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Mycena galericulata

by Michael Kuo, 23 November 2022

One of the larger Mycena species, Mycena galericulata is often found in spring and fall, growing in clusters on hardwood logs and stumps. The brown to pale brownish caps reach four or five centimeters in diameter. As with other mycenoid mushrooms, the spore print is white—but the gills are sometimes pink at maturity, causing potential confusion with species of Pluteus. The odor of Mycena galericulata is usually slightly mealy (crush a portion of the cap), but in some collections this is not the case. Under the microscope, the species is fun and distinct, featuring comparatively large spores, and funky cheilocystidia that are covered with rodlike projections.

Mycena galericulata is very similar to Mycena inclinata; in theory the latter species differs in its frequently toothed or fringed young cap margin, the presence of yellow shades on the upper stem (and often the cap) and reddish brown shades on the lower stem, and its stronger mealy odor. See the linked page for further comparison of the two species, as well as discussion of other look-alikes.

Thanks to Mila Visser 't Hooft for documenting, collecting, and preserving Mycena galericulata for study; her collection is deposited in The Herbarium of Michael Kuo.


Ecology: Saprobic on well-decayed hardwood logs and stumps (but not infrequently arising from subterranean wood, and appearing terrestrial); causing a brownish rot of the heartwood; usually growing in loose or dense clusters (but occasionally growing alone or scattered); spring and fall, or over winter in warmer climates; originally described from Carniola, in present-day Slovenia (Scopoli 1772); widely distributed in Europe; in North America widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains, along the West Coast, and in Mexico; also reported from Central and South America. The illustrated and described collections are from California and Illinois.

Cap: 1.5–5 cm across; at first conic and dark brown; expanding to broadly bell-shaped or convex, and usually retaining a central bump; vaguely lined or grooved radially; bald; tacky when fresh; brown to yellow-brown or grayish brown, usually with a darker center and a paler marginal zone.

Gills: Narrowly attached to the stem; nearly distant; with prominent cross-veins when mature; whitish, often becoming pink in age; not bruising or staining; short-gills frequent.

Stem: 3–10 cm long above the substrate, but sometimes radicating for several centimeters (especially when growing from buried wood and appearing terrestrial, or when growing in dense moss); 2–4 mm thick; equal; hollow; bald, or with a few tiny fibers near the base; whitish near the apex, brownish to brown below; basal mycelium white.

Flesh: Insubstantial; whitish to pale grayish; not changing when sliced.

Odor and Taste: Odor usually slightly mealy, but often not distinctive. Taste usually at least slightly mealy.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative on cap surface.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 7–10 x 4–5.5 µm (sometimes slightly larger, up to 12 x 6.5 µm, in 2-spored forms); ellipsoid; smooth; hyaline in KOH; at least some spores weakly to moderately amyloid. Hymenium pink to reddish in Melzer's reagent. Basidia 28–35 x 5–7.5 µm; clavate; 2- or 4-sterigmate. Pleurocystidia not found. Cheilocystidia forming a sterile lamellar edge; 25–45 x 8–11 µm; more or less clavate; adorned with several to many rodlike projections (up to 6 x 1 µm); thin-walled; hyaline in KOH. Lamellar trama parallel. Pileipellis a very thin ixocutis of poorly defined, gelatinizing elements 1–2 µm wide, with tiny upright rodlike projections; hyaline to brownish in KOH; subpellis of inflated hyphae.

REFERENCES: (G. A. Scopoli, 1772) S. F. Gray, 1821. (Kauffman, 1918; Smith, 1947; Kühner & Romagnesi, 1953; Phillips, 1981; Arora, 1986; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1991; Schalkwijk-Barendsen, 1991; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; Perry, 2002; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Buczacki et al., 2013; Kuo & Methven, 2014; Aronsen, 2015; Desjardin, Wood & Stevens, 2015; Baroni, 2017; Gminder & Böhning, 2017; Emmett et al., 2018; Læssøe & Petersen, 2019; Perry, 2019; Kibby, 2020; MacKinnon & Luther, 2021; McKnight et al., 2021.) Herb. Kuo 10160301, 10220402; 10270401, 11230401, 09230901, 10281902, 02012001.

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Mycena galericulata

Mycena galericulata

Mycena galericulata

Mycena galericulata"Terrestrial" specimens on buried wood

Mycena galericulata
Radicating specimens

Mycena galericulata

Mycena galericulata
Spore print

Mycena galericulata

Mycena galericulata

Mycena galericulata

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Kuo, M. (2022, November). Mycena galericulata. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: