Barnet, London, August 2017
Wrinkled peach mushroom (rhodotus palmatus)
The wrinkled peach mushroom is a startling beautifully mushroom, starting life as a pale pink almost globose mass, expanding into a delicate peach mushroom with a network of ridges decorating the cap after which it was named – palmatus, referencing a similarity to the lines of the palm.
This mushroom is a rare find in Britain and Ireland these days, after seeing a boom and then decline in population in the second half of the 20th century with the outbreak of Dutch elm disease providing an abundance of rotting elm wood, this mushroom’s primary food source. Elms are now far less common in Britain and Ireland than they once were, and so too is the wrinkled peach mushroom.
This specimen was already half eaten away by insects, but on the chance that it still had spores left to shed, I was able to roll the wood on which it was growing to get an adequate gill shot without disturbing it.