I know little about fungi, but I can still see that there are plenty around at present. Perhaps they’ve been enjoying the mild start to winter.
The following caught my eye during a recent Manawatu Botanical Society field-trip to the Branch Road track in the Pohangina Valley north of Palmerston North.
For fungal novices like me, Landcare Research has a good online, picture-based identification key, which is how I identified the Geastrum and Inonotus above. Give it a go next time you happen upon an interesting fungus.
Te Papa has no* specimens of fungi in its collections.
New Zealand’s main fungal herbarium is at Landcare Research in Auckland. Scion also maintains a fungal collection.
* actually, there is at least one – a vegetable caterpillar which is where a fungus parasitises a caterpillar. I’ll post a blog and picture of it at some stage. And, I’m not counting the fungal components of lichens, of which Te Papa has c. 7500 specimens, or ‘contaminants’ on plant (or animal) specimens.