|Major Groups > Gilled Mushrooms > Pale-Spored > Armillaria > Armillaria tabescens|
by Michael Kuo
The ringless honey mushroom is probably the most easily identified North American species of Armillaria. It grows in clusters on hardwoods in eastern North America, from about the Great Lakes southward, and west to Texas and Oklahoma. It has no ring or ring zone on its stem, and it is usually a dull, tawny brown, though yellowish collections are not uncommon. The cap surface bears small brownish scales, and the stem bases are fused together and somewhat pointed.
In my area (central Illinois) Armillaria tabescens is a prolific late summer and early fall mushroom. It almost always appear several weeks before Armillaria mellea, and can be seen in large clusters on lawns following heavy rains. It pops up quickly--seemingly overnight--and often appears terrestrial, though it is actually growing from buried roots.
Ecology: Parasitic and/or saprobic on hardwood roots, especially those of oaks. I have examined trees attacked by Armillaria tabescens several times, and have never found the black rhizomorphs characteristic of Armillaria mellea in wood or bark above ground. Armillaria tabescens, as I have seen it, fruits directly from roots and rootlets, attached to them with white mycelial fuzz. The mushrooms typically appear in large clusters at the bases of hardwoods (especially oaks and silver maple), or appearing to be terrestrial but actually growing from hidden wood; late summer and fall; east of the Rocky Mountains.
Cap: 1-4 cm; convex to broadly convex or flat in age; the margin often arched in maturity; dry; tan to tawny brown to cinnamon brown, sometimes yellowish; covered with dark scales which are concentrated near the center and vaguely radially arranged.
Gills: Running down the stem or nearly so; nearly distant; whitish, sometimes bruising or discoloring pinkish to brownish.
Stem: 7.5-20 cm long; .5-1.5 cm. thick; tapering to base; smooth and pale near apex, darker and nearly hairy below; without a ring.
Flesh: Whitish to watery tan; sometimes insubstantial in stem.
Odor and Taste: Taste mild to bitter; odor sweet.
Spore Print: White.
Microscopic Features: Spores 8-10 x 5-7 µ; smooth; more or less elliptical; inamyloid; with a prominent apiculus.
REFERENCES: (Scopoli, 1772) Emel, 1921. (Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Weber & Smith, 1985; Arora, 1986; Berube & Dessureault, 1989; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Metzler & Metzler, 1992; Horn, Kay & Abel, 1993; Volk, 2003; Miller & Miller, 2006; Kuo, 2007.) Herb Kuo 09190101, 07010306, 09300407.
Armillariella tabescens and Clitocybe tabescens are synonyms.
Further Online Information:
Below: Yellow-capped, ringless "honeys" collected in Kentucky. I have often wondered whether the yellow version of Armillaria tabescens, which usually has a smooth cap that lacks scales, is a different, unnamed species or variety.
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2004, October). Armillaria tabescens. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/armillaria_tabescens.html