Thursday 22 September 2022

Loreleia postii - A little orange toadstool that grows on a Liverwort - Marchantia polymorpha - at Giggleswick - plus lichens and fungi.

 Loreleia postii A fungus growing in association with a liverwort.

In 2017 on 28 October Craven Conservation Group went on a walk led by Archie McAdam (See the post written then) . As Doris and I (last) walked down the steep footpath beside the road from Giggleswick Chapel down to the Giggleswick Carpark we discovered a very few tiny orange fungi which Archie (after consultation with Roy Watkins) eventually told us were Loreleia postii - A fungus that gets its food from liverworts.

It is similar to another one called Loreleia marchantiae (The Liverwort Navel) 

I had been back a couple of years and not found them.

However on 21 Sept (my it's the equinox!) I fancied a walk and some fresh air - and drove to Giggleswick and was pleased to find about 10 tiny orange caps scattered up beside the path. More than last time. SD 8089764002 and SD8092264008

There is much less Marchantia now than there used to be. In 2017 it was more obvious that bare soil had been left when the gravel path had been laid and wooden fence had been erected, and the Marchantia polymorpha had spread over much of this bare soil. By 2022 grass is beginning to creep in. And moss (Didymodon sp?? still to be checked) is more abundant than Marchantia. However the Marchantia is still there, thinly scattered all the way along.

One large (3mm cap) 1/5 of the way up - near centre,
plus three more diagonally above and to the right

Down as this path enters the car park (and with no fungi) the Marchantia was fruiting and some was divided up like this:-

More notes: After this I walked to the good tree next to Mill Hill Lane  SD80936419 where I had found fungi in previous years but did not find any. It is too early.

Notes mostly to myself on lichens (SD84)

Then I walked across to Giggleswick Church - At the point where the path is enclosed by two old walls, 15 m from the churchyard perimeter I found this pale pinkish crustose lichen: It was growing on a smooth roundish Sandstone stone in the wall in several places. It was K- and C red. It has soredia

I wonder if it is Trapelia placodioides. I think so. 

Oh - I see I saw it with our "lichens for all Group" last month with Allan and Sue and Les on the Gritstone rocks near Craven Bank Lane on 6 Aug

Then I saw it at Harden Gill at Humberstone YNU Day on 14th August. -

Like London Buses - three in a row. 

I have entered it on my "List of species in SD 86" - I am up to 170 species

The wall has a "right mixture of stones" - It is lying exactly the fault line anyway!!

This I think is Porpida macrocarpa -  well the big black apothecia

This is Cladonia pyxidata

Cladonia pyxidata

Once in the churchyard I looked for fungi.  Although wildlife conservationists  ask for parts of the churchyard to be left unmown for the sake of insects and small mammals etc, I am really pleased that parts of it with the old grassland are still kept mown - not because it looks neat and tidy, but because some fungi do better here.  I only found three species - but they were all in the mown area. I might put them up later.

Although this one looks bright and cheerful here,
it is actually the Conical wax cap or Blackening wax cap and is one of the very few waxcaps that are inedible.  Hygrocybe conica

Hygrocybe conica - at NE corner of church

Hygrocybe conica

Two more species at lawn south of the church building that I am thinking about.

Wednesday 14 September 2022

Settle Wildflowers Day 120: Prickly Lettuce - Lactuca serriola - in Langcliffe Quarry Enterprise Centre

I found this plant in August - a new one for our area (Langcliffe, Settle, Yorks Dales) - and was not sure if it was Prickly Lettuce Lactuca serriola or Great Lettuce Lactuca virosa. Both have spines on the midrib of the leaves.

Having put it on Twitter #wildflowerhour and elsewhere on social media (and having plumped for L virosa) I have now been informed

It is in fact L serriola - because "Virosa has obvious purple flushing in all parts but especially along stem and leaves. Serriola usually has whitish appearance."

I have now updated the rest of this post accordingly


The old council yard and buildings at the Hoffman Kiln, Langcliffe gave me many new flowers in my 2020 list of  "Wildlfowers found on Lockdown walks." Sadly most are now gone -

Since then the buildings (except one) have been pulled down and new buildings , tarmac and paving stones erected on the "waste land". These buildings are now called Langcliffe Quarry enterprise Site.  The old footpath path amazingly close to the railway has been replaced by a new one a few meters back and a large grill now separates walkers from the old path and railway. New topsoil has been placed in the parts to be left as garden.

