Species of the Month - November 2014

Golden Spindles

Clavulinopsis fusiformis

Golden Spindles is a striking and easily recognisable grassland fungus.  It consists of a densely packed tuft of rather flattened unbranched yellow fruitbodies with characteristic pointed tips.  These tips can be yellow like the rest of the fungus, or brown, or occasionally even red.  The fungus is normally about 6 to 10 cm tall.

Clavulinopsis fusiformis

Golden Spindles is an indicator species for unimproved grassland of the kind where waxcaps are the dominant fungi.  It disappears if the ground is fertilised.  It feeds on decaying organic matter in the soil, and is indifferent as to whether the soil is acid or alkaline.

Clavulinopsis fusiformis   Clavulinopsis fusiformis


Clavulinopsis fusiformis

These Golden Spindles found and photographed by Sallie on our recent Waxcap Wander are remarkable for their bright red tips.

Clavulinopsis fusiformis


There are similar non-yellow species but these can be ignored if your find is a healthy yellow colour like those shown on this page.  Yellow fungi that could be confused with Golden Spindles by the unwary are shown below; they do not resemble it very closely.

Clavulinopsis helvola   Clavulinopsis corniculata f. corniculata

NOT Golden Spindles.  The first is Yellow Club (Clavulinopsis helvola).  It has the stem rounded in cross-section rather than flattened.  The tips are rounded in profile rather than pointed.  Three are growing together here but are not in a dense tuft.  Often singletons are found.  There are several similar species.

The second is Meadow Coral (Clavulinopsis corniculata) which is even shorter and is branched or has knobbly outgrowths.


Please send in your Golden Spindles sightings using the form below, or email sightings@lnhg.org.uk with the details if you prefer.  If you are not sure of the identity of your fungus, please send a photo to sightings@lnhg.org.uk, or put one on the LORN forum and let me know it is there.

Date of sighting 
Grid reference 
Name of finder 
Your name (if different) 
Email (not needed if I already know it!) 
Any other details, e.g habitat   


By filling in this form you agree that the information contained in this form may be collated and disseminated manually or electronically for environmental decision-making, education, research and other public benefit uses in accordance with the LNHG data access policy.  Your email address will not form part of the record and will not be passed on to anyone.

Carl Farmer
LNHG Biological Records Manager

Sightings so far

5 Nov: Found by Liz near Port Ramsay

12 Nov: Seen on LNHG visit to Achinduin, Lismore

18 Nov: Seen by Cynthia in Glencoe

Note you can still send in records for past species of the month.  Here is the list of species we've had so far:

Oct 2014 - Crimson Waxcap
Sep 2014 - Four-spotted Orb Weaver
Aug 2014 - Pale Butterwort
Jul 2014 - Melancholy Thistle
Jun 2014 - Forester Moth
May 2014 - Large Red Damselfly
Apr 2014 - Hedgehog
Mar 2014 - Hairy Bittercress
Feb 2014 - Pale Brindled Beauty
Jan 2014 - Velvet Shank
Dec 2013 - Frilly-fruited Jelly Lichen
Nov 2013 - Whooper Swan
Oct 2013 - Ballerina Waxcap
Sep 2013 - Parrot Waxcap
Aug 2013 - Vapourer Moth
Jul 2013 - Emerald Damselfly
Jun 2013 - Globe Flower
May 2013 - Early Purple Orchid
Apr 2013 - Peacock Butterfly
Mar 2013 - Oak Beauty
Feb 2013 - Coral Lungwort

Jan 2013 - Willow Jelly Button & Birch Jelly Button
Dec 2012 - Dice Lichen
Nov 2012 - Feathered Thorn
Oct 2012 - Dryad's Saddle
Sep 2012 - Tawny Grisette
Aug 2012 - Forest Bug
Jul 2012 - Grayling
Jun 2012 - Greater and Lesser Butterfly Orchids
May 2012 - Small Copper
Apr 2012 - Green Tiger Beetle
Mar 2012 - March Moth
Feb 2012 - Barren Strawberry
Jan 2012 - Brambling
Dec 2011 - Red Squirrel
Nov 2011 - Hazel Gloves
Oct 2011 - Small Tortoiseshell
Sep 2011 - Fly Agaric
Aug 2011 - Grass of Parnassus
Jul 2011 - Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Jun 2011 - 7-spot Ladybird
May 2011 - Green Hairstreak
Apr 2011 - Townhall Clock

Mar 2011 - Frogspawn

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This project is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage

All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated.  This page includes 2 photos Sallie Jack.