Shroom bloom! Rare ‘violet coral’ fungus that looks like it belongs under the sea and is only seen for a few days a year is spotted in North Wales
- The Clavaria zollingeri is one of the rarest forms of fungi in the UK
- The fungus can grow up to four inches tall and looks like purple coral
- The fungus only lasts for a few days to a week making them a rare find
It may look like something from the depths of the Great Barrier Reef, but this colourful specimen was actually spotted by the side of a coastal path in Britain.
The rare ‘violet coral’ fungus, which only appears for a few days a year, was spotted by conservationist Dr Trevor Dines on the Llyn Peninsula in Gwynedd, North Wales.
It is one of the rarest forms of fungi in Britain and grows up to four inches tall. It is rarely seen due to the fact it only lasts a few days to a week.
Dr Dines claims this is the first time he has seen one in a decade.
The Clavaria zollingeri fungi is ‘great for getting people interested in fungi’ according to Dr Trevor Dines who spotted this variety in North Wales
‘They are really colourful so they’re great for getting people interested in fungi’, he said .
The species of fungus has the scientific name Clavaria zollingeri and usually grows in grassy spots near hardwood trees.
Dr Trevor Dines says he spotted the fungus while out walking on the Llyn Peninsula and this was the first time he had seen one in ten years.
Dr Dines said after spotting the fungus on the Llyn Peninsula in Gwynedd, North Wales he ‘couldn’t believe’ and ‘gave a yelp’.
He said: ‘This is the best time of year for looking but you never know exactly where or when – or even if – they will appear.
‘Plus they only last a few days – a week at the most – but that only adds to the fun of hunting for fungi.’
Scientists say the warm summer and a sudden drop in temperature have created good conditions for fungus to grow.
Dr Dines said: ‘We’re seeing quite a buzz at the moment because we’re having such a good year.’
Restrictions have been imposed in areas such as the New Forest to protect fungi from professional foragers, while others have been designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Conservation charity Plantlife has launched a new project to raise awareness of meadows and grasslands.
Violet Coral (Clavaria zollingeri)
Scientists say a warm summer and a sudden drop in temperature allow good conditions for growing fungi
Violet coral has the scientific name Clavaria zollingeri and has a distinctive coral-like appearance.
It has a deep violet colour and a number of branches that grow out of a thick stem.
It is usually solitary but can grow in small groups. It is found in coniferous woodland and unimproved grassland.
It can grow up to four inches and is seen between July and November. However it is only visible for a few days to a week.