A unique fungus has made a surprising appearance in Kent. Artomyces pyxidatus, commonly known as candelabra coral, was discovered by ecologist Rhianna Dix during a recent exploration in Addington. Additionally, a Kent Wildlife Trust volunteer documented another specimen at Hothfield Heathlands in Ashford in 2021.

This fungus, often referred to as crown-tipped coral fungus due to the crown-like tips on its branches, was previously believed to be extinct in the UK, according to the trust. The discovery by Ms. Dix and Mike Green, a member of the London Fungus Network, occurred during a walk near West Malling, where they stumbled upon the specimen.

Remarkably, there were no records of this fungus in the 20th century until 2012, when it was found growing in Suffolk. Mr. Green, noting its common occurrence in North America on decaying wood, mentioned that the specimen in Addington was growing from a tree stump. Initially unfamiliar with the fungus, he turned to social media for identification, receiving responses confirming its rarity. The emergence of this fungus in Kent adds a bit of mystery and excitement to the local ecological landscape.

More about this item at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-67424013