Dulwich, London, January 2023
I’ve helped build a lot of ‘dead hedges’ in my time. Basically ‘fences’ of wood and branches piled between two posts. They happen to be particularly supportive of fungi, along with amphibians and sometimes even nesting birds.
Whilst constructing one on a chilly January afternoon I noticed one of the logs had a smattering of cup fungi. Looking more closely I guessed that these were a type of cup fungus known as snowy disco (Lachnum virgineum). It’s one of the fungus names that really makes people smile, and not in a weird way for once.
Then again, it does sound like a night club in Reykjavic.
I referred to my fungi tomes for more information on the snowy disco, and found that there were actually rather a lot of these tiny but very classy-looking fungi in Europe.
Cup fungi are a different group to the typical gilled mushrooms or ‘basidiomycetes’ that drop spores. The cup fungi are ‘ascomycetes’ – the type found in lichen complexes – shoot their spores from an ‘ascus’ (plural – ‘asci’) instead.
It’s just another reminder that for those who can, it’s a much better environmental option to leave fallen wood in a woodland so the disco can do its thing.
Thanks for reading.