It is always worth looking at the calendar of guided walks at Highgate Wood. Autumn talks are particularly fascinating and I do recommend attending the fungi talks.
Please do not use this article as a tool to help you identify mushrooms. While every care was taken to write accurate information, there is no guarantee that the mushroom descriptions contained in this article are 100% proof of identification.
The City of London runs several guided walks during the year (apart from winter). You can check the events calendar on the City of London website. Read more about Highgate Wood guided walks.
Identifying Mushrooms and Toadstools
During our guided walk we came across a number of different fungi specimens. Most grew on dead wood and ranged from the almost microscopic to good-sized fruiting bodies.
Parts of Highgate Wood have been designated as conservation areas since the 1970s to allow for tree root expansion.
Trees and mushrooms can either have a symbiotic relationship (mycorrhizal fungi) or a destructive one (parasitic fungi). Sabrobes are those mushrooms who feed on dead wood.
Birch polypore is not parasitic, for example, while stereum can attack and destroy trees causing root rot. Pluteus is a type of saprobic mushroom.
These were the mushrooms in order of appearance.
- Giant polypore (Meripilus giganteus)
- Stereum, a crust-like fungus on dead wood
- Common bonnet (Mycena galericulata), grows on dead wood
- Birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus), not parasytic
- Old beefsteak (Fistulina hepatica)
- Phytophthora, a type of mould that affects waterlogged trees
- Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor)
- Blushing bracket (Daedaleopsis confragosa)
- Candlesnuff fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon)
- Leaf fungus (stereum)
- Sulfur tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare )
- More pluteus
- Bootstrap fungus, it causes tree destruction
- Bonnet fungus (Mycena galericulata)
- Blackening russula (Russula nigricans)
- Amethyst deceiver (Laccaria amethystina)
- Ugly milkcap (Lactarius turpis)
- More blackening russula
- Blushing amanita (Amanita rubescens)
- Oakbug milkcap (Lactarius quietus)
- Rollrim fungus (Paxillus involutus)
All picture credits: Paola Bassanese, Energya. No unauthorised distribution.
Recommended Reading: Strictly Walk Slimmer