Friends of Allestree Park

Allestree Park in Derby, England

Woodland Fungi in Allestree Park by Bill Grange

magic mushroomsThe Woodlands of Allestree Park provide rich hunting for fungi of all kinds, especially in the autumn. However, fungi are present all the year round, most as branching networks of threads called mycelia, permeating the soil, leaf litter and dead wood, breaking down the organic compounds within them and absorbing the minerals and sugars so produced, together with water.

 At certain times of the year which, in most  species, is autumn, the specialised spore-bearing structures (known variously as 'toadstools', 'mushrooms', 'brackets', etc.) appear above ground.

Many fungi form a close association with the roots of trees - called a mycorrhiza. In this way the tree  provides the fungus with a reliable supply of sugars. In return, the tree gains the benefits of the fungus's greater capacity for taking up water and minerals due to the large surface area of mycelium when compared to that of the tree roots on their own.

Some fungi, notably that scourge of the forester, the honey fungus and many bracket fungi, invade the living wood and trees and are complete parasites, eventually causing their death.

The spore-bearing structures are immensley varied - most incredibly beautiful - according to the different species.

A word of warning: Although many fungi make good eating, several species are poisonous, a few deadly. On no account should you try eating a particular fungus unless you are absolutely certain that it is safe to eat. If in any doubt, just look and admire! 

Here are  photos of a small selection of the species of fungi which can be found in the various woods of Allestree Park, taken by Bill Grange over the last few years:


f1 amanita rubescens  allestree park big wood central 2010.09.16 -003 

 The Blusher, Amanita rubescens 

 One of the many microrhizal fungi -  found on the woodland floor

f40 armillaria mellea gen

Honey Fungus,

Armillaria mellea

Found at the base of trees. One of the few fungi which kills trees, in fact this species is probably the forester's chief enemy!

f4 armillaria mellea bootlaces  allestree park big wood  2011.09.16-001

Honey Fungus

Armillaria melea

These are the 'boot-laces', bundles of mycelium covered in a tough 'skin'. These spread from tree to tree under the leaf litter. Here bark has fallen away from a dead branch, revealing a network of 'boot-laces' underneath.

 f5 ascocoryne cyclichnium  allestree park on beech log at sk 34799 40017 2012.09.26-001

 Jellydisc, Ascoryne cyclichnium

 Found on damp logs

 f6 auricularia auricula-judae allestree park big wood central 2011.02.23-001

Ear Fungus,

Auricularia auricula-judae 

Found on dead twigs and branches, especially of  Elder


 f7 calocera cornea allestree park big wood w4 2012.10.20 -003

 Lesser Stag's-horn Fungus,

 Calocera cornea

 Found on logs


 f8 calocera viscosa allestree park w13 south 2012.08.10 -003

 Stag's-horn fungus,

 Calocera viscosa 

 Found on logs, especially those of  coniferous trees


 f9 clavulina cinerea allestree park big wood central 2008.09.10-001

 Grey Coral Fungus,

 Clavulina cinera

 Found on the woodland floor

 f10 coprinellus micaceus allestree park big wood central 2009.12 -004

 Glistening Ink-cap,

 Coprinus micaceus

 Found on the woodland floor

 f11 coprinus disseminatus allestree park big wood w3 2012.10.20 -002


Fairy's Bonnet,

Coprinus disseminatus

Found on the stumps of various trees

 f15 daldinia concentrica allestree park north-east boundary 2007.04.19-001

King Alfred's Cakes,

Daldinia concentrica 

Found on dead wood, especially that of ash trees

 f16 fistulina hepatica allestree park big wood w5 2013.09.23 -002

Beef-steak Fungus,

Fistulina hepatica

Found at the base of oak and sweet chestnut trees - upon which it is a parasite

 f17 fomes fomenatarius big wood allestree park at sk 34154 40689 2009.06.24-001

 Horse's Hoof Fungus

 Fomes fomentarius

 Found on the trunks of birch trees.  The fungus is a parasite which  eventiually causes the death of the  host tree

 f17a piptoporus betulinus allestree park big wood w1 2013.09.16 -002

 Birch Bracket,

Piptoporus betulinus 

Only found on the trunks of birch trees. This is another parasite whih eventually kills its host. It is the reason why birches rarely exceed 50 years in age.


 f17b stereum hirsutum allestree park big wood 2010.02.13 -003

Hairy Curtain Crust,

Stereum hirsutum

Found on dead twigs and logs


 f18 laccaria laccata  allestree park big wood central 2010.09.16-001

The Deceiver,

Laccara Laccata

Found on the woodland floor

 f18 pluteus cervinus prob allestree park w18 20121101-001

Wood Blewit,

Lepista nuda (young specimens)

Found on the woodland floor

 f19 lepista nuda big wood w3 allestree park 2011.11.07 -002

Wood Blewit,

Lepista nuda (mature specimen)



 f20 russula clarflava  allestree park big wood central 2010.09.16-001

Ochre Brittle-gill or Yellow Russula

Russula ochroleuca

Found on the woodland floor


f21 mycena vitilis prob allestree park wood w18 2011.11.06 -002

A species of brittle-stem fungus

Psathyrella sp.

Found on the woodland floor

 f22 oudemansiella mucida allestree park w18 2012.10.10 -003

Porcelain Fungus

Oudemansiella mucida

Found on the dead branches and logs of beech trees

 f25 phallus impudicus allestree park big wood central 2011.07.01 -002


Phallus impudicus

Found on the woodland floor, as early as late summer. The cap is at first covered with an evil-smelling brown slime containing the spores. This attracts blow-flies, mistaking it for rotting flesh - an 'ingenious' method of spore dispersal. In this specimen the slime has been completely removed, reveaing a honecomb-like structure

 f28 amanita muscaria  allestree park big wood nr. quarry 2011.12.01-001

Fly Agaric

Amanita muscaria

Found on the woodland floor near to birch trees, with which it forms a microrrhizal association

 f29 hypholoma fasiculare allestree park w12 2012.11.01 9-001

Sulphur Tuft

Hypholoma fasiculare

Found on tree stumps

 f30 mycena galericulata allestree park big wood 2011.12.15 -004

Clustered Bonnet

Mycena inclinata

Found on stumps of oak trees

 f31 xerula radicata allestree park big wood 2011.12.15 -002

Clustered Bonnet

Mycena inclinata

More Mature specimens than above

 f32 scleroderma verrucosum allestree park big wood w2 2012.10.20-001

Scaly Earth Ball

Scleroderma verrucosa

Found on woodland floor, especially on the sandy soil of Big Wood

 f33 stropharia aeruginosa allestree park big wood w1 south  -003

Verdigris Agaric

Stropharia aeruginosa

Found on rotting wood, including wood chippings

 f34 xylaria hypoxylon allestree park big wood 2008.11.27-001

Candle-snuff Fungus

Xylaria hypoxylon

Found on stumps and fallen branches

 f35 xylaria polymorpha allestree park big wood w1 nw 2012.09.28-001

Dead Man's Fingers

Xylaria polymorpha

Found on tree stumps, usually those of beech




Friday, January 18, 2019