Winter is a great time to get out and search for Fungi.
Kevn the ‘Fun Guy’ Griffiths found these this week at Herdsman Lake, near the WA Gould League.
This interesting fungi looks similar to a puffball, but is called an Earthball (Scleroderma spp). The genus Scleroderma means ‘hard skinned’, which they are, although the skin (peridium) isn’t hard like a rock, but feels more like the hardness of potato. The Earthball is a dirty yellow colour, with a spherical shape of 20mm, and skin that is quite thick, but when cut open reveals a black spore mass (gleba). Once the Earthball matures it will burst leaving a large opening so the wind and rain can disperse the spores.
Nearby we spotted some wet looking fungi (Limacella spp) covered with a sticky (viscid) slime and were tacky to touch. They’re colloquially known by mycologists (people who study fungi) as ‘Slimacella’ or ‘Dripping Slime Cap’. Sitting atop a stem (stipe) of 55mm with a 60mm wide tan cap, which eventually fades to white. The white gills revealed a white spore print and confirmed its identity.
Remember - only dig fungi up if you need to (ie. if you wish to confirm the ID with a spore print). However, return the cap to the area as soon as you can, so their spores when released can create the next generation.
We'd love to hear about what you find on your next fungi foray...So get outside and see what you can discover!