Northern Garry oak meadows, and adjacent woodland dominated by oak, arbutus, and big-leaf maple on areas such as the Gulf Islands of south-western British Columbia, have often assumed to be relatively low in fungal diversity. Recent inventories, such as those lead by Aluna Ceska in areas such as Observatory Hill on the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island, suggest more diversity than was thought. Other large and relatively contiguous areas of oak, arbutus and maple woodland, such as the Hwmet’utsun conservation area, have yet to be systematically inventoried. Lead by Dominic Demers, this tentative fungus survey of Maxwell Point, after the mid-autumn peak of mushroom fruiting, was part of developing best research practices as per fungus inventorying standards outlined by Aluna and Adolf Ceska.
This area is particularly interesting ecologically and floristically as a refuge for more than a score of species at risk often associated with relatively dry conditions and mild winters, that allow for photosynthesis in warmer months with summer drought dormancy, most notably one of the few populations in Canada of Gray’s desert parsley, Lomatium grayi (more common in the Columbia Gorge and south into Nevada). In the case of the fungus that we found on November 6, we began to document several populations that have yet to be identified taxonomically.