Autumn Fungi in the Scottish Borders
Autumn is a great time to spot all types of fungi in the Scottish Borders. Woodlands, fields and hedgerows come alive with a rich harvest of mushrooms and many colourful toadstools. Amazing colours, shapes and structures can be found just about everywhere you look. On deadwood and older trees look out for bracket fungus like razorstrop (Piptoporus betulinus), oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus), yellow brain (Tremella mesenterica) and chicken of the wood (Laetiporus sulphurous).
Around tree roots you may spot; shaggy parasol (Macrolepiota rhacodes), morel (Morcella esculenta), penny bun (Boletus edulis), chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius), wood blewit (Lepista nuda) and autumn’s most recognisable fungi, fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) which is a deep red with distinctive white spots. In parkland and fields you will see all sorts of mushrooms growing up through the grass like giant puffball (Calvatia gigantea) and field mushroom (Agaricus campestris). In wetland and damp woodland the brilliant acid colour of orange peel fungus (Aleuria aurantia) can be found until early winter.
If you are thinking about collecting mushrooms please remember that many are poisonous, rare or vulnerable. Fungi are vital to a healthy environment and it is important to ensure that their harvest is sustainable.Pictures: top Fly Agaric, Bottom Razorstrop on Birch courtesy of Ron McBeath