Scottish island home to waxcap fungi

A study of the plant life on the island of Canna in the Inner Hebrides has revealed that it is an internationally important site for fungi.

In particular, it has a great number of examples of waxcap fungi growing amongst its famous wildflowers and seabird colonies, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reported.

Trainee mycologist Ali Murfitt took part in the research and recorded 18 species of waxcap during the trip.

The study from the British Conservation Trust for Volunteers, NTS and Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh found that the National Trust for Scotland-owned island also provides an environment for the smut fungi Entyloma and coral fungi, which thrive in nutrient-poor grasslands.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh spokesman Roy Watling said: "The grasslands of Canna are extremely important because they have such a good selection of waxcaps: if you find 13 types of waxcap you’ve got a site of international importance, but Ali has found 18."

In other news, the RHS has revealed that the Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service is looking for information on the spread of a fungus thought to be rare in the area.