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.
Attend a wildlife identification workshop for 30 Days Wild.