What You Should Know
Paralepista flaccida is characterized by a pinkish, orange, cinnamon-brown, slightly infundibulate cap and decurrent gills. This is a very common mushroom, usually growing in irregular rows or cespitous, with several specimens united at the base. It is found throughout mainland Europe and in many other parts of the world including North America.
Caps frequently have spout-like low points, making for a jug-like appearance; this, and the much thinner cap flesh, help in distinguishing the Tawny Funnel from the superficially similar Common Funnel, Infundibulicybe gibba.
It is generally considered to be edible, but its quality is so poor that collecting it is not considered worthwhile.
Other names: Tawny Funnel.
Paralepista flaccida Mushroom Identification
4-10 cm, initially convex, then flat and finally depressed at the center, infundibuliform; thin margin, initially inrolled, then, for a long time, bent downwards, straight when completely ripe, regular before then wavy; not separable cuticle, smooth, greasy and shiny in wet weather, with thin radial fibrils more evident towards the margin, glabrous, often with the presence of dark droplets which, while sinking into dimples, break, allowing a glimpse to the clear color of the underlying flesh; the color is yellow-red, then red-yellow tending to reddish, while aging tends to bright brown.
Very decurrent gills on the stipe, crowded, narrow, irregular, some forked, arcuate, more or less easily separable from the flesh of the cap, intercalated by lamellulas; the color is initially cream, then yellow-ocherous, reddish when ripe.
3-6 x 1-1,5 cm, cylindrical, slightly enlarged at the base, attenuated on top, flared under the gills, fibrous, firm, full then hollow; surface with thin longitudinal reddish fibrils, the base is covered by a white felting, which typically embeds the substratum; the color is whitish, then of the same color as the cap.
Scarce, compact, firm, fibrillose, elastic, not hygrophanous, whitish, brownish, with mushroom odor, mild taste, a little astringent.
It grows in summer and in autumn, in coniferous as well as in broad-leaved trees woods.
Globose spores, ellipsoidal, mono-guttulate, warty, 3,85-5,5 × 3,3-3,8 µm. Clavate basidia, with 2-4 sterigmata, with clamp connections, 21,4-28,6 × 5-6 µm.
Paralepista flaccida Look-Alikes
The latter is fleshier, more yellow, and has ridges rather than true gills.
Paralepista gilva (edible)
Identified by its yellower cap and stem, and the presence of dark spots on the cap surface
Has thinner flesh, less crowded gills, and (microscopically) smooth teardrop-shaped spores.
Has a strong characteristic smell, a beige color, and a less depressed cap; also the spores are smooth.
Paralepista flaccida Taxonomy and Etymology
Described in 1799 by British naturalist James Sowerby (1757 - 1822), who named this species Agaricus flaccidus, the Tawny Funnel acquired its currently accepted scientific name Lepista flaccida in 1887, when the French mycologist Narcisse Theophile Patouillard (1854 - 1926) transferred it to the genus Lepista.
Lepista is derived from Latin and means a wine pitcher or a goblet, and when fully mature the caps of Lepista species do indeed become concave like shallow chalices or goblets. Rather as it sounds, the specific epithet flaccida simply means slack or flaccid (as opposed to tough or rigid) and describes the texture of this common woodland mushroom.
Paralepista flaccida Synonyms
Agaricus inversus Scop.
Agaricus flaccidus Sowerby
Agaricus lobatus Sowerby
Agaricus gilvus Pers.
Agaricus splendens Pers.
Omphalia gilva (Pers.) Gray
Omphalia lobata (Sowerby) Gray
Agaricus lentiginosus Fr.
Clitocybe flaccida (Sowerby) P. Kumm.
Clitocybe gilva (Pers.) P. Kumm.
Clitocybe inversa (Scop.) Quél.
Clitocybe splendens (Pers.) Gillet
Lepista gilva (Pers.) Roze
Lepista inversa (Scop.) Pat.
Clitocybe flaccida var. lobata (Sowerby) Romagn. & Bon.
Photo 1 - Author: Strobilomyces (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 4 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)