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Conocybe deliquescens

by Michael Kuo, April 2019

This slimy, wilted, toppling-over mushroom looks like Conocybe apala with a bad hangover--and if you have a hangover you are likely to miss it, since Conocybe deliquescens rarely lasts much longer than about noon. In fact the hangover idea (for the mushroom, not you) may not be far from the truth; researchers (Hallen, Watling & Adams 2003) theorize that the consistently wilted features of Conocybe deliquescens may be "caused by a bacterial infection."

The cap of this mushroom is very slimy, flimsy, and rusty brown; its weight soon causes the weak stem to bend over and collapse. The gills are rusty brown and are usually fairly well formed, but they can also be vein-like, fused, or nearly unrecognizable as gills. Both cap and gills dissolve into a mushy mess very quickly.

Gastrocybe lateritia is a synonym.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone or scattered in grassy areas; summer and fall; probably widely distributed east of the Great Plains, but more common in the Great Lakes region. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois.

Cap: 1–3 cm; collapsed-conical; slimy; bald; orangish brown to reddish brown; grooved; dissolving quickly.

Gills: Usually well formed (before turning into mush), but sometimes fusing together or only rudimentary; rusty brown; fragile; soon dissolving.

Stem: 5–8 cm long; 1–3 mm thick; soon tilting over with the weight of the cap; equal; white; bald; hollow.

Flesh: Insubstantial.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH black on cap surface.

Microscopic Features: Spores 11–16 x 7–10 µm; ellipsoid to subamygdaliform, with a large pore; smooth; walls 1 µm thick; orangish brown in KOH; brownish orange in Melzer's. Basidia 4-sterigmate. Brachybasidioles present. Pleurocystidia not found. Cheilocystidia not found.

REFERENCES: Hausknecht & Krisai, 2006. (Watling, 1968; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Singer & Ponce de Leon, 1982; Barron, 1999; Hallen et al., 2003; Hausknecht & Krisai-Greilhuber, 2006; Kuo & Methven, 2010.) Herb. Kuo 09270504, 08060801.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Conocybe deliquescens

Conocybe deliquescens

Conocybe deliquescens

Conocybe deliquescens

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Kuo, M. (2019, April). Conocybe deliquescens. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: