Wood Chip Fungi
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Wood Chip Gardens
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In recent years our local City Council has been using wood chip in our public parks, as a landscaping medium or for controlling weeds with out the use of sprays.

This has bought to the notice to many people a group of fungi that simply love this environment. Come autumn these gardens have a wonderful display of fungi while some are often present throughout the wetter months.

Hayman Park, Manakau
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The Common
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Stropharia aurantiaca
Psilocybe sp.
Cyathus striatus
The most common fungi to be found in these gardens are Stropharia aurantiaca, which is easily identified by its bright red cap, and the large numbers that appear. Another fungi often uncounted are Coprinus lagopus, growing some 150 mm high with a white straw-like strip and a transparent cap.

Another common fungus is Psathyrella gracilis. It fruits throughout the autumn to spring whenever it rains, and can appear in large numbers. A very common one that can be found through autumn is also Psilocybe subaeruginosa.

One of the more unusual fungi that can be found is Cyathus striatus commonly known as bird nest fungi that relies on rain drops to splash the spore Bering tissue from it splash cup.

Peziza vesiculosa is one of the few Ascomycetes to be found in wood chip. If you watch this one carefully you can sometimes see clouds of spore been realised in mass above it
Coprinus lagopus
Psathyrella gracilis
Peziza vesiculosa
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The Unwanted
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There are unfortunately for many people several members of the Phallales family (Stinkhorn fungi) that also like wood chip gardens. These often make their presence known by their smell, which is not much fun if its close to your house.

There are two main offenders Clathrus species and Aseroe rubra. I also I believe that Phallus impudicus can also be a problem overseas, fortunately New Zealand is spared this one as it does not occur here.

If you are having a problem with this fungi the only permanent way to prevent it from growing is to remove the wood chip and replace it with bark chip. A short-term remedy is to use a dilute solution of copper sulphate applied with a watering can. There is a chance that this could also do damage to other plants so take care. Another method that can be used is to dig up the eggs (immature fruiting bodies) and dispose of them before the smell becomes a problem.
Aseroe rubra
Aseroe rubra


Clathrus sp.
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The Edible
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Among the wood chip you may be lucky enough to find some of the edible fungi. The three that I have found so far have been Volvariella speciosa and Macrolepiota clelandii


Macrolepiota clelandii
Take care with V. speciosa that you do not mistake it for any of the Amanita Sp. V speciosa has pink gills in mature specimens.

M. clelandii
is not normally found in wood chips but usually grassland or just inside the tree-line of forests. I guess no one has told it not to grow in wood chips.

Volvariella speciosa
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The Unknown
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As usual there are always those that I cannot identify. Part of this problem is a lack of books available to the amateur mushy hunter as well as many New Zealand fungi are not named.
 
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Links
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A few links to other site showing what grows in woodchip in other parts of the world.
Woodchip fungi
 
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