In this year`s green winter, we are lucky to find some of nature`s rarities that usually could be discovered only in early spring, once the snow has melted. In the course of forest stock-taking near Rēzekne - in the forest of Taudejāņi, LVM Northern Latgale Planner found an inconspicuous coffee-coloured mushroom amidst brown aspen leaves. LVM Environmental Planning Specialist surveyed the site and found a very vital deposit covering a small area. She found more than 100 specimens of a very rare mushroom called witches cauldron (Sarcosoma globosum).
“This time, the mushroom was found in a birch stand incorporating individual spruces and aspens; however, usually it can be spotted in spruce stands of different ages on moist soils - in mosses and spruce needles. This is the fourth biggest known deposit of this species in LVM Northern Latgale region. In other sites that were previously identified there were only individual specimens, up to eight specimens, therefore we are very happy about this large and important discovery,” tells Diāna Marga, LVM Environmental Planning Expert.
In order to save the rare species and to provide this mushroom with the necessary natural microclimate, a court-shaped deposit for the protected species has been made. Optimal conditions are needed for the witches cauldron to grow annually; otherwise, periods for the formation of fruiting body yield in one and the same deposit can vary from 10 to 12 years.
For the first time, witches cauldron was found in Northern Latgale region (Rēzekne Municipality, Lendži Rural Territory) in the spring of 2015.
Witches cauldron in Northern Latgale
Witches cauldron is a rare and protected species in both Latvia and Europe. At some point, this mushroom was considered to be extinct in Latvia, but it was found in several places during the past years. No special studies of this mushroom species have been conducted in Latvia yet, but Finnish scientists report that witches cauldrons like warm winters.
In Lithuanian, this mushroom is called “paprastasis taukius”, which describes the sticky light-coloured jelly-form substance that can be found inside the mushroom.