Rare mushroom found in Nottinghamshire

Friday 12th November 2010

A rare puffball mushroom, latin name tulostoma brumale, has been found at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Attenborough Nature Reserve in Nottinghamshire.

Commonly known as a winter stalkball, the mushroom was spotted during an organised fungi identification course at the reserve on 6 November.

The identification has now been confirmed after a sample was analysed by a member of Nottinghamshire Fungi Group.

The last known record of this species in Nottinghamshire dates back to 1898, 112 years ago, when a specimen was found at Colwick Park.

The winter stalkball is normally found from September to January on sandy soils in moss or short grass.

Approximately 0.5 to one centimetre in diameter and with a total height of between two to five centimeters, the puffball was more common in the Victorian era. Its more common occurrence during the period has been linked to the use of highly alkaline lime mortar used in building work typical at the time.

Speaking about the find, Richard Rogers, a local naturalist who was on the organized Fungi course commented: "It has been postulated that recent inland finds are due to old building conservation moving away from using concrete and back to lime mortar."

Speaking on behalf of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Communications Manager Erin McDaid said: “To have such a rare and unusual find made during one of our fungi courses is wonderful. As well as helping to develop people’s identification skills, such courses help us build up a better picture of the tremendous range of wildlife that can be found across the nature reserve.”