Share this

In addition to plants and animals, fungi are the other main group of macroscopic organisms present in the environment. Unlike plants, fungi are not photosynthetic,  so like animals, they rely on consuming existing organic material as a source of energy. Fungi can be classified both by the form of their fruiting bodies, and where they are found growing. Some are plant pathogens, growing on living plants, causing harm to their hosts, but many grow on dead organic matter, and some form mycorrhizal associations with plants, where both the fungi and the host plants benefit. Some of these mycorrhizal relationships involve specific host species for specific fungi. There are estimated to be over 20,000 different fungi species in New Zealand, with only around a third formally identified. Marlborough supports a diverse variety of fungi with many colourful native fungi, as well as many unintentionally introduced species, some of which have become very invasive and displace native fungi. Fungi can be found in just about any habitat where there is available organic matter from alpine regions to the coast.

Amanita muscaria

Amanita muscaria (fly agaric) is a toxic mushroom containing a hallucinogenic substance, muscimol. This example is in Pollard Park.

Bovista spp. (Puffballs)

Bovista are a common genus of small puffball fungi found growing on soil. They are widely distributed throughout New Zealand.

Byssomerulius psittacinus

Byssomerulius psittacinus is a polyphore fungus endemic to New Zealand, associated with beech forests.

Calvatia craniiformis

Calvatia craniiformis (Brain puffball) is a puffball with a diameter of about 15-20cm.

Coprinopsis lagopus

Coprinopsis lagopus (hare's foot inkcap) mushroom identified in Witherlea, Blenheim

Coprinus comatus

Coprinus comatus or shaggy inkcap is a common edible fungus.

Cortinarius porphyroideus

Cortinarius porphyroideus is an endemic pouch fungus associated with beech forests. This example was found in the upper Wairau area.

Cyclocybe parasitica

Cyclocybe parasitica or Poplar rot is a large mushroom species responsible for heartwood rot in both native and exotic hardwoods, found throughout New Zealand

Favolaschia calocera

An introduced saprotrophic pore fungus found on decaying wood.

Geastrum sp.

Geastrum (earthstars) are a genus of fungi similar to puffballs, but with the central fruiting body surrounded by petal like structures.

Gymnopilus junonius

Gymnopilus junonius is a large, orange mushroom typically found on tree trunks and stumps. This example is at Taylor Dam, Blenheim

Ileodictyon cibarium

Ileodictyon cibarium commonly known as tūtae whetū in te reo Māori or basket fungus is a fungus native to New Zealand found in areas rich in organic matter such as leaf litter and mulch.

Laetiporus portentosus (putawa)

Laetiporus portentosus (pūtawa) is a large bracket fungus native to New Zealand, typically found in native forest.

Leratiomyces erythrocephalus

A fungus in the Strophariaceae family, endemic to New Zealand

Pholiota aurivella

Pholiota aurivella is a species of fungi found particularly in NZ native forests.

Rickenella fibula

Rickenella fibula (Orange Moss Agaric) is a small, orange mushroom found associated with moss. It is an introduced species to New Zealand.

Stereum ostrea

Stereum ostrea is a native, but non-endemic plant pathogen that grows on tree bark and decaying wood. This example is from Pine Valley

Latest Stories