28 June 2011

The Beauty of Fungi

I do like fungi. I spent most of my working life on the effects of their toxins. I'm talking about the microscopic ones, mainly Pithomyces chartarum which grows on pasture litter and causes the photosensitisation condition in ruminants known as facial eczema, and Neotyphodium lolii, an endophytic (grows within living ryegrass) fungus which causes, among other things, ryegrass staggers of herbivores.

Spores of Pithomyces chartarum
Now that I'm retired I help on a couple of environmental projects in the New Zealand bush.  This bush can be dour and dank much of the time but I'm always overjoyed to find various mushroom-like fungi growing on rotting vegetation. They can be very colourful and with modern digital cameras are easy to capture.  More later - maybe.

Cyptodrama? sp.

Armilaria? sp.
Entoloma sp.