As part of a continuing effort to expand my knowledge of all things natural I photographed the above fungi during my Whitford walk a few weekends ago. My in the field identification skills seem to be currently stuck on Yellow Brain Fungus so the plan was to look it up when I got back home. Unfortunately for me I forgot a few key basics when it comes to identifying these often tricky species. Not only did I not note it’s texture, the tree it was growing on or look at its underside, I also didn’t take a photograph showing the colony as a whole. From the image above you get the impression that this was a solitary specimen when in fact it was just one particularly good example in layers upon layers of overlapping cups. All school boy errors I’m sure you’ll agree and mistakes that left me in a bit of a quandary when it came to pinning down the exact species.
After hunting through the excellent “Collins complete mushrooms and toadstools” I was sure this was a Turkeytail (Trametes versicolor) – sure that is until I looked a little further down the page and saw Trametes ochracea staring back at me. On the face of it the two species looked very similar to me especially when considering the large colour variation that each can apparently exhibit. At this point the various guides I checked started referring to all those lovely differentiating features which I had so handily forgotten to take note of.
In the end I have gone with my first impression after trawling through plenty of pages on google image search, a large proportion of which are probably tagged incorrectly anyway. The Turkeytail has commonality and the manner of growth in its favour, so I can be fairly certain that I’m correct. This being the internet though please feel free to correct me, or at the very least chastise me for getting in a muddle over what is apparently one of the UK’s most common species of fungi.