Archive for August, 2008

Clitocybe Nebularis

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Wood Blewits are the twin fungi of Blewits (Lepista saeva). They grow in woods, orchards, parks and along tree-lined lanes. In contrast to Blewits, the whole fruit-body is a beautiful amethyst purple when young. This colouring disappears with age and changes into cloudy purple or beige-brown, which is a feature of both the caps and gills.

The stipe always lacks a ring and it was therefove formerly classified as a member of the independent Amanitopsis genus. The colour of its cap is changeable, but a typical Grisette has a grey cap on a whitish stipe and volva. The fruit- bodies with an orange or orange-brown or sometimes a slightly olive tinged cap are classified as Amanita crocea. Their stipes are similarly coloured and are characterized by transverse broken lines.

The reddish-brown Amanita umbrinolutea can also he frequently seen. It has a dirty-whitish volva, and its stipe has also transverse irregular stripes. All the above-mentioned Amanita species are edible; some mushroom-pickers even consider them tasty. Their disadvantage lies in their fragility and therelbre they do not transport very well. Finally it is worth noting once again that, when such Amanita species are being gathered, constant vigilance must be exercised to avoid confusing them with the Death Cap (Amanita phatloides), which has a similarly tall volva at the stipe’s base; however, the Grisette is always without the characteristic ring.

Helvella elastica

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

The fruit-body of False Morels is divided into a stipc, which is either rounded and smooth or longitudinally ribbed or furrowed, with a cup- shaped or saddle-shaped fertile head which is often irregularly lobed. The head of Helvella elastica is reminiscent of the shape of a riding saddle and in addition Is divided into 2-3 lobes. It can be found growing in damp soil in various types of woodland. Helvetia acetabulum has deep, cup-shaped fruit- bodies which open gradually. Its prominent ribs, located on a relatively short stem, branch out to the underside margins of its cup-shaped cap.

There also exist other species of this genus, the most frequently found being Helvella crispa, H. lacunosa and the minute H. macropus. Some of their common features are wide, ellipsoid and colourless spores which contain large drops of oil.

Some species with larger fruit-bodies are picked for food, such as H. acetabulum, but their flesh is thin and quite tough. They grow in masses among fallen leaves and needles.

Pepper in the Thirteeth Century

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

The branches are dimorphic. The orthotropic vegetative climbing branches give the framework of the plant; they become stout, 4-6 cm in diameter at the base, and woody with a thick flake-like bark; the internodes are 5-12 cm long.

Among the economic species of Piper are Betel pepper, P.betle L., whose leaves are chewed as a masticatory, together with the betel nut from the palm, Areca catechu L., from Zanzibar, through India, Malaysia, Indonesia and into the Pacific.

The xylem in the original bundle ring of the young climbing stem develops into dichotomously branching plates separated by medullary ray tissue with embedded islands of schlerenchyma.

P. cubeba L.f., cubeb or tailed pepper, provides the stalked, dried, unripe fruits of a climber, which is a native of Indonesia. It was cultivated to a limited extent in Java during the last century and is now used mainly medicinally in the East. Cubebs came into the trade from Malesia about the seventeenth century and were used at that time in the West as a spice, but later medicinally. They are no longer imported.

Planting and After Care of Peppers

Friday, August 29th, 2008

The three main climbing stems, which have been tied to the post, are pruned regularly to encourage the development of lateral fruiting branches; these latter are not tied to the post as this would discourage the bushy side growth that is required.

Organic manures were extensively used in Sarawak and included guano, prawn and fish refuse, and soya bean cake. More recently Sterameal, a potassium-fortified sterilized animal meat-and-bone meal, which is produced commercially and has been sold widely in Sarawak, has become popular.

Rootstocks of P. colubrinum, which is highly resistant to foot rot, have been used, and two-node cuttings of this species strike roots easily to provide rootstocks. Other rootstocks tried include P. cubeba, which is not fully resistant to foot rot, and P. hispidutn and P. scabrurn, with which there was little success.

P. colubrinum, a native species of the Amazon region of Brazil, is resistant to foot rot (Phytophthora pahnivora) and Fusarium solani var. piperi and was used in Brazil as a rootstock for susceptible P. nigrum. However, grafts on disease-resistant P. colubrinum deteriorated after the fourth year.

Dahlia Diseases

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Human beings, for example, are heir to a thousand, yet most of us get by for the allotted span without much more than a cold from time to time. Well then, so is the dahlia liable to certain ills, but just as with you and me, it is not certain that these will develop.

Record against each entry all those details which seem important and which are peculiar to the particular plant or variety, including special feeding. Any other details which affect a group of plants, or are common to the whole, such as general weather conditions, temperatures, routine feeding or watering and so on, should be recorded in diary fashion day by day. By cross reference between the two records the behaviour of any one plant or variety over a period can be studied fairly easily.

Alternatively a card index system can be used; by this method it is possible to record the behaviour of a variety over a period of years on the one card, an obvious advantage that may well be worth the additional trouble.

