Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blink and you might miss it....

Well, not quite, but small toadstools like this come and go all the time, sometimes surviving for less than a day. This one appeared amongst our broad beans and lasted for a day and a half - there's an approximate 12 hour gap between each of the photographs. 

And so to the difficult question - what species is it? The trouble is that not only are there lots of small toadstools like this, but also they tend to look quite different at different stages of growth - and the field guides usually only illustrate one stage. I think it might be a Mycena species, but then again......... maybe not.

Our garden soil is dry and sandy but I've been digging compost into it for over 20 years, and now small toadstools like this are increasing in frequency in summer. So maybe it's a sign that the organic approach, which improves humus content and moisture retention, is working ................


  1. I'd say Coprinus or Coprinopsis (as some of them are now known). Mycenas tend to last longer, are more conical or hemispherical, rarely bell-shaped. Most species that deliquesce are Coprinus, Coprinopsis or Coprinellus (another recent segregate)

    My veg plot is throwing up a few fungi nowadays, after a few years of digging in manure. Mine tend to be Paneolus, though.

  2. Thanks Stuart, I wondered about Coprinus but they didn't seem to show much tendency to autodigest. I should have taken more care and had a closer look at the gills and spores.