To the untrained eye, fungus, mushroom and the like are all pretty much a muchness. To South Australian botanists, however, it occupies a much more esteemed position, becoming the one millionth specimen to be collected by the State Herbarium.
This small gilled fungus – botanical name Entolama parasiticum - was found growing on damp and rotten wood on Kangaroo Island and may in fact be a new species. The wood is likely to have fallen during the 2007 bushfire on the island and was collected by researchers Pam Catcheside, Helen Vonow and David Catcheside.
The herbarium at Hackney in Adelaide’s east became the state’s prime botanical resource centre when it was established in 1954. It includes plants, algae and fungi from earlier herbaria around Adelaide. Its earliest specimens date back 140 years.
The lichen collection includes specimens collected by Sir Douglas Mawson on his Antarctic voyage a century ago.