What You Should Know
Infundibulicybe geotropa (old name Clitocybe geotropa) is a funnel-shaped toadstool widely found in Europe and (less commonly) in North America. A large sturdy cream- or buff-colored funnel-shaped mushroom, it grows in mixed woodlands, often in troops or fairy rings, one of which is over half a mile wide. Although edible, it could be confused with some poisonous species of similar coloration and size.
With its exceptionally long stipe this woodland fungus is a very stately mushroom indeed, and it is often seen in large numbers, either in arcs or even complete fairy rings, sometimes many meters in diameter. This species is one of the few large mushrooms that can survive mild frosts.
When young and fresh it can be used either fried with onions or in risottos, soups, and many other mushroom dishes. The stems are rather tough and so many people discard them and eat just the caps.
Other names: Trooping Funnel, Monk's Head.
Infundibulicybe geotropa Mushroom Identification
The creamy-buff caps can grow up to 20 cm in diameter, with 10 to 15 cm more typical. Smooth, matt and convex at first but later flat or shallowly funnel-shaped, the cap retains a fairly broad central umbo.
The thick cap flesh is white and very firm, and when young this is a good edible mushroom (but the tough, fibrous stem should be discarded).
The broad, crowded gill is deeply decurrent and concolorous with the cap.
In young specimens, the stem is slightly paler than the cap, but as the fruit body matures it becomes much the same yellowish-buff color all over. The fibrous stem is smooth, without a ring, thickening towards the base.
Subglobose, smooth, 7.5-9.5 x 6-7μm.
Odor and Taste
The faint smell of bitter almonds; taste not distinctive.
Among deciduous leaf litter in woods, wood edges and hedgerows. These are saprophytic fungi, so can be found anywhere with rich, rotting deciduous leaf litter.
Infundibulicybe geotropa Look-Alikes
The Common Funnel, is smaller and usually has a wavy cap edge; its flesh is much softer and the stem is often hollow.
Has a shorter stem and sinuous gills that do not run down the stem; its spore print is pink rather than white. This is a poisonous fungus, so it is important to check all features to avoid confusing it with the edible Trooping Funnel. If in doubt, do not gather any wild fungi to eat.
Infundibulicybe geotropa Taxonomy and Etymology
When the pioneering French mycologist Jean Baptiste Francois Pierre Bulliard described this species in 1792, he gave it the name Agaricus geotropus. In 1872 another French mycologist Lucien Quélet transferred this distinctive mushroom to the genus Clitocybe, renaming it Clitocybe geotropa.
Synonyms of Infundibulicybe geotropa include Agaricus geotropus Bull., and Agaricus pileolarius Sowerby, Clitocybe geotropa.
The generic name Clitocybe (usually pronounced 'klite-oss-a-bee') means 'sloping head', while the specific epithet geotropa is derived from two ancient Greek words meaning 'earth', and 'turn, direction or way'; geotropa is therefore a reference to the fact that the cap margin is turned downwards - towards the earth - although in aged specimens the margin tends to flatten out.
Infundibulicybe geotropa Video
All photos were taken by the Ultimate Mushroom team and can be used for your own purposes under the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.