Velvet Shank or winter fungus or even Flammulina velutipes!

Velvet Shanks

This lovely fungus was spotted in Bramblefields Nature reserve today. Velvet Shank is a stump rotting fungus which can also be found on standing deadwood. This edible fungus is a foragers delight this time of year when the colder weather deters most other edible fungi from fruiting. Good examples can still be found well in to January. The latin Flammulina refers to the orange caps which shine like ‘little flames’ in the winter sunshine. The velutipes refers to the stems and is an even more fitting description meaning ‘with velvet legs’. This is exactly what the stems look and feel like. Previously this fungus was mostly associated with dead Elm (of which there was no shortage during the 1970’s and 80’s with the Dutch Elm disease disaster). However they can be found on Ash, Beech, Oaks and other broad leaf trees.

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