregate from a complex of species. We have not made a full investigation in the county’s Paxillus, so an older collection may be found in due course. Inocybe flavella, Epsom, 31 Aug, collected by Ted Brown, identified by Geoffrey Kibby.

Paxillus ammoniavirescens showing the green reaction with ammonia.
Photo © Geoffrey Kibby.

Amanita coryli, also a white form, under Corylus avellana, RBG Kew, 2 Sep, leg. Geoffrey Kibby, Andy Overall and David Warwick. Also recorded on the same day were; Russula melzeri, R. farinipes, Chroogomphus rutilus, Mycena seynii on cone of Pinus sylvestris, Perenniporia fraxinea, on Platanus x hispanica, an unusual host.

Amanita coryli, under Corylus avellana, RBG Kew. Photo © G. Kibby.

Paxillus cuprinus J. Jargeat, H. Gryta, J.P. Chaumenon & A. Vizzini, the second time the name has been used in Surrey, under Betula sp., Puttenham, 1 Sep, collected by Andy Overall, identified by Geoffrey Kibby.

Clathrus archeri is still uncommon in B&I. The 3rd site in Surrey has been found, Holmbury St. Mary, 7 Sep, photographed by Marian Harrison, its identify confirmed by Mariko Parslow Cortinarius safranopes, the 2nd Surrey record, Esher, 9 Sep, collected by Ted Brown, identified by Geoffrey Kibby, along with Paxillus ammoniavirescens.

Cortinarius violilamellatus, the 3rd Surrey record, the 1st since that of Pearson (1950s), Woking, 25 Sep, collected by Ted Brown, identified by Goeffrey Kibby.

Limacella ochraceorosea (if confirmed the 1st to B&I), RBG Kew, 27 Sep. leg. Geoffrey Kibby.

Eupropolella britannica, on leaf of Prunus laurocerasus, Crepidotus calolepis, on Alnus glutinosa, at Rowhill LNR, Farnham, 26 Oct, leg. Brian Spooner.

A wide range of fungi was recorded in November. Phellodon confluens, Oxshott, 1 Nov, col. R. Skipper, identified by Martyn Ainsworth. Ramularia lamii, on Lamium album (strangely uncommon on Lamium) Westcott, 2 Nov, leg. Brian Spooner. ‘Septoria escalloniarum’ ined., a new species in prep., Long Ditton, Nov 16, leg. Brian Spooner.

In late November, a quantity of fruitbodies appeared on every kind of hosts and everywhere. Flammulaster carpophila, on Eucalyptus chapmaniana bark, Kew, 20 Nov, leg. Alick Henrici. The next day Alick also collected on the same Eucalyptus, Beauveria bassiana, identified by Brian Spooner.

Galerina cephalotricha, Esher, 30 Nov. foray, West Weald Fungus Recording Group, identified by Alick Henrici, and Delitschia patagonica, 1st Surrey record, on rabbit dung, collected and identified by Brian Spooner. Also on the same day, Geastrum pectinatum, 4th Surrey record, collected by S. Patten, identified by Brian Spooner.

Taphrina alni, galling female cones of Alnus glutinosa, Normandy, 30 Nov, collected and identified by W. Stanworth, the first vouchered specimen from Surrey. There is an earlier, unvouchered record from Leatherhead, 7 Aug 2011, by Jonty Denton.

Taphrina alni, Normandy, 30 Nov 2014, K(M)185668, Stanworth.

Gliophorus reginae, Richmond, 4 Dec, collected by Ted Brown, identified by Martyn Ainsworth, a recent segregate from H. psittacina, 1st Surrey record. See Ainsworth et al., MycoKeys 7: 50 (2013). When dried, this species tends to show a scaly, granular pattern on the pilei, which is striking reddish pink in colour.

Gliophorus reginae, with violaceous-red cap and yellowish stipe base, coll. Ted Brown, det. Martyn Ainsworth, Richmond, 27 Nov 2014, K(M)195583, photo © Geoffrey Kibby.  

Whereas dried Gliophorus reginae develops a very bright, orange-red hue.
Photo © RBG, Kew.


A downy mildew Bremia lactucae on Arctium lappa, the 1st GB record on this host, Mickleham, 27 Jul, leg. Brian Spooner. This is a common, widespread species recorded on various hosts in Asteraceae. Surprisingly there had been no previous record on Arctium in B&I. More surprisingly, precisely on the same day Nick Legon collected the same species on Arctium, in Somerset. On the same day, Brian also found Perenospora potentllae, on Potentilla reptans, 1st record for Surrey.

Bremia lactucae on Arctium lappa leaf, North Somerset, Westhay, 27 Jul 2014, K(M)193730 ©N. Legon