Species of the Month - September 2011
well-known mushroom is easily recognised by the bright red cap covered with white
flecks, which are the remains of the veil that surrounds the whole
fungus when it first emerges. These flecks can be washed off by
rain but normally leave traces that are the shape of the fleck and the colour of
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On 4 Sep Tina reported some under birch trees in her garden at Kimore.
Also on 4 Sep I found some under birch at Ballachulish.
On 5 Sep at Inverawe I found two among the upturned roots of a fallen beech tree, one at the base and one at chest height. There were mainly beech trees around but an oak and a birch not far away. Fly agaric does occasionally form a mycrorrhizal partnership with beech, so that was probably the case here, though possibly it had mycelium running down to the ground and then along to the nearest birch roots, as birch is a much commoner partner for it.
On 7 Sep Kerry saw several groupings while walking round the Glencruitten woods. Some were under conifers and some in mixed broadleaved woodland with birch.
On 8 Sep at a different part of Inverawe I found some whoppers (up to 25 cm diameter) under Birch.
On 14 Sep Judith Witts found it under birch with hazel and oak nearby, at Drimfern, near Inveraray.
On the Fearnoch Fungus Foray on 17 Sep this mushroom was seen several times, always near Spruce, sometimes with Birch present as well. All the fruitbodies found were on or beside a nest of the Scottish Wood Ant.