Fungi season and New Zealand identification resources

It’s getting cooler and wetter – ideal for the emergence of many fungi.

This was brought home to me when I recently discovered an abundance of this distinctive little mushroom while holidaying near Rotorua.

Entoloma hochstetteri. Leon Perrie CC BY-NC. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1397624

Entoloma hochstetteri. Leon Perrie CC BY-NC. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1397624

In places, I could barely step without squashing one of these blue beauties. Entoloma hochstetteri. Leon Perrie CC BY-NC. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1397624

In places, I could barely step without squashing one of these blue beauties. Entoloma hochstetteri. Leon Perrie CC BY-NC. http://naturewatch.org.nz/observations/1397624

Entoloma hochstetteri is one of New Zealand’s more famous mushrooms, including being on the $50 banknote. Sourced from http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2000/0088734.html

Entoloma hochstetteri is one of New Zealand’s more famous mushrooms, including being on the $50 banknote (below right of the kōkako). Image sourced from http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2000/0088734.html

New Zealand’s fungal collections and professional expertise are concentrated at the Auckland campus of Landcare Research.

The New Zealand Fungal and Plant Disease Collection.

Te Papa has no fungal expertise or collections (except for lichens, which are a fungus in a symbiotic partnership with an alga and/or cyanobacterium).

Some of Te Papa’s collection of lichens.

Online guides to New Zealand fungi

Landcare Research’s Fungal Guide and Virtual Mycota.

The Fungi of Kaimai Bush website, with many photos by Shirley Kerr.

The Hidden Forest website, again with many photos of fungi.

One way to get help with identifying a fungus is to upload a photo to the citizen science website NatureWatch NZ. This also has the advantage that your observation becomes data for future research.

The NatureWatch NZ website.

If you’d like to learn more about New Zealand fungi, check out the Fungal Network of New Zealand. Amongst its activities is an annual fieldtrip focused on finding and identifying fungi.

Website of the Fungal Network of New Zealand.

6 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Actually the jury is out on its edibility. They are (or were) researching that in Auckland.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/9354061/Mushroom-might-yield-major-value
    I don’t know what the upshot of the research was.

    Reply
  2. vera

    Pretty indeed! I have never seen one and it’s very cool to know it’s on the $50 bill (which I seen very little of as well). hihihihi!

    Reply

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