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2006 Inventory of Fungi at Glen Major and Walker Woods

Glen Major and Walker Woods form an extensive, more or less contiguous forested area within the headwaters of Duffins Creek.  The forest is situated on high ground within a broad expanse of the Oak Ridges Moraine, and drains largely to the south.  Although located mainly on sandy soils, small pockets of organic and loamy soils do occur. The sandy terrain is highly dissected, hilly, and includes areas of wind-blown sands.  The southern boundary approximates to heavier soils of the till plains. The vegetation is diverse, and includes mature deciduous forest, as well as regenerating areas, previously in part used agriculturally. This provides a wide range of forest species and age classes.  Many of the cleared and eroded areas were replanted and managed as coniferous plantation with Red Pine and other species.  These have been thinned in recent years and are reverting to mixed forest. 

Toronto Region Conservation Authority gave permission for The Mycological Society of Toronto to undertake forays to develop an inventory of the fungi occurring in the forest commencing in 2006. These were organized by Dr. John Sparling and Tony Wright with the assistance of Henk van der Gaag. Richard Aaron, and other members of the society.

The inventories of the fungi were carried out during the summer and fall of 2006 and the results of this are presented below.  The arrangement follows that of Lamoureux (2000)

1. Myxostelida - Slime Moulds

Slime Moulds once included with the fungi, are now regarded as very distantly related.  This group is known now to be related to amoeboid animals, and are now placed in their own Phylum and are part of another Kingdom that includes the protozoa.  Mycologists however, have generally studied these organisms, and continue to do so. They produce spores similar to fungi, and these on germination produce an amoeboid single-celled myxamoeba which may fuse and continue to grow as a multinucleate plasmodium.  This plasmodium is capable of moving over a surface, often quite rapidly, and will undergo a spectacular transformation in which the plasmodium will come together and rapidly form fruiting bodies.  The fruiting bodies of five species were found at the Glen Major woods; all are quite small and several other species not so far recorded certainly occur.

  • Arcyria nutans
  • Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa
  • Lycogala epidendrum
  • Stemonitis sp
  • Tubifera ferruginosa

True Fungi

2. Ascomycetes - Cup Fungi

Cup Fungi produce spores from open cup-like, flask-like or closed apothecia.  These may be small or large depending on the species.  Many are brightly coloured, such as orange, red, black, blue-green, but others are various shades of brown or greyish and merge in with the soil or litter colour.  The apothecium produces large numbers of spores.  Among the cup fungi are several kinds of morel; these were not encountered since they fruit earlier in the spring, before the Glen Major forays took place.

  • Apiosporium morbosa
  • Ascocoryne cylichnium
  • Bisporella citrina
  • Helvella crispa
  • Leotia lubrica
  • Nectria cinnabarina
  • Phaeocalicium polyporaeum
  • Scutellinia scutellata
  • Spathularia flavida
  • Xylaria hyproxylon
  • Xylaria polymorpha
  • Ustulina deusta

3. Basidiomycetes - Jelly Fungi

Jelly fungi, coral fungi, polypores and mushrooms are classified within the Basidiomycetes.  Jelly fungi are gelatinous in texture, and vary in colour from white, bright yellow, shades of mauve to black.  The spores are born of surficial cells called basidia.  Two species were found. The Tremella is interesting, growing on wood but actually is parasitic on other wood decomposing fungi!

  • Dacrymyces palmatus
  • Tremella mesenterica

4. Basidiomycetes - Polypores and Similar Fungi

The polypores or bracket fungi form spores either from pores or, in some cases, from folds covering the undersides of the fruiting body.  Most polypores have a hard or corky structure. The spores are released inside the pores from specialized hyphae called basidia, and are dispersed by air currents. Many of the bracket fungi are parasitic or saprophytic. Piptoporus grows on dead and senescent birch trees.  Several, such as Trametes live on dead wood.  Some Polypores can live on trees for many years without killing them. They are important contributors to the break down of wood in the forest and the recycling of nutrients as well as soil improvement.    A large variety of species (29) were found at in Glen Major and Walker Woods.

  • Bjerkandera adusta
  • Cerrena unicolor
  • Daedaleopsis confragosa
  • Fomes fomentarius
  • Ganoderma applanatum
  • Gloeophyllum sepiarium
  • Irpex lacteus
  • Ischnoderma resinosum
  • Laetiporus sulphurous
  • Peniophora rufa
  • Phlebia tremellosa
  • Piptoporus betulinus
  • Polyporus alveolaris (=P.mori)
  • Polyporus badius
  • Polyporus brumalis
  • Polyporus elegans
  • Polyporus hirtus
  • Polyporus squarrosus
  • Polyporus varius
  • Schizophyllum commune
  • Stereum ostrea
  • Trametes elegans
  • Trametes hirsuta
  • Trametes pubescens
  • Trametes versicolor
  • Trichaptum abietinum
  • Trichaptum biforme
  • Tyromyces caesius
  • Tyromyces chioneus

