Rare fungus discovered during Norfolk RSPB reserve walk

Rare fungi found at Titchwell: Photo credit Tony Leech

Rare fungi found at Titchwell: Photo credit Tony Leech - Credit: Archant

A species of fungi was discovered at RSPB Titchwell Marsh that is so rare in Britain there is no English name for it.

Thirty-one species of fungi were noted on a recent foray at the north-west Norfolk nature reserve as part of its Halloween celebrations.

Dr Tony Leech, county fungi recorder for Norfolk, led the walk through the wet woods around the visitor centre where the group found a variety of fungi.

In among these were the strangely-named sweet poison pie and scurfy deceiver but the prize find was the entoloma phaeocyathus. It was the first sighting of this species in Norfolk and, also, the first for any RSPB reserve.

This small, dark-brown, funnel shaped gilled fungus was identified as a member of the entoloma (pink gill) genus, and was found on the edge of the sand dunes on the beach. Any fleshy fungus can be found in bare sand amongst marram tufts but for a handful of British species this is their habitat. It is presumed that they grow on humus provided by dead marram rhizomes.

The last sighting of entoloma phaeocyathus has only been reported from Sandwich Bay in Kent, last sighting was 2000, and Pembrokeshire in 2013. There are some reports of this fungi being found in the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland where it is a designated protected species.