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One of my Facebook friends recently made the comment that you can never have too much smut so I immediately thought of him when I saw how much smut was to be found in Cardiff’s Bute Park this afternoon.

Before you think this blog is descending rapidly towards the gutter, let me quickly say that the smut to which I am referring is Microbotryum silenes-dioicae, a smut that occurs on the anthers of Red campion (Silene dioica) flowers. It’s a type of fungus that produces brown, powdery spores so it’s very easy to spot, as you can see below – the photo on the left shows a normal Red campion flower, the flowers on the right are smutty.