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Mushroom season arrives with giant find

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 16, 2012

  • Anne Osman, with two examples of the funnel cap, Leuopaxillus giganteus, discovered in the grounds of Duchy College, Rosewarne

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Duchy College Rosewarne's Horticulture Technician, Anne Osman, stumbled upon an interesting find when she unearthed some unusual giant fungi amongst the undergrowth.

Anne makes regular walks around the site at Camborne as seasonal biodiversity is a keen interest of hers and she enjoys sharing findings with the college team.

Anne explained: "Rosewarne is a very good site for fungi as it has many unimproved areas left undisturbed by humans and our conservation students ensure fallen wood and leaf litter is left to create even more habitats.

"These wonderful beauties were amongst the usual fungi I have found already. They are the uncommon and infrequent member of the funnel cap family called Leuopaxillus giganteus – the giant funnel cap.

"The largest cap is a little over 50cm in diameter. There are about 15 caps in all. I have never seen them here before and they are unmissable, so a new recording for Rosewarne biodiversity.

"Some mushroom hunters rate them as edible while others say they can cause serious stomach upsets so on balance are best avoided.

"These fungi are saprotrophic meaning they live on dead and decaying leaf litter making them an important member of the decomposers for whom we can thank for our good soil!

"A really interesting discovery and something the students are enjoying hearing about."

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