Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 08/20/2016

Photo taken on August 13, 2016

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Anne Elliott
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W of Calgary
Hydnellum peckii
Bleeding Hydnellum
Strawberries and cream
Bleeding tooth fungus
Devil's tooth
© Anne Elliott 2016
13 August 2016
Rocky Mountains
Canadian Rockies
Red-juice tooth

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Strawberries and Cream fungus / Hydnellum peckii

Strawberries and Cream fungus / Hydnellum peckii
Eight evenings ago, on 12 August 2016, friend Dorothy phoned and asked if I'd like to go with them to Kananaskis the next day. A last minute decision - and of course I said yes! What a great day we had in the mountains, with perfect weather and so many mushrooms to keep all three of us happy. The highlight for me was when we saw Strawberries and Cream fungi / Hynellum peckii, my favourite fungus. Quite a few of them, too, which was a real treat, as we don't usually come across them.

When I think how many endless rainy days we have been having the last few weeks, we were so lucky that the sun shone, the temperature was pleasant, and a slight breeze kept comfort levels just right.

Our first brief stop was at a pond on the way to Bragg Creek, where a mutual friend had seen a Common Loon, but there was no sign of it when we were there. From there, once we eventually reached the mountains, we stopped at a large pond to check for birds and kept our eyes open for any mushrooms. The ground seemed too dry here, for any fungus to be growing. However, we were treated to wonderful views of a beautiful Osprey perched on top of a tall coniferous tree further down the path. It flew to a few different trees and then finally made the plunge for a fish, with success. What a splash it made! Once caught, it flew out of sight - maybe it had a nest somewhere with young ones to feed.

Our next stop was further into the mountains and we found that the ground was damper and more conducive to the growth of mushrooms. I suspect that after all the rain we've had this summer, one could find mushrooms growing almost anywhere now. We were certainly lucky at this location, finding various species. The individual Hydnellum peckii fungi that we saw were not hugely photogenic, but wonderful to see, both at this location and our next stop, at Kananaskis Lakes. This species has "teeth", not gills underneath, which you can just make out in this photo.

"Hydnellum peckii is an inedible (though not toxic) fungus, and a member of the genus Hydnellum of the family Bankeraceae. It is a hydnoid species, producing spores on the surface of vertical spines or tooth-like projections that hang from the undersurface of the fruit bodies. It is found in North America, Europe, and was recently discovered in Iran (2008) and Korea (2010). Hydnellum peckii is a mycorrhizal species, and forms mutually beneficial relationships with a variety of coniferous trees, growing on the ground singly, scattered, or in fused masses.

The fruit bodies typically have a funnel-shaped cap with a white edge, although the shape can be highly variable. Young, moist fruit bodies can "bleed" a bright red fluid that contains a pigment known to have anticoagulant properties similar to heparin. The unusual appearance of the young fruit bodies has earned the species several descriptive common names, including strawberries and cream, the bleeding Hydnellum, the bleeding tooth fungus, the red-juice tooth, and the Devil's tooth. Although Hydnellum peckii fruit bodies are readily identifiable when young, they become brown and nondescript when they age." From Wikipedia.

Lunch was eaten at a convenient picnic table right by a large creek after this first walk. While we were sitting there, a cute little Chipmunk (Least Chipmunk?) stopped long enough to take a quick peek at us through the tall grass blades. I suspect it thought it was well hidden.

After our lunch, we drove to Kananaskis Lakes and went for a most enjoyable hike - a very slow one, as there were lots of mushrooms! We had been along this trail in previous years and had found a good variety of fungi. There were so many people on the trail! Good to see everyone out enjoying the good weather, fresh mountain air, and beautiful scenery.

Thanks so much, Dorothy and Stephen, not just for this great day out, but for also helping to make my wait for my new car to arrive, easier! Greatly appreciated.

Dave Roberts 2014
Dave Roberts 2014
Nice colour.

Vu et admiré/Admired in
2 years ago.
Anne Elliott
Anne Elliott
Thanks so much, Dave!
2 years ago.