A couple items of note for local readers before getting to today's entry written by Taisha. First of all, the Botanical Garden is helping to conduct a cross-cultural comparison study of eye movement in response to different gardenscapes. If you are interested (and between the ages of 20 and 49), you can read more about the study and its participant criteria here: Eye Movement Study. Also, this Saturday is the day of the Treasured Bulb Sale at the Garden, and it looks like the weather will be cooperating. Free entry to the Garden, too, if you arrive in costume.
Taisha's notes on my favourite fungus:
Today's photograph is of Hydnellum peckii, also known as strawberries and cream, bleeding hydnellum or bleeding tooth fungus. This photo was taken by Anne Elliot (aka annkelliott@Flickr), a frequent contributor to the UBC Botanical Garden Flickr Pool. Thank you Anne!
Hydnellum peckii, of the Bankeraceae, is a species of fungus that is widely distributed in North America. The aboveground growth is typically observed in the late summer or autumn, either growing in clusters or occurring singly. This species forms an ectomycorrhizal relationship with several different species of conifers.
The caps are often pinkish, but can be white to brown to black, as the colour and texture vary depending on age and the environmental conditions. In moist weather, bright red droplets often appear atop the cap, making this mushroom easy to identify. Characteristic to this genus, the spores are produced on pendant tooth-like projections called spines. The spores are brown, round to nearly round, and are prominently warted. The solid or woody stalk is cylindrical and is generally tapered toward the base (see: Arora, D. 1986. Mushrooms Demystified. Berkeley California: Ten Speed Press).
This mushroom is considered inedible, at least partly due to its burning-acrid taste and tough corky texture. For more photographs, visit Mykoweb: Hydnellum peckii.