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Velvet Shank Fungus

Scientific name: Flammulina velutipes

Common name: Velvet Shank

Type of decay: Brown Rot

Family: Tricholomataceae


Found all the way up the stem of broadleaved trees. The fruiting bodies appear August-April. The brackets reach up to 15cm across convex at first growing flat with age. They are yellow-orange at first becoming brown later. The stem is short and tough. The upper surface of the fungus is smooth and slimy. They grow in clusters mostly on dead and dying trees but also occasionally on living hosts. The gills of the fungus are pale yellow and evenly spaced. The growing season of this fungus enables them to survive being frozen solid, this in fact encourages new growth. Spore colour is white.

Effects of fungus on tree:

Brown rot of living trees caused wood to become brittle. This reduces the tensile strength of the tree and can lead to brittle fracture of the stem. Cavities and hollowing of the stem may occur as a result of this fungus.

Hosts:Most commonly found on elm and willow but also on other broadleaved species.

Fig.1 & 2 – Fruiting bodies on the stem of a horse chestnut.

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