Asterophora lycoperdoides (Powdery piggyback)

Parasites at Sherrards Park Wood

We had an enjoyable meeting at Sherrards Park Wood on 17 September,  where the highlight for me was seeing the 2 parasitic fungi on Russula nigricans (Blackening brittlegill) – Asterophora parasitica (Silky piggyback) and Asterophora lycoperdoides (Powdery piggyback).   Alison took a great photo of the latter.

AL Gobions Phleogena faginea small.jpg

Fenugreek puffball

At our meeting at Gobions Wood on 10 September, we found the small but strong-smelling fungus Phleogena faginea (Fenugreek puffball).  I have a dried specimen several years old, and it still retains its strong smell.

Cortinarius uliginosus

interesting finds from Bricket Wood meeting

We had an interesting and productive first meeting of our autumn programme at Bricket Wood at the end of August.  Finds included 3 Cortinarius (webcaps) including Marsh webcap, Cortinarius uliginosus (pictured) a site speciality, with only one other known site in Herts.

Bricket Wood meeting on 27 August - change to meeting point

The new meeting point is as follows:

St Stephen Parish Centre, Station Road, Bricket Wood, St Albans AL2 3PJ, grid ref. TL136021.

The calendar entry has been updated accordingly


Autumn programme

Our autumn programme is now in the calendar (bottom right of home page if viewing on a pc, scroll to the bottom if using a phone or tablet).  To view information on a meeting, click on the relevant date in the calendar.  Click Read more to see all details including an aerial photo of the meeting point.


Rickmansworth 2017 display table Margaret and Jane amended by Robin.JPG

Rickmansworth Festival

We had a display table at the Rickmansworth Festival last week.  In spite of the time of year and the recent dryness, we did have a few “real” fungi (brackets and a selection from Sainsburys) but fortunately Steve was able to supplement these with his beautiful and amazingly lifelike models.  We had quite a lot of interest from members of the public, with adults particularly asking about edibles, and children drawn to the brightly coloured and the strangely shaped.


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)