This time of year especially after some rain is the best time to see fungi. Fungi are an essential part of the ecosystem and many form an association with plants to assist growth. Others have a big role in the breakdown and recycling of all types of organic waste material. Fungi also form part of the diet of some native animals such as bandicoots and small wallabies.
There are a range of books available to help you identify what you find but you need to pay careful attention to note the surface texture, smell, colour of the surface and stem, type of gills, what they are growing on and note the colour of the spores. Because of the difficulty involved in identifying fungi it is best only to eat ones that are packaged and come from a known source.
Fungimap Inc, is a not-for-profit citizen-science organisation dedicated to raising the profile of Australia’s incredible fungal diversity. The emphasis is on enjoying and learning about fungi with a focus is on macrofungi in the natural environment.
The Fungi Group of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, has produced an e-book ‘Fungi In Australia’. This freely downloadable e-book, which consists of 9 parts, is intended to serve as a resource to assist in the identification of some fungi that may be encountered in our native forests. It contains 307 species and over 1500 photographs of fungi, plus references for further study.