The very rare Orchard Tooth Fungus has been spotted at the CRT’s Awnells Farm, and we are very excited! The Orchard Tooth Fungus (Sarcodontia crocea) is a very rare fungus that is listed as “vulnerable” in the UK and is currently found at only 14 sites in Britain.
This rare find has just been recorded at the CRT’s Awnells Farm in the main orchard. Viv Geen – Monitoring Officer, was carrying out a survey of the mosses, lichens and fungi in the orchards at Awnells came across this sweet smelling fungal growth with flies buzzing around it, and it turns out to be this rare fungus.
The orchard tooth fungus (Sarcodontia crocea) is a very rare fungus that is listed as “vulnerable” in the UK . It is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan species and is highly threatened by the removal of old apple trees.
The fungus forms encrusted, golden-yellow patches with mini stalactites or ‘teeth’ . It will be found on rotting cut branch ends or inside a rot hole – usually at head height and usually on trees in the sun. The most distinctive charactersistic is its smell. When fresh the fungus smells of pineapple but as it ages it begins to smell strongly of rotting fruit. The fruit bodies can be found between June and September.
The fungus only feeds on the dead heartwood of the tree and is not a threat to the tree.
It is extremely rare (currently found at only 14 sites in Britain) and is only found on apple. If a fungus looks like this but is on other trees, or at other times of the year, then it is not the orchard tooth fungus.’