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Shaggy Pholiota

Wednesday, 2nd October 2002, West Yorkshire

Pholiata squarrosa When I saw a cluster of this fungus growing by the base of the leylandii cypress stump in the corner by the shed I thought that it was a type of earthball. When I picked a specimen to draw it was obvious that it was a gilled fungus, although the caps haven't opened up yet.

Those rust-coloured scales all over the tawny cap and stem make it easy to identify as Shaggy Pholiota, Pholiota squarrosa. This fungus normally occurs at the base of broadleaved trees so it's unusual to find it here by a conifer.

I've looked it up in four different books and it is variously described as 'inedible', 'not edible' and 'edible but poor' - so it's best avoided then - and rated as 'occasional', 'infrequent' and 'very common'. Whatever, I'm glad to have it growing it in the garden. It's not described as a potential danger to living trees like honey fungus.

It has what I'd describe as a 'mushroom' page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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