Russula Nigricans

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

A common feature of all Lactarius species is the presence of a milky latex in the flesh of its fruit- bodies, which trickles away when the mushroom is cut or broken. Its milky colour and the colour changes that take place when it is exposed to the air, as wsell as its taste, are the most important distinguishing features of the individual Lactarius species.

The sturdy fruit- bodies of this mushroom can survive for a long time in woods and are not as susceptible to decay as other fleshy mushrooms. It has strikingly sparse, thick fragile gills. The flesh of its fresh fruit-body turns a brick red when cut or bruised, and later turns grey and black. The flesh of its relative; Russula adusta, which grows regularly in pine forests, does not turn red, but becomes immedi’ately brown and black. The gills of both species also differ; in Russula adusta they are much closer together than in Russula nigricans.

The Structure and Shape of the Fungus Fruit Body

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Out of the mycelium grow the fruit-bodies. These are constructed of densely interwoven hyphae and, according to the type of fungus, they adopt a variety of shapes. The study and differentiation of these systems of hyphal tissue are important criteria in the recognition of the mutual affinity of fungi as well as in their classification of microscopic micron measurements to several tens of centimetres.

These hyphae can penetrate various types of material ranging from a woodland humus and rotting wood to the tissues. In some fungi the mycelium develops into a mass of thin or thick roots, threads or even thick cords. The mycelium obtains nutrients from decomposing organic matter.

Some types fungi grow on their mycelium hardened, tuberous, globular or irregular formations, which have a dark surface. They are lied sclerotia and store reserves of food and enable such fungi to survive even in unfavourable growing conditions. In some types of fungi, these sclerotia can later develop into fruit-bodies.

The fruit-bodies of higher fungi, which are the main subject of this book, consist usually of a stipe and a cap. The stipe is cylindrical and its apex is crowned by the characteristically widened cap. Its underside (4ymenophore) assumes different forms according to the particular species.

Fly Agaric

Monday, August 25th, 2008

The Death Cap is the most poisonous mushroom known to man. It groWs in deciduous forests, especially under oak and hornbeam trees. Its cap is coloured in various shades of green and usually has additional grey or yellowish-brown patches, although in exceptional circumstances it can also be whitish or pure white. Its cuticle is streaked with radiating fibrils. It is either completely bare or occasionally has dried traces of its whitish veil.

When the fresh fruit-bodies are cut, the milk pours out in quantity: although this is less of a feature in dry, old fruit-bodies, which sometimes lack milk altogether. The conspicuous pickled herring smell grows stronger as the fruit-bodies die away.

Laclarius volemus is a good edible mushroom, which grows predominantly in well-established pine forests. It can be safely eaten even in its raw state, which is an unusual feature of mushrooms. Its caps are a delicacy when salted, spiced with carraway seeds and fried in hot fat. When preparing the mushroom in this way, the caps should be placed in the frying pan with the gills facing upwards. Lactarius volemus is also good for soups. It can, however, be mistaken for the very acrid Lactarius rufus, and it is wise to taste a small piece raw, in order to make sure that the flavour is mild.

Koi Aquarium Information

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Hello and welcome to this article, you may be reading this because you are interested in buying a Koi aquarium so read on to find out if you should or shouldn’t.

Koi are extremely relaxing fish to watch and more and more people are starting to buy them, Koi have great colourings and are fantastic creatures.

The reason you are probably thinking about keeping them in a Koi aquarium is because you want to enjoy them in the house instead of leaving them outside.

Also as you probably realise keeping your Koi in a Koi aquarium will protect them from the dangers of the outdoors.

As I’m sure you already know Koi will grow quite large, well over a foot long so it is important to know that you will need a good sized Koi aquarium if you wish to keep them inside.

It may interest you to know that there are some reasons why you shouldn’t keep Koi indoors in an aquarium.

So the first reason that you may already know about is that Koi can thrash about sometimes so this is not going to be good if they are in an aquarium.

Hygrophorus Mushrooms

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

The Fairy-ring ,champignon has been well known to country dwellers for a long time. Apart from the Boletus and the Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) this used to be the only mushroom picked for eating. Its distinguishing characteristics are a pleasant smell of burnt almonds, an elastic yet firm stipe and its permanently white, sparse and deeply cut gills. It grows in circles in strips of dark green grass on the margins of forests, in pastures on downs and lawns, and alongside meadow paths. It is a tasty, popular mushroom, particularly good for preparing soups.

Hygrophorus conicus, like the majority of mushrooms belonging to this species, is distinguished by its vivid colouring. Its sharply conical cap, slimy in damp weather, is a vivid yellowish-red; its gills are a pale yellow and the stipe blackens from the base upwards when bruised. The whole fruit-body turns black if the mushroom is dried up. The flesh is without any characteristic smell and tastes bitter. Hygrophorus conicus frequently grows outside the forest area, especially in grass along the road side, on grassy slopes, meadows, pastures and On lawns.