One new plant has arrived on these beds: (lots of old ones too, such as Broadleaved Dock, Spear and Creeping Thistle, various Oraches..)
The new plant has spines on the midrib of the leaves, has white latex and is..

Spiny Lettuce. Lactuca serriola

I struggled to work out whether it was Great Lettuce Lactuca virosa or Prickly Lettuce Lactuca serriola. Indeed I struggled to find it with the flowers out at all - it always seemed closed in in bud and closed in fruit.

Then I realised it must be like many others in that tribe of Lactuceae /Cichoreae - Such as "Jack Go-to-bed-at-noon" - Tragopogon pratensis. - that it must go to bed at noon.

So on Tuesday morning 13 Sept I trotted out again - at 7.30am it was in shade - then back at 10.30am, and the blue sky and intense sun the tiny yellow inflorescences were open and just two heads were in seed.

I took one seed head home and measured the achenes 

The white beaks on the achenes are the same length as the achenes.

They were 4mm to 4.3mm long and very dark brown almost black. So I  first made it L virosa. Some of the leaf stems had a hint of marron in them.

L serriola on the other hand is supposed to have achenes that are 3-4 mm long and are olive grey, and to have no hint of dark red in the leaves.

Well my advisors elsewhere who know the plants said the purple colour in the stems and leaves are important.

So L serriola it is

I took lots and lots of pictures.

There are at least four separate plants.. So I hope they will seed well and last at least till new people come to the buildings and do the flower beds.
The involucral bracts open out in a quite spectacular fashion. 

(I did actually pick this head so that I could hold it up to the light
... and very close to the camera)

There are pictures on the internet of  L serriola with much more lobed leaves and more clasping base of the leaf blades to that at a distance the plant looks more like Soft Sow thistle.. I shall have to investigate plants more carefully.

In an earlier Settle Wildflowers post -Day 68 I said that I had found 11 members of the (sub) tribe Cichoreae or Lactuceae around Settle plus 1 extra (Bristly Oxtongue) near Ripon. This now brings my total to 12 members around Settle (Plus 1 bear Ripon)

Below: some L virosa info:

Lactuca virosa
By Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen - <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="">List of Koehler Images</a>, Public Domain, Link

See more "Wildflower Walks around Settle"

Bonfire Scalycap - Pholiota highlandensis - Settle -and other fungi 13 Sept 2022.

Eco-Explorers (for families) meet at 4pm (or straight after primary school) on alternate Monday afternoons. (Ask me for more details)

This Monday 12 Sept, Led by Sally Waterson, we went on a bird quiz walk round Settle (devised by Lex Chandler for U3A) and walked through Millennium Garden (part occupied by the "pump track"). We entered though the roofed entrance and looked on the left. Then we saw this chestnut coloured shiny slimy fungus. I went home and looked it up.
This is Bonfire Scalycap- Pholiota highlandensis (formerly called
 Pholiota cabonarea)

Pholiotas are usually scaly. This one wasn't, although the lower stipe is slightly scaly. It was very slimy and I though it should be called slimy-cap. There were white bits at the edge of the cap that had once formed a partial veil linking it to the stem.

I came back the next day and photographed it, by which time the slime had dried up.

Pholiota highlandensis often grows on sites where there has been a fire. I wonder if the workmen who had built the new pump track had had a fire here. 
I found an excellent website describing how Pholiota highlandensis can grow in association with a moss -Polytrichum commune (Star Moss) - and other mosses that grow on bonfire sites. 
I will have to come back another day and look for more signs of charcoal and moss - the day I came, by the time I had removed the dandelions to see the fungus better, I could not see much moss.
I also found a website that says Pholiota highlandensis might be made up of seven different species, at least the ones growing in America..

 Near to it was an Ink Cap.

Ink Cap

And near-by were these conical fungi - I need to research these next!!

I looked up a definition of a pump track and Settle Town Council website says: "A pump track is for BMX, mountain bikes and off-road bikes and has rollers and berms (banked corners) to help you generate speed, so you don't need to pedal 

I then drove up to Winskill Stones (It was a brilliant sunny day and slightly fresh and calm) to look in the field where I had found The pink Waxcap or Ballerina on 11 Sept 2019. There were no fungi in that corner of the field today.

The next "First Day of the month Climate walk" be a fungus foray on 1 October in the morning.

Probably starting at 9.30am and probably setting off along Watery Lane - but do check with me first if you intend to come because it may change if I discover a better site for fungi.