ARO Rust workshop Melanustilospora ari.jpeg

Rust and smut workshop

We had an interesting and informative workshop on rusts and smuts on 7 May, with a brief description of their complicated lifecycles and an opportunity to look at a variety of specimens, including the smut on Cuckoo Pint / Lords & Ladies – Melanustilospora ari.  This has been considered rare but with several recent finds, it may just have been overlooked.  It causes black blotches on the leaves – but there are often black blotches on the leaves of this plant – but more tellingly it creates pustules on the undersurface of the leaf, see photo.  So worth looking out for.

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Fir & Ponds meeting on 9 April

Six people including the leader, Kerry Robinson, were at this meeting, and they were accompanied by the assistant warden, John Rowley. It had been very dry beforehand, so the group concentrated on the damper areas near the ponds, where they found the rare asco-on-a-stalk  Myriosclerotinia sulcatula (photo attached).

Other notable finds were the dainty little white toadstool Hemimycena tortuosa (Dewdrop bonnet, so-called as it often has water droplets on its cap and stipe), the striking red cup fungus Sarcoscypha austriaca  (Scarlet elfcup), and the somewhat less striking rust on hartstongue fern, Milesina scolopendrii, which is interesting in that it does not look like the common rusts, but instead appears as inconspicuous white fluff on the back of old /overwintering leaves of the fern (

Spring programme

Our spring programme has now been added to the calendar bottom right (or scroll down if using phone or tablet).



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Four Pluteus (Shields) from Gobions Wood on 4 September

We had a good haul of Pluteus species – Pluteus umbrosus (Velvet shield – photo from Alison), Pluteus luteovirens (Yellow shield – see next item), Pluteus cervinus (Deer shield) and Pluteus minutissimus aka P. podospileus (no common name yet)

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Four Pluteus (Shields) from Gobions Wood on 4 September - continued

…and a second photo from Alison – Pluteus luteovirens

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Another photo from Flitwick Moor

Pseudoboletus parasiticus (Parasitic bolete) with Scleroderma citrinum (Common earthball); photo by Sharon.

SD Flitwick Russula claroflava-1.jpg

Flitwick Moor meeting

We had a pleasant day for our meeting at Flitwick Moor on 18 September, with the ground not too dry, as is always the case at this site which is unusually damp for Beds.  We saw several of the site specialities including Russula claroflava (Yellow swamp brittlegill – photo courtesy of Sharon) and Pseudoboletus parasiticus (Parasitic bolete) which although always found with Scleroderma citrinum (Common earthball) may not in fact be parasitic with it.

Autumn programme now in calendar

Members will already have received our autumn programme.  It is now also on the website (click on the relevant date in the calendar bottom right).  If you are a member of the newsgroup, you will receive a reminder before each meeting.



Autumn programme now available!

Our autumn programme is now finalised and is being sent out to members.  I will be adding it to the website calendar in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile people tell me fungi have been popping up all over the place, although I haven't seen any, so hopefully this will be a good season.






Ascomycetes Workshop

Ascomycete workshop on 10 April

We had a bright day for our morning field meeting to collect specimens, less windy and warmer than it has been through this chilly spring, but very muddy underfoot, and we had a good turnout of 20 people. Northaw Great Wood, new to some of us, was also impressive.

We then moved to Northaw village hall and set out our microscopes. After our AGM and lunch, Kerry gave us a brief introduction to some of the discomycetes and pyrenomycetes most commonly encountered in Herts, together with useful tips on how to separate them, and illustrated this with her wonderful close-up photos of these lovely little things. She then demonstrated some microscopy techniques. All in all a very enjoyable and informative day.


Some of Ascomycetes included:

Annuloypoxylon minutellum (= Hypoxylon) – on Oak (photo below)
Annulohypoxylon multiforme (= Hypoxylon) – on Birch
Calloria neglecta – on Stinging Nettle
Cudoniella acicularis – under deciduous log (presumed Oak)
Dasyscyphella nivea (=Dasyscyphus) – on Oak
Diatrype stigma – on Hornbeam
Diatrypella quericina – on Oak
Eriopezia caesia – Hornbeam log
Hyaloscypha sp. tbd
Hypoxylon fragiforme – on Beech
Hypoxylon howeanum – on Beech
Lachnum virgineum – on old fallen Oak petioles
Leptosphaeria acuta – dead Stinging Nettle stems
Melogramma campylosporum – on Hornbeam (photo below)
Micropodia pteridina – base of old Bracken rachis
Microthyrium ilicinum – on old fallen leaf of Sweet Chestnut
Mollisia sp.
Nectria cinnabarina – on Hornbeam
Rhopographus filicina – on old bracken rachis
Trochila ilicina – old fallen holly leaves
Xylaria carpophila – on beech mast
Xylaria hypoxylon