The wildlife and wild places of Leicestershire and Rutland
All images on this website have been taken in Leicestershire and Rutland by NatureSpot members. We welcome new contributions - just register and use the Submit Records form to post your photos. Click on any image below to visit the species page. The RED / AMBER / GREEN dots indicate how easy it is to identify the species - see our Identification Difficulty page for more information. A coloured rating followed by an exclamation mark denotes that different ID difficulties apply to either males and females or to the larvae - see the species page for more detail.
Fungi are not plants, but in a Kingdom of their own. The familiar mushroom is just the fruiting body of the fungus. The main body of the fungus is a network of threads, either underground or within the plant or animal hosting it. There is a tremendous diversity from the large brackets and colourful mushrooms, to more subtle rusts and mildews.
To identify fungi it's helpful to get a good view of the cap (from the top), the gills (from underneath) and the stipe (stem) (from the side) - three images from three angles (rather than three images from much the same angle).
Always note the substrate on which the fungus is growing, and the habitat. It is also helpful to note the texture of cap and stipe; the smell; and the presence of any staining or 'milk' produced when the cap, gills, stipe or body of the fungus is bruised.
The Leicestershire Fungi Study Group is a great place to start if you want to learn about fungi. They welcome new members. Their annual programme of study forays is led by enthusiastic and knowledgeable leaders. There are also indoor microscopy sessions held in Leicester. This is a really excellent way to broaden your knowledge, and make friends who share your interest in fungi.
There are many field guides, but none of them contain all the fungi you will find, or have all the photos or information you need, so it is a good idea to check several different books and websites.
Courtecuisse, R. & Duhem, B. (1995) Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain & Europe. Collins
Kibby, G. 2020-2022. Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain & Europe, Volumes 1 - 4. (privately published)
Laessoe,T. & Petersen,J. (2019) Fungi of Temperate Europe. Princeton University Press, Volumes 1 and 2
O'Reilly, P. (2016). Fascinated by Fungi. First Nature
Phillips, R. (2006). Mushrooms (2nd edition). Macmillan.
Sterry, P. & Hughes, B. (2009). Complete guide to British Mushrooms and Toadstools. Collins
Wood, E & Dunkelman, J. (2017). Grassland Fungi: a Field Guide. Monmouthshire Meadows Group
Pat O'Reilly's First Nature website has some helpful advice and tips on identifying fungi.
The British Mycological Society website is a good source of information, mostly aimed at the expert.
If you know of other websites or books that you would recommend, do let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
- on Spear-leaved Orache
- Microscope photo of upper side of elder leaf.
- Distinctive pattern on leaves of Sambucus nigra.
- rust on White Clover
- Phloespora state on Elm
- First for VC55, ID from specimen