Saturday, November 19, 2022

Waxcaps in Auckland park, Bishop Auckland


This has been the best autumn for waxcap toadstools that I can recall here in County Durham. This very mild, and lately very wet, November seems to have suited them perfectly.

I found these in ancient, unimproved calcareous grassland in Auckland park, Bishop Auckland this morning. I suspect that the one above and the two below might be the scarlet waxcap Hygrocybe coccinea, whilst the bottom two photos, with yellow gills, could be crimson waxcap Hygrocybe punicea, though it is hard to be sure. 

These exquisite little toadstools often seem to be associated with meadow ant nests in the park, which could have more to do with soil drainage than directly with ants. They toadstools are brittle and many are knocked over and broken by grazing animals.