5. Basidiomycetes - Tooth Fungi

The spore-bearing surface in these fungi consists of conical teeth on the underside of the fruiting.  Some species are hard and corky, while others, including those found on the forays, were delicate and pale in colour.  They are a heterogeneous group and the dispersal method appears to have evolved several times

  • Hericium coralloides
  • Hydnum repandum

6. Basidiomycetes -  Clavarias and Allies

These fungi grow on the soil or on well-rotted logs.  They may be unbranched or repeatedly branched, and the species range in colour from pure white, yellow, pale pinkish-brown or purple.  Spores are produced from the upper portion of the fungus

  • Ramaria flaccida
  • Ramaria stricta

7. Basidiomycetes - Chanterelles

This family includes some of the choice edible fungi such as the >Chanterelles= and the >Horn of Plenty=. The spores develop on folds on the outer surface.  The folds resemble true gills but are developed differently.   The Chanterelles including both the species found are prized and much valued as edibles.  They are generally yellow or pale in colour, but some, such as the edible Craterellus, which was not found, may be almost black.

  • Cantharellus cinnabarinus
  • Cantharellus tubaeformis

8. Basidiomycetes - Pleurotus and Allies

These are gilled mushrooms resembling bracket fungi, and they fruit shelving on wood.  They play an important role in nutrient recycling.  Phyllotopsis nidulans is quite common, a gilled bracket fungi having a strong coal-tar odour.   Several of the common species are good edibles. Five species were found.

  • Panellus serotinus
  • Panellus stipticus
  • Phyllotopsis nidulans
  • Pleurotus ostreatus
  • Rhodotus mundula

9. Basidiomycetes - Hygrophorus and Allies

Fruiting bodies of this mainly mycorrhizal family are often bright scarlet, red or yellow.  All appear waxy to the touch, hence their common name.

  • Hygrocybe cantharellus
  • Hygrocybe conica

10. Basidiomycetes - Tricolomataceae

This is a large and diverse family of white-spored mushrooms.  It includes the Honey Mushroom complex, Armillaria mellea, a good edible and also an aggressive fungal parasite of trees. 

  • Armillaria mellea (complex)
  • Armillaria ostoyae
  • Clitocybe gibba
  • Clitocybe martiorum
  • Clitocybe odora
  • Cystoderma amianthimum
  • Cystoderma granulosum
  • Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca
  • Hypsizygus tessulatus
  • Laccaria laccata
  • Lepista irina
  • Lyophyllum decastes
  • Melanoleuca alboflavida
  • Tricholoma myomyces

11. Basidiomycetes - Mycenas and Collybias

This group includes many small delicate fungi including those in the genera Mycena and Marasmius, the latter can dry up during dry periods, and revive completely following the next rainfall.  Many in this group are delicately coloured shades of pink, brown or yellow.

  • Crinopellis cf. setipes
  • Flammulina velutipes
  • Marasmius pulcherripes
  • Marasmius siccus
  • Mycena galericulata
  • Mycena haematopus
  • Mycena inclinata
  • Mycena leaiana
  • Rhodocollybia butyracea
  • Xerula furfuracea

12. Basidiomycetes - Cortinarius and Allies

This family includes the Deadly Galerina which fruits on decaying logs, and contains similar amatoxins to those found in Amanita spp. These two genera are responsible for most human fatalities from eating fungi.  It also includes some poisonous brown-spored mushrooms including some that do not cause gastric upsets, but affect other body organs.  Several are common.  No mushroom is poisonous by simply touching the surface only by ingestion.  Cortinarius spp. are difficult to identify to species without a full range of fresh specimens.

  • Cortinarius spp.
  • Crepidotus mollis
  • Galerina autumnalis
  • Hebeloma crustuliniforme
  • Inocybe lacera
  • Inocybe rimosa

13. Basidiomycetes - Agrocybe and Allies

An interesting group of fungi with smooth often cracked caps growiing in grass, wood chips etc.  Spores are brown often brightly so.  Many are edible but may resemble other genera which have poisonous members.

  • Agrocybe praecox

14. Basidiomycetes - Pholiota and Allies

These are large and often spectacular fungi growing on wood or wood debris, often being found in large clumps on the sides of trees. They are yellowish to brown in colour and many have a shining viscid and scaly cap.  Spore print is dull brown to rusty brown.

  • Pholiota flammans
  • Pholiota squarrosa
  • Pholiota squarrosoides

15. Basidiomycetes - Coprinus and Allies

The Ink Caps:  These are black-spored mushroom which when fresh are good edibles; however the gills quickly decay to a black liquid.  This specialization allows for the progressive exposure of spores, thus the later developing spores are exposed and are dispersed.  Dispersal is also accomplished by contact with animals.  Stalks are generally white and hollow. Many are common on soils rich in humus material, including dung.

