Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Red Cage (Clathrus ruber)


Just before I left the office this evening I checked my emails to find one from Banstead's very own botanical guru, John Peacock. He was alerting me to the appearance of Clathrus ruber, a sessile stinkhorn that rarely appears in the UK. It has an English name - Red Cage.

I have longed after seeing this species, and had looked in vain for it before, when John discovered it growing under a yew tree in Banstead two years ago. Last year was a no show, so his message had me detouring from home. The light was fading and I only had my camera phone with which to record this striking fungus. I could see two fruiting bodies from some way off, one much larger than the other. There are several coral-red species, all with an exotic and startling appearance that, I believe, come from Australasia. Their appearances may be increasing, particularly on municipal wood mulch.

The irony of rushing off to twitch a fungus is not lost on me. I expect cries of 'hypocrite' to come from several birders...

Thanks John, you've made my day!

7 comments:

  1. Nice one! This has been on my mind over the last couple of weeks each time I pass woodchip mulch.

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    1. And to celebrate Andrew, I imbibed in a couple of Innis & Gunn Rum finish ales.

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  2. Wonderful! In 1963, when I was twelve years old, I stayed in a youth hostel on the Isle of Wight (at Whitwell) and they had one of these in their grounds. I've been looking for another one ever since....

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    1. I'm really keen to see Devil's-fingers now Phil!

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  3. You know there are quite a few Aseroe rubra up at Oxshott Common at the mo? I'm hoping to try for them tomorrow...

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    1. Any idea whereabouts Seth? I must go this weekend...

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  4. I have a very precise idea indeed! :) I'll PM you some details

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