Bearded Tooth (Hericium erinaceus)
H. erinaceus is surely one of the most striking and beautiful of all British woodland fungi. It is certainly a pleasure to see and photograph and an even greater pleasure to turn a corner in an old woodland and find your own specimen. It is a rare species of dead or damaged hardwood trees where it grows on beech and oak; its delicate pendent spines giving the mature fruiting body the appearance of a frozen waterfall. The above images were all taken this year and show a selection of the various stage forms of the developing fungus. The Bearded Tooth is of conservation concern across its European range. It is listed as one of only four non-lichenised fungi on Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and is thereby accorded the highest level of protection for a fungus in the UK. It is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority species.
Now to find a coralloides …
Buczacki, S., Shields, C. and Ovenden, D. (2012). Collins Fungi Guide: The most complete field guide to the mushrooms and toadstools of Britain & Ireland. London: HarperCollins, p. 470, fig. p. 471.
Kibby, G. (2017). Mushrooms and Toadstools of Great Britain & Europe, Volume 1, pp.44-45.
O’Reilly, P. (2016). Fascinated by Fungi – exploring the majesty and mystery, facts and fantasy of the quirkiest kingdom on earth. Llandysul: First Nature, p. 233.
Sterry, P. and Hughes. B. (2009). Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. London: HarperCollins, p. 280, fig. p. 281.