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Coral Fungus

A beige coral fungus, probably Clavinulopsis umbrinella (=Clavulinopsis cinereoides).There was quite a lot of it growing in short grass around a hawthorn tree (Crataegus sp).  This association of this species with Crataegus is mentioned in several places out on the web (see here and here).

Later on the same day that I took the above photo I noticed "How boots of first world war troops brought a foreign invader to Scotland", a fungi-related story in the Guardian in which it is stated as fact that this species had not been recorded in Scotland before 2014.  However, this is directly contradicted by the distribution map at the NBN Gateway which shows about 20 locations in Scotland where it has been found.  Without this supposed fact the story loses its whole foundation.

Anyhow, after taking the above photo I collected this specimen:

This yielded the following spores (magnification x600, field width 86um):

These average about 9 x 7um which is towards the long end of the range (5.2-)5.6-7.9(-10.5) x 5.6-7(-9.0)um given on this page at Mycobank.

The basidia have 2 sterigmata (magnification x600, field width 86um):

And the hyphae look like this (magnification x150, field width about 340um - note the different scale!):

First photo and specimen taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading, UK, on 2014-01-18.

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