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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

03 July, 2012

Soapy Knight (Tricholoma saponaceum)

The Soapy Knight? You might think that is because it has a waxy surface to the cap but no, this species of fungus smells like the kind of cheap soap once used in the washrooms of 'institutions'! My guide does not say what sort of institutions. It has an earthy, rancid taste so not really one to eat but one to smell.
Prefers woodland, either mixed or coniferous, where it grows on acidic soils. Appearing in Late summer and throughout the autumn it a widespread but occasional species that appears as solitary stipes but does sometimes appear in groups. The surface of the cap tends to flatten as it ages showing the white gills around its fringe. They can be as much as 5 inches across so can be pretty big in fungi terms.
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Find out more about the Soapy Knight in Dorset here: www.natureofdorset.co.uk/species_panel/Soapy%20Knight?