  • Coprinus micaceus
  • Psathyrella c.f. velutina

16. Basidiomycetes - Agaricus and Allies

This group includes the common store-bought mushroom, Agaricus bisporus or A. brunnescens, as well as several field and woodland mushrooms. They are saprophytic, growing in fields and woodlands.  In addition to the Agaricus, the group also includes members of the genus Lepiota which includes several very poisonous species, one of which was implicated in a death recently in Toronto.

  • Agaricus silvicola
  • Lepiota cristata
  • Lepiota felina
  • Lepiota procera
  • Leucoagaricus naucinus

17. Basidiomycetes - Pluteus and Allies

This group includes those gill fungi that produce pink spores.  Most have a stalk and cap as with other mushrooms but there are species appearing like a bracket fungus but with gills rather than pores.  The group includes both edible and poisonous species.  Common in our area is the Deer Mushroom which fruits on rotted wood.

  • Pluteus cervinus

18. Basidiomycetes - Amanitas

These white-spored mushrooms include the Death Caps and the Destroying Angel, which are among the most deadly fungi. Amanitas generally have a ring, and also a basal volva. The volva may not always be obvious so the base of the mushroom needs to be examined very closely.  The family includes some of the most important mycorrhizal fungi, which are essential for a healthy forest.

  • Amanita bisporigera
  • Amanita brunnescens
  • Amanita citrina
  • Amanita fulva
  • Amanita muscaria
  • Amanita porphyria
  • Amanita virosa

19. Basidiomycetes - Entolomas

These are pink-spored mushroom, which when fresh show colouration distinctive of the species, these may be blue-black, violet, iridescent green, salmon pinks and yellow-green.  Some species are quite common.  Many are poisonous, but they make up for this in their beauty.  One species encountered was the Aborted Entoloma which is non-poisonous and frequently eaten.  The other is edible AMiller@. The group includes important mycorrhizal fungi.

  • Clitopilus prunulus
  • Entoloma abortivum

20. Basidiomycetes - Lactarius and Russula

These two genera, although appearing similar to other mushrooms are actually only distantly related.  Lactarius includes fungi that produce milk when the gills or stalk are cut.  The colour of the milk, and whether it changes colour or not are important diagnostic feature.  Russula species, although closely related to Lactarius, are quite different, and do not produce milk.  Many have richly coloured caps that contrasts with the pure white of the flesh.  Another feature is the stalk which when bent breaks like a stick of chalk.

  • Lactarius piperatus
  • Lactarius pubescens
  • Lactarius torminosus
  • Russula aeruginea
  • Russula brevipes
  • Russula claroflava
  • Russula emetica
  • Russula fragilis
  • Russula sanguinea

21. Basidiomycetes - Paxillus and Related Fungi

Some members of this family form a symbiotic relationship with conifers.  Several species have been used as a dye for clothing. 

  • Paxillus atrotomentosus
  • Paxillus involutus
  • Tapinella panuoides

22. Basidiomycetes - Boletes and Allies

This important family forms mycorrhizal associations with forest trees.  The twelve species encountered represents a good coverage for the group.  These are large mushrooms with pores on the undersides rather than gills.  Almost all are edible although some should be avoided since they cause gastric upsets.  Species with reddish stalks and pores, such as Boletus satanus are very suspect.  On the other hand, Boletus edulis is the famous edible 'Cep' of European cuisine.  The group form an important food source for squirrels and woodland mice, as well as slugs, millipedes and other woodland invertebrates.

  • Boletus edulis
  • Chalciporus piperatus
  • Gyrodon merulioides
  • Leccinum aurantiacum
  • Leccinum holopus
  • Leccinum scabrum
  • Suillus americanus
  • Suillus granulatus
  • Suillus laricinus
  • Suillus luteus
  • Suillus paluster
  • Suillus pictus

23. Basidiomycetes - Gasteromycetes

This is a heterogeneous group of fungi, once conveniently linked together by their general appearance and structure, but which are known now to be only remotely related to each other.  They include the Puffballs, Earthballs, Earth Stars, Stinkhorns, and Bird's Nest Fungi.  Eight species were found in the 2006 survey including the Bird's Nest Fungus, Cyathus striatus.

  • Cyathus striatus
  • Lycoperdon pyriforme
  • Lycoperdon perlatum
  • Geastrum quadrifidum
  • Geastrum triplex
  • Scleroderma aerolatum
  • Scleroderma citrinum
  • Vascellum cf. pratense


A total of 144 species of fungi were identified during the 2006 summer and fall forays.  We hope to complete a year-round listing by carrying out additional forays in the spring of 2007.  Of the species collected there is excellent representation of each of the groups in Glen Major and Walker Woods.