On the Nature Ramble on Monday, 12th June - Queen's Birthday Holiday - a group of 10 of us went looking for fungi, led by Neil Tucker.

Our first stop was along Forest Road. A kangaroo had died at this spot, and there were bones scattered around, on which were growing Hebeloma aminophilum.

Inspecting Hebeloma
Inspecting Hebeloma

This fungus is always associated with areas where there have been animal carcasses, or meat scraps and bones in camping areas, and is known as the Ghoul Fungus.

Our next stop was Gherang Gherang Bushland Reserve, where we saw many small, brownish fungi with pink gills - Laccaria sp.

Laccarias sp
Laccarias sp

Nearby were some Coltricia cinnamomea, a polypore. It was stalked like a mushroom, but was thin & firm, with pores underneath.

Coltricia cinnamomea
Coltricia cinnamomea

Growing in the fork of a Eucalypt was a large, tough brown fungus, also with pores instead of gills, and attached by a short lateral stem. At the base of the same tree was a bright yellow two-layered fungus, weeping with moisture, and again with pores. They were probably both Rigidoporus laetus, but they looked different.

Rigidoporus laetus
Rigidoporus laetus

We saw a gilled mushroom which was a pinkish colour - Russula rosea.

Russula rosea
Russula rosea

Two interesting Coral Fungi were observed, one brown and one yellow, and are known as Ramaria.

Ramaria sp
Ramaria sp

The yellow one is Ramaria lorithamnus. It is obvious how they got their common name!

Ramaria lorithamnus
Ramaria lorithamnus

A great find towards the end of the walk was a patch of Stinkhorns - Mutinus cartilagineous.

Mutinus cartilagineous
Mutinus cartilagineous

These fungi appear as white 'eggs', then the central area breaks through and emerges as a finger shape, and contains the spores in a brown slime. This is the part of the fungus which smells, and is to attract flies and other insects which eagerly consume the slime. The spores are then spread after passing through the insect. This is an uncommon fungus and was a great find.

The morning was altogether a fascinating and educational experience. Thanks Neil for your expertise.

Photos by Ros Gibson and Richard Hartland

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Weed of the month

Bushy Yate

Bushy Yate

Bushy Yate, Eucalyptus lehmannii, is an evergreen densely rounded tree to 8m with spread of 3m. It is endemic to the south coast of Western Australia but has naturalised into the Surf Coast cliffs, coastal areas and bushland where it seeds prolifically. The orange flower pods form clusters like fingers extending from a hand and the horned seed capsules are fused at the base in clusters of five to eight.

More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.

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