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Fungi in Your Garden

>> Monday, November 5, 2012




Article from : ezinearticle.com

Fungi in Your Garden by Jo Poultney 

Fungi may not be on the top of a planting list for your garden, but during autumn gardens provide the perfect habitat for some of our most fascinating species of native fungi. Fungi with weird and wonderful shapes and colours seem to appear almost overnight and then disappear just as quickly. At a time when most plants in the garden are not looking their best, fungi can create an interesting focal point, growing in gravel, under trees and even on the trunk of trees. Here are a few of the most interesting you are likely to find in your garden during the autumn months.

A word of caution before we begin - remember, that although most fungi are harmless and many even edible, a few species are extremely toxic and should be handled with caution. Never attempt to eat a fungus unless you are completely certain of its identity.

Perhaps the most evocative of fungi and one that as children we associate with fairy tales, is the Fly Agaric. This fungi has a long white stem topped by a red cap decorated with a distinctive pattern of white spots that fade with age. It is a common fungi that likes to live among birch and conifer trees. Appreciate it for its beauty but best not to touch it as it is highly toxic.

Another common fungi most often found on pieces of dead wood in the garden is the Common Ink Cap. It has a long stem, white flesh and an egg-shaped cap that gradually expands with age. Although not very visually appealing, this fungi is actually edible.

Another fungus that likes to live on dead deciduous wood, particularly oak, sweet chestnut and beech is the Beefsteak fungus. Often called Ox-tongue fungus because of its shape, it is also edible. It is blood red coloured on the upper side which gradually darkens with age, and white on the underside. Another similar fungus you certainly won't miss is the bright yellow Chicken of the Woods. It lives on both living wood and the trunks of dead deciduous trees. It is also edible and actually very tasty.

Less appealing and, not surprisingly, inedible, is the Stinking parasol. This white parasol-shaped fungus has dark brown scales on the top and an unpleasant smell. It is common to woods as well as gardens.
Next time you are out in the garden, take a look around for some of these fascinating fungi. In particularly wet autumns you will even find them growing in garden planters.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7362291


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