mycomutant Curator

Joined: Jul 10, 2022 Last Active: Sep 24, 2023 iNaturalist United Kingdom

I am currently interested in studying the Leucocoprinus genus since these mushrooms appear to be very versatile in their habitats and seem to be becoming more common due to climate change and human activity. There's some potential applications for them I want to explore so I'm always looking to get samples to study.

In order to better learn about the genus I've created the Wikipedia pages for most of the described species so I've spent a lot of time just reading the taxonomy and descriptions on them and tracking down the original source material. I'll probably try to do the same for Leucoagaricus soon. Wikipedia makes for a great place to collate material in references so it's more easily found for others in the future and iNaturalist is useful for trying to find observations of some of these obscure species.

I've created some projects to help sort these observations:

  • Potted plant mushrooms has proven useful for getting a better picture of which species are common in plant pots and observations here aren't limited to just Leucocoprinus so it has broader uses.
  • Agaric Mushrooms on Property and Structures is likewise proving to be a useful tool for helping to reveal which species are most likely to grow from walls, floors, etc.
  • Leucocoprinus sclerotia is just for comparing observations which appear to be sclerotia or collecting things that could reasonably be mistaken for them. The sclerotia of L. birnbaumii are commonly observed but still a trait that isn't well known by most people. I expect sclerotia are the reason why so many Leucocoprinus species are so proficient in spreading via potting soil and potted plants however so this is something I am interested in exploring.

Whilst L. birnbaumii may not seem very interesting to most people due to how commonly they are seen I think they are worth investigating further as it appears that there are multiple species going by this name. Due to their often spectacular appearance and their tendency to show up uninvited in plant pots and garden beds, it seems that Leucocoprinus species are often one of the first mushrooms people ever take an interest in or learn to identify. They don't give you much choice but to notice them when a scary looking yellow mushroom turns up in your potted plant. I'm constantly seeing ID requests from people who want to know if it is bad for the plant or dangerous to them. As a result I think Leucocoprinus is an important genus to get information out there about so that it may help encourage more people to learn about mushrooms after finding them in their plant pots. The result of that may be dispelling misinformation and encouraging an interest in nature amongst more people. If Leucocoprinus birnbaumii had not appeared in my Aloe vera all those years ago I don't know that I ever would have started learning about Mycology...

View All