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Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

15 July 2018 | Red Waxy Cap Mushrooms |

photo photo photo The first of these red mushrooms was seen in late April in one of my pot. At that time, it was just a lone waxy red mushroom against the dark green mossy background. The second batch of 4 mushrooms sprout in late June. This small gilled mushroom was about 2.5 centimetres (cm) tall and the diameter of its cap was around 2 cm. The whole stem was red in colour as well. It may be a Hygrocybe species from the family Hygrophoraceae.

This pot was the home of a Butterfly Pea vine (Clitoria ternatea). The soil surface was moist, blanketed with mosses and decaying leaves from the bean plant. Seedlings of various plants occupied most of the open space and they looked like miniature undergrowth with the towering bean plant. Coupled with the last few days of rain, it was the perfect habitat for mushrooms to sprout. photo

The wild mushroom community in Singapore is hardly alive while the commercial arm is much more active as observed in a recent news report on urban farmer cultivating edible mushrooms published in the Straits Times on 23 June.

When I googled using the terms “mycology Singapore”, the first result was none other than our pioneer mycologist Gloria Lim which I had briefly shared in the previous note on mushroom in April 2017.

The second result was another mycologist, Tan Teck Koon from the National University of Singapore. When I followed the link to that page, it included a list of 10 publications on mushrooms with the latest one published in 2006, more than 10 years ago. He is also the author of the pocket mushroom guide titled "A Guide to Tropical Fungi" published in 1990. In a Straits Time news report on 20 November 2014, he estimated that there are between 100 and 200 different species of mushrooms in Singapore.

Besides all the above information, nothing much seemed to be out there on the wild mushroom scene in Singapore which is a pity. We do have plenty of interesting mushrooms in the wild awaiting to be studied and identified.

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