Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Postcard from Winterbourne Gardens

Wild mushrooms can evoke unease. A sighting of a strange form blossoming forth when the spring and summer growing season is nearing its end, brings a slight frisson of fear that it may kill you. Unlikely; as I never pick them to eat, preferring to admire them in situ. Especially when they look so charmingly like discarded pencil shavings.

Winterbourne Gardens are lovely, the house delightful and the food in the tea rooms reassuringly edible.  Delicious, in fact. With such huge grounds to wander around, it's easy to justify eating both lunch and afternoon tea there. From a table on the terrace, the views of the walled garden, lawns, pergola and woodland are almost as tempting as the cakes.

My (very brief, internet based) research into the fungus pictured tells me it's a Coriolus Versicolor and is inedible. It is not, however, poisonous. Panic over. Time for tea.


Lexi said...

That is a gorgeous photo.

It's the speed with which fungi grow that makes them a little spooky, I think. One minute they are not there, the next they suddenly are.

postcardsfromk said...

They certainly have strange habits. Coincidentally, I ate a mushroom risotto for dinner tonight in the company of someone who had eaten freshly foraged fungi at the weekend. How wonderful to be catered for by someone who is confident about which are the tasty ones and which the deadly.

The internet informed me that the one photographed had anti-cancer properties and is used in some complementary treatments. I'm cautious about medical advice quoted on the internet; but if true, what a clever, gorgeous organism it is.


Timberati said...

The fungus reminded me of the many fruiting bodies I've seen on tree trunks and stumps.

postcardsfromk said...

There's a glut of berries in Britain at the moment too, Norm. It's shaping up to be a beautiful autumn. Bit wet today though...

Timberati said...

I'd like to see the berries in a postcard.

The fungus that we see is known as a fruiting body (by foresters at least, I don't know about mycologists) since that part eventually dries and sends out spores in the wind (or water one presumes, I'm not a mycologist).