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The Genus Collybia  

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Tricholomataceae . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

There isn't much left of what used to be the genus Collybia. In its glory days, hordes of white-spored, medium-sized mushrooms belonged in the genus. Over the centuries, however, mycologists placed more and more of the mushrooms in other genera. In the last decade or so the decimation was completed with the creation of the new genera Rhodocollybia, Gymnopus, and Dendrocollybia, leaving only three species in Collybia--funky little mushrooms that grow out of the blackened, decayed remains of other fungi.

Below is a key to the three North American species remaining in Collybia, all of which have been "upheld" by mating studies and DNA analysis, as far as I know. Dendrocollybia racemosa is very similar to species of Collybia, but studies (see Hughes et al., 2001) have shown it deserves to be separated. For a key to many of the species formerly belonging to the genus Collybia, along with an extensive reference list for Collybia and similar mushrooms, see the page for collybioid mushrooms.


Collybia tuberosa

Collybia cirrhata

Key to 3 North American species of Collybia

1.Sclerotia (small knots of tissue in the substrate; you'll need to poke around under the mushrooms) absent.

1.Sclerotia present.

2.Sclerotia yellowish and more or less round; pileocystidia often present.

2.Sclerotia tear-shaped to ellipsoid, reddish brown; pileocystidia absent.

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Kuo, M. (2013, February). The genus Collybia. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site:

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