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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!

23 January, 2016

Chlorociboria aeruginascens: the green elf cup fungus

When walking in old woodland with lots of fallen branches and twigs you may encounter a piece of rotting wood with a metallic green appearance. It is easy to pass this by thinking it is just natural colouration but it is, in fact, produced by a fungus, Chlorociboria aeruginascens. The fungus does produce fruiting 'cups' later in the year although these are small and rarely seen and, of course, the fungus itself which lives inside the rotting timber may not be seen until the wood starts to break up. 
The Chlorociboria fungus particularly infects oak and the resulting effect is sometimes called green oak  and is used in marquetry and other wood working techniques to give a green/blue appearance to the finished product. This is very common, often over looked, and sometimes not visible but it worth keeping an eye out for as it looks really lovely, especially in good light.
I think you might break your teeth if you tried to eat it! 
Chlorociboria aeruginascens: the green elf cup fungus