Gymnopilus junonius, common name Spectacular Rustgill, of family Cortinariaceae, grows on dead wood of a variety of trees (formerly known as Gymnopilus pampeanus). The two examples that I am featuring here were growing at the base of an introduced conifer. Pronunciation: Jim-no-pie-luss jew-known-ee-us.
Caps are golden-brown to orange, convex but flattening with age, dry, and usually covered with fine scales (fibrillose-scaly texture evident in top image). Caps can reach 150mm diameter but caps in these photographs do not exceed 70mm.
partial veil beginning to tear
An initial partial veil tears, folds back forming an immovable ring which all but disappears with age. The crowded gills are pale creamy-yellow becoming rusty-brown with age. Spore print is rusty-brown.
Stems are central and can reach a height of 110mm. The base of stems can be distorted due to crowding of large clumps of fungi.
Distribution: According to Fungimap of Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Gymnopilus junonius has been recorded in southeastern NSW, Victoria, and southeastern South Australia.
Partial veil has completely separated from cap
Mature fungus with remains of ring close to cap
My sightings of Gymnopilus junonius
[This will be updated with new sightings]
Greta (Hunter Valley), NSW - At the base of introduced conifers on the New England Highway roadside - May, Oct.
Newcastle University, NSW - surrounding stump Jun 2012
Mature specimens that are more orange than brown