Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Peziza ...

Anything but straightforward …








During a recent search of old parkland in West Sussex I found a small colony of the above cup fungi, which I believed to be a Peziza species. They were growing amongst a chipped softwood mulch at the base of a large cedar tree.

Cup fungi, the brown ones in particular, are especially difficult to identify with certainty. Having photographed a representative selection of the specimens, I collected several samples and later passed them to Nick Aplin, the county recorder for ascomycetes, for his opinion. Nick has tentatively identified them as Peziza varia s.l. Species delimitation in this group is quite controversial and there are several undescribed species, which could be a good fit as the spores from my collection were just a bit large for P. varia. The samples have been dried with view to DNA barcoding and further study later in the year. My thanks to Nick for his time and opinion and for the above photomicrograph.

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