Thursday, 21 May 2015

Fungi, Lichens, and Liverworts

... at Fern Glade

I've spent a little time this month perambulating up and down the river bank at Fern Glade. With the cooler weather setting in, and plenty of rain, a variety of fungi has been popping up out of the ground, on rotting logs, and even on an animal carcass. Be aware that I am not an expert on fungi (or on anything else for that matter) so all identifications are tentative.

I'll get the the gruesome one out of the way first. Amidst a pile of bones and decomposing flesh at the side of the track, fungi was quietly working away helping to clean things up. Assuming my ID is correct this is the Ghoul fungus , Hebeloma aminophilum.

Ghoul fungus , Hebeloma aminophilum.

Several logs and stumps have had clumps of the Honey Fungus, Armillaria luteobubalina.

Honey Fungus, Armillaria luteobubalina.

The next one is definitely a new one for me. It’s the Shaggy Top Bolete. It is a beautiful yellow colour underneath.

Shaggy Top Bolete - Boletellus emodensis

I'm not sure what this next one is. Any suggestions?


After 9 years of visiting Fern Glade I finally noticed there is another track that follows close to the road between the two reserve entries. It was along here we found a couple of specimens of this fungus with pinky purplish gills.

Next up is what I believe to be Plums and Custard, Tricholomopsis rutilans. This is said to be a 'probable' introduction to Australia and is usually associated with pines. This one was growing at the base of a Eucalypt.  Maybe my ID is wrong but it certainly looks like the one in Fuhrer's guide.

Plums and Custard, Tricholomopsis rutilans

This Earth Ball was growing deep in the shadows below some Tree Ferns.

Earth Ball – Pisolithus sp 

I have know idea on the next two. Any suggestions (or corrections for the above) would be much appreciated.

Unknown - about 25mm across

Unknown - Caps probably about 9mm across

This small one belongs, I think, to the genus Amanita.

Amanita sp


In damper spots of the cutting at the side of the track are various mosses and lichens including a couple of examples of  Cladonia spp.

British Soldiers - Cladonia cristatella

Cladonia sp

The liverwort in the next shot was growing like moss over an old tree stump. An attempt at keying it out suggests it may belong to the genus Radula.  The thin stalks with little capsules on them are the sporophytes (or spore capsules). Mature capsules are black.

Liverwort - Radula sp

Liverwort - Radula sp  close up

To give a bit of context,  I'll end with of photo of the Emu River taken yesterday afternoon. It was dull, threatening rain, and very quiet. Fog was starting to form above the surface of the water.

The Emu River at Fern Glade

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Filmy Ferns

...  Family Hymenophyllaceae

While at Fern Glade recently I took some time to photograph a small epiphytic fern which I often see growing on the trunks of Tree ferns. They are known as Filmy ferns because in most species the leaf is only one cell thick, giving them a filmy appearance. As always, there are exceptions such as Sphaerocionium applanatum, where the leaf appears to be thicker due to a covering of tiny hairs.  One characteristic of the Filmy Ferns is that they lack any stomata. Stomata are small openings on the leaf that allow the exchange of gasses, including water vapour. They close when dry to prevent dessication.  Not having this ability, the filmy Ferns can only survive in very moist areas.

Tasmania has three genera of Filmy Ferns with a total of eight species. They are found in wet forests on rocks or as epiphytes.  Using the Key to Tasmanian Vascular Plants I was able to identify the fern in my photographs as Hymenophyllum flabellatums. However, in the background of some of my other photos there appear to be other species of Filmy Fern growing on the same trunk. I’ll have to look a little closer next time around.

(Click any photo to enlarge)

Hymenophyllum flabellatums

Detail showing the sori and the sporangia

Filmy Ferns covering the trunk of a Tree Fern