Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Leaves of Grass

While attempting (re-attempting) to "get into" grasses I picked up a couple of fungi, one if which is already on the list and another which is immediately recognisable to genus but with a tricker job on species. Starting with the easy one the also-immediately-recognisable Pleospora herbarum on Sheep's fescue. To be clear it isn't immediately recognisabe in macro because it looks vaguely similar to the other 10,000 of its kind (where 10k is a non-random real world number globally!). The spores are though - they're good value. This is a truly pluriverous fungus of herbaceous material and I've found it on (in) both thrift stems and gorse seed pods.

The second one, which appears to be on a dead bit of Agrostis sp., is a Colletotrichum. It's a coelomycete - an asexual fungal stage where the spores are produced out of an acervulus - a sort of basal pad. You will see these on a lot of dead plant material. Trouble is that while they are instantly recognisable as a genus they all look more or less the same AND there are species which are host specific along with pluriverous species. Apparently. Who am I to say otherwise? Anyway, they're also good value, with nice spiky habit and banana shaped spores. In this case they're quite small and have extensions, so I haven't entirely given up nailing the ID. Yet.

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