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Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum)

The Common puffball is a widespread fungus, a surface covered in tiny uneven pearl like attachments distinguish it from its many similar relatives, initially cream, turning ochre before falling off leaving an olive brown surface. The dark area at the apex is where the pore develops through which spores are released following a drop of rain or gust of wind.

Habitat
Found in all kinds of woodland

Size
3-6cm across, 4-9cm tall

Status
Frequent

Similar Species
Lychoperdon echinatum

Ear Fungus (Auricularia auricula - judae)

Ear fungus also known jelly fungus, ranges from pale to dark brown, is rubbery and really does resemble a human ear! When it is young it is gelatinous and pliant but hardens and turns black with age releasing white spores. It is one of the few fungi that can withstand freezing temperatures therefore can be found all year round.

It is said that Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and then hanged himself on an elder tree, which is the origin of the name auricula-judae (ear of Judas).

Habitat
Associated with elder trees, also found on beech and elm

Size
Approximately 6cm across

Status
Frequent

Similar Species
Cloud ear fungus

Shaggy Ink Cap (Coprinus comatus)

The Shaggy inkcap fungi, also known as Shaggy Mane and Lawyer’s wig can be found in spring summer or autumn. It has a white skin with a tan colouring across its shaggy looking outer flesh. It looks like a goose egg when young, developing into a slender bell shape as the margins of the cap rots away. As the mushroom ages, the gills darken as they start to liquify producing a dark liquid that was traditionally used as an ‘ink’.

Habitat
Often found in clusters at the base of dying tree stumps, fertile areas such as lawns and pastures.

Size
4” to 6” tall

Status
Frequent

Similar Species
Common or Alcohol inkcap