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.
In places, I could barely step without squashing one of these blue beauties.
Entoloma hochstetteri is one of New Zealand’s more famous mushrooms, including being on the $50 banknote (below right of the kōkako).
New Zealand’s fungal collections and professional expertise are concentrated at the Auckland campus of Landcare Research, the New Zealand Fungarium (PDD) Te Kohinga Hekaheka o Aotearoa.
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.
- Fungi of Kaimai Bush, with many photos by Shirley Kerr.
- Hidden Forest, 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 iNaturalist. This also has the advantage that your observation becomes data for future research.
- 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.