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Starting as I mean to continue, I braved the chill wind and annoying drizzle on New Year’s Day for a walk around one of my local parks and was rewarded with the sight of these lovely fungi Flammulina velutipes, otherwise known as Velvet shanks (due to their velvety lower stems).

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They’re wood rotters, and it might surprise you to know that these are exactly the same fungi as the white Enoki (or Enokitake), much favoured by the Japanese and occasionally available in supermarkets in Britain and other countries. As they’re commercially grown in a dark environment Enoki are longer, smaller and very pale but the natural colour of the Velvet shank is the vibrant golden orange shown in my photos (flammulina means little flame).

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