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Smoky Spindles

Clavaria fumosa 

Smoky Spindles

What to look for?

  • Smoky spindles have simple, unbranched tapered clubs, often formed into a cluster among the grass – or they can be growing singly. They are very brittle and can snap easily.
  • Their colour ranges from greyish brown to pinkish brown to pale-ochre brown. Their tips go darker with age and their spores are white.
  • They are often somewhat laterally flattened – sometimes straight, but more often wavy with bluntly pointed or rounded tips.
  • The individual stems are typically 2-12cm tall and 3-10mm in diameter.

Where to find them?

They are generally found in unimproved grassland (favouring acid or neutral grassland) and in leaf litter on woodland edges and clearings.  In the summer and autumn, they can be found on road verges, in cropped grassland and in churchyards.

After years of low-nutrient management, they can also appear on lawns.

Don’t mistake it with…

  • Clavaria fragilis is similar but has white spindly fruitbodies.
  • Clavulinopsis fusiformis has a similar form but is golden yellow. 

Other Species

Field Pansy

Field Pansy

Viola arvensis

Bramble

Bramble

Rubus fruticosus

White Campion

White Campion

Silene latifolia

Olive Earthtongue

Microglossum olivaceum

Reddish tongue like fungus emerging from grassland

How to identify

Fruiting bodyLike dark reddish, brown or olive green coloured clubs, or tongues, emerging from the soil
Fruiting body sizeUp to 7cm in height
StemUsually with shades of olive-green
SporesWhite

Where to find them?

Rare but when found usually on unimproved grassland, often mossy between late summer and autumn. 

Did you know?

The latin name for Olive Earthtongues is Microglossum Olivaceum. Microglossum means small tongue, while  olivaceum refers to the hint of olive to most of the fruitbodies (but note that the colour is very variable with some being much browner than others). 

 

Other Species

Field Pansy

Field Pansy

Viola arvensis

Bramble

Bramble

Rubus fruticosus

White Campion

White Campion

Silene latifolia

Hazel Glove Fungus

Hypocreopsis rhododendri

Description

Found on Hazel trees in Britain, it is actually parasitic on the Glue Crust fungus Hymenochaete corrugate not living off the Hazel tree. It is not always possible to see the host crust fungus due to the presence of the Hazel Glove fungus and mosses.

Hazel Glove Fungus’ common name comes from the finger-like projections of the stromata (cushion-like plate of solid mycelium).  It is a type of ascomycete fungus. When mature, the central area of a stroma becomes pinkish brown, and individual perithecia (tiny black dots on the surface of these orange lobes which are sac openings which release the spores) become visible.

Distribution

Most likely to find in either west coast of Scotland in Atlantic Hazel woodland or temperate rainforest sites or in the south west of England, in North Devon and Cornwall, again in temperate rainforest habitat.

Habitat

Temperate rainforest, parasitic on Glue Crust fungus Hymenochaete corrugata on Hazel trees.

Did you know?

Hazel Glove fungus is an indicator of good air quality and temperate rainforest conditions, making it a flagship species for this threatened habitat.

Temperate rainforests are found in areas that are influenced by the sea, with high rainfall and humidity and damp climate. They are home to some intriguing and sometimes rare bryophytes, plants and fungi.

Plantlife are working in many ways to protect and restore this globally threatened habitat.

Other Species

Bramble

Bramble

Rubus fruticosus

Bastard Balm

Bastard Balm

Melittis melissophyllum

Ragged Robin

Ragged Robin

Silene flos-cuculi