Saturday, 10 June 2017

Rust Fungus Workshop

Crafty Green Boyfriend and I today went to an excellent workshop on rust fungi, lead by Cameron Diekonigin at Water of Leith Conservation Trust Visitor Centre.

Rust fungi sound daunting, and as they're very small you may expect they're very difficult to find and indentify. They are difficult to find but not so tricky to identify, as rust fungi are specific to certain species of plants, most rusts in fact can only be found on one particular species of plant. On the other hand some species of rusts may be found on a couple of differnt species of plants. Confusingly some species of rusts spend part of their lifecycle on one plant and then the rest of their lifecycle on another unrelated plant. It's all very fascinating!

The aecium part of the life cycle can be very beautiful if you look at it under a hand lense and relatively easy to see with the naked eye. This is the aecium of Puccinia urticata the nettle rust that we found in Craiglockart Dell during the afternoon field trip part of the course.

If you click on the photo you will see the orange circles in the reddish area of the leaf and also on the pale area above it. Those are the aecia! (Unfortunately of course you risk nettle stings if you get too close to this rust fungus!)

Attend a wildlife identification workshop for 30 Days Wild.


A Cuban In London said...

How interesting! :-)

Greetings from London.

Lowcarb team member said...

I didn't know about this rust fungus, interesting read.

All the best Jan