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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Witches Butter & Snowy Discos by Gordon Jackson

Witches Butter & Snowy Discos by Gordon Jackson

Went down Robber Dodge and the Beech wood again. We came across several interesting things. In this post, I'll just cover, Witches Butter Exidia glandulosa, this is sometimes called Black Witches Butter. When wet, is has a jelly like feel and buttery texture.There is another idea how the name came about. It was thought to have the to counteract witchcraft if the fruitbodies where thrown into the fire. During dry spells, the fungus shrinks down to a thin crust, recovering once it rains. Below is one photo it dried out, and three shots of it re-hydrated,. I took a dry sample home and put it in a glass of water overnight.

Habitat: Britain and Ireland and many countries in Europe. Found on dead and decaying hardwood, mainly hazel, beech and oak - very occasionally also on pine.

Size: 1 -2 cm but can merge together from 3  -10 cm.

First the dehydrated one:

 Witches Butter Exidia glandulosa, Dehydrated

Now the three re-hydrated photos of the same sample.

Now for the Snowy Discos Lachnum virgineum.
It grows on Beechmast. and dead wood. If you dig ind the beech leaf litter until you reach the damp leaves, you should find some. They are very small, so keep your eyes open. The one in the photo here was not fully grown and less that 1 mm. A fully developed one is cup shaped and will be 1-2 mm. They tend to flatten out at maturity.  It's widespread and fairly common in Britain and can be found all year round.

Snowy Discos Lachnum virgineum

That's it for this post. I do have one or two other things in the pipeline form the same walk. Hopefully, I'll get a pot mounted tomorrow,. Gordon.

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