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Tucked into tree roots and springing from the lawn, mushrooms are emerging by the dozen as autumn arrives at Hestercombe. And with the annual Fungal Foray not far away, we’ve got some toadstool trivia to share with you.

We’ve all heard of frogs transforming into prince charming, but how about a mushroom? Agaricus Augustus is the fungi honoured with the regal title of the Prince.

In contrast, one mushroom you certainly shouldn’t kiss (or even touch, for that matter) is Amanita Phalloides. Otherwise known as the Death Cap mushroom, this toadstool is highly toxic.

While it might sound like mushrooms are all doom and gloom, there are some fun fungi names too. How about the crinkly Pig’s Ear mushroom (Gomphus Clavatus) or the furry Monkey Head mushroom (Hericium Erinaceous)? Then there’s the mushroom commonly called Old Man of the Woods (Strobilomyces Confusus Floccopus), with its iconic spotted top.

When it comes to colour, Amanita Muscaria is the classic red toadstool dotted with white spots. There are plenty that pop up in shades of brown, beige and grey, so the zingy blue of Lactarius Indigo (Indigo Milk Cap) is sure to make a splash.

Five fun fungi facts

  1. Some mushrooms can glow in the dark.
  2. In the past, mushrooms were used to dye wool.
  3. Mushrooms can be extremely poisonous and they’ve got the names to prove it. Death Cap, Deadly Parasol and Destroying Angel are all common names for toxic mushrooms.
  4. Furthermore, research suggests that only 30g of the Death Cap mushroom is enough to kill a human.
  5. However, fungi aren’t always to be feared. Edible mushrooms can be great sources of vitamins B and D.

Fancy finding out a little more about fungi? Join the Fungal Foray at Hestercombe on Sunday 14th October. Led by expert Michael Jordan, you’ll meander through the gardens, tracking down and identifying toadstools as you go.

Find out how you can get involved here.

Hestercombe Gardens aerial Pawel Borowski DJI 0038

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