• Bethany Pearson

My notes on Fungi anatomy and identification.

Updated: Jan 6, 2019

I've recently been very interested in fungi, and thought that trying my hand in identifying them would be relatively simple. You can see my last post to see how successful I was there (spoiler: I wasn't.)

I figured I'd start from the beginning in fungi identification, and focus on the components of the organisms and that I'd share my findings here!

Fungi such a diverse kingdom; but a lot of mushrooms and toadstool share the same characteristics:

The Cap/ Pileus: cap 'morphology' is extremely diverse; they can come in a range of different sizes. My above illustration is of a campanulate or 'bell' capped mushroom.

I feel these are almost conical, but that ovate fit the mushroom structure better. ('stump puffball' [Lycoperdon pyriforme])

I edited a few photos I've taken of fungi in Grin Low Woods to analyse their cap shape; unfortunately a lot of my photos were from above, which has made it difficult to depict the cap shape.

I've tried my best!

Most of the fungi I found was either flat or ovate, but the pileus may also be convex, depressed (flat, with a concave centre), Ifundibuliform ('Y' or funnel shaped) or with a 'bump' in the centre (umbontae).

Caps can also be identified by texture- spongy, woody- some are sticky like the unidentified shroom in my last post!

In my illustration, I've labelled 'warts' or 'scales'; the fungi I've illustrated has warts- which are small bumps on the surface of the Pileus. They can also be seen on the stump puffball image above and in my last blog post.

Some fungi have 'scales', which are slightly different in terms of structure- longer and flakier in appearance.

An area I have not marked on my illustration is the margin; the edge of the pileus. This area can be frilled, split, rolled upwards etc.

Regarding the image where I've outlined the margin of the fungi; You can also see the gills just peeping out from underneath the cap here (I've outlined them loosely in red.)

I hope you enjoyed my notes! I'm going to try and take some better photos of the caps of fungi, their gills and also maybe make some spore prints! I'll also focus on the stem/stipes of the fungi.

 © 2018, Adventures In Ecology

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