Leucopaxillus in Petts Wood

A very rare mushroom is discovered in Petts Wood

The  frustrating disruption caused by the reconstruction of the Chislehurst  Road railway bridge has lead to the excitement  of discovering  a very rare mushroom. During reconstruction, the normal access into the woods from Orpington Road was closed and people tended to enter via the bank behind the nearby bus stop. The heavy autumn rains made this bank very muddy and slippery and some people found an alternative access about 10 yards south of the bus stop. A local amateur mycologist using this route noticed many mushrooms on the roadside side of the boundary bank and thought they might be the Clustered Domecap (Lyophyllum decastes), a fairly common species found occasionally in the woods.  However there was something about them that was not quite right, so an expert mycologist was consulted.

Much excitement was caused when she confirmed that they were not the Domecap but were in fact the “Bitter Funnel” (Leucopaxillus gentianeus (formerly amarus)) a very rare mushroom in GB (although quite common in Southern Italy). The first sighting of this species in GB was at Lullingstone and it has subsequently been found in no more than a couple of other sites.  It is possible that this mushroom has been on the Petts Wood roadside bank for many years but has remained unnoticed because the normally heavy traffic prevents people from walking close by.  Who knows what other rarities are lurking in other unvisited corners of the wood?  by Ian Johnson

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One Response to Leucopaxillus in Petts Wood

  1. Michael Crompton says:

    This is an interesting blog announcing the rare occurrence of this mushroom in our woods, particularly as only noted on 3 other sites in the UK. Good that this can also be read in southern Italy. Maybe some english-speaking folk there might even spot it ! I suggest this is worth an entry into the official N.T. Petts Wood webpage. Thanks to our resident mycologist Ian Johnson for the information. To many of us, one mushroom can look much like another ! Michael Crompton

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