Porcelain Fungus (Oudemansiella mucida), Puzzlewood, Coleford, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
The porcelain fungus can be found in beechwoods. It appears in late summer until late autumn on dead trunks and fallen branches, and occasionally it grows on dead branches high up in living trees. It is also named the 'Poached egg fungus' or 'Slimy beech cap'. Fungi belong to their own kingdom and get their nutrients and energy from organic matter, rather than photosynthesis like plants. It is often just the fruiting bodies, or 'mushrooms', that are visible to us, arising from an unseen network of tiny filaments called 'hyphae'. These fruiting bodies produce spores for reproduction, although fungi can also reproduce asexually by fragmentation.