What You Should Know
Mycena galericulata is the type species of the genus. It is quite variable in color (brown to pale), size, and shape, which makes it somewhat difficult to reliably identify in the field. The mushrooms have caps with distinct radial grooves, particularly at the margin.
This mushroom grows mostly in clusters on the well-decayed stumps of deciduous and coniferous trees from spring to autumn. The species can generally be considered inedible. It is common and widespread in the entire temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere, but it has also been reported from Africa.
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.
Other names: Common Bonnet, The Toque Mycena, The Rosy-gill Fairy Helmet.
Mycena galericulata Mushroom Identification
Saprobic on well-decayed hardwood logs and stumps; causing a brownish rot of the heartwood; growing in loose or dense clusters (but occasionally growing alone or scattered); spring and fall (or overwinter in warmer climates); widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains, and also found on the West Coast.
1-6 cm; broadly conical, becoming broadly bell-shaped and usually retaining a central bump; vaguely lined or grooved radially; bald; tacky; the margin at first even and somewhat inrolled, but soon spreading and, in age, often becoming somewhat tattered or splitting; brown to grayish brown or dirty tan, often with a darker brown center.
Narrowly attached to the stem; distant or nearly so; with prominent cross-veins when mature; whitish, often becoming pink in age; not bruising or staining.
5-9 cm long above the substrate, but often radicating for several centimeters; 2-5 mm thick; equal; hollow; bald, or with a few tiny fibers; whitish above, tan to brownish downwards.
Insubstantial; whitish to pale brownish.
Odor and Taste
Odor not distinctive, or very slightly mealy. Taste slightly mealy.
KOH negative on cap surface.
Spores 8-10 x 5.5-7 µ; amyloid; broadly elliptical; smooth. Pleurocystidia absent. Cheilocystidia abundant; of the "broom cell" type, with rod-like projections and nodes. Pileipellis elements diverticulate, with short nodes and rod-like projections.
Mycena galericulata Look-Alikes
Is usually darker and has grooved stems.
Is distinguished by its iodine-like odor.
The winter bonnet is a northern European species that is much smaller (cap diameter up to 2.6 cm (1.0 in) across) and has a brown cap, and has ragged hairs at the base. It generally appears in late autumn to early winter on the stumps of deciduous trees, especially beech. It has pip-shaped spores that are smaller than M. galericulata, around 4.5–5.5 by 2.5–2.8 µm.
Develops pink stains on its gills as it matures; its spores are 7–9 by 4–5 μm.
Another similar species can be distinguished by gills bearing reddish spots, which may become entirely red with age. It also has whitish, slender, threadlike flecks on the stalk.
Is thinner, and more fragile.
Another Mycena grows in clusters on decaying hardwoods, but this species has a vinaceous-brown cap with a scalloped margin, and a stem that bleeds reddish-brown juice when injured.
Closely resembles M. galericulata, but can be distinguished microscopically by the presence of both smooth and roughened cystidia (bearing finger-like projections).
Mycena galericulata Taxonomy and Etymology
When in 1772 this woodland mushroom was described scientifically by Italian mycologist Giovanni Antonio Scopoli it was given the name Agaricus galericulatus. The basionym was confirmed when Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries sanctioned that name in his Systema Mycologicum of 1821. It was British botanist-mycologist Samuel Frederick Gray (1766 - 1828) who, in transferring the Common Bonnet to its present genus (also in 1821), gave it the name Mycena galericulata.
Synonyms of Mycena galericulata are many and varied; they include Agaricus galericulatus Scop., Mycena galericulata var. galericulata (Scop.) Gray, Agaricus rugosus Fr. Mycena rugosa (Fr.) Quél., Agaricus radicatellus Peck, Mycena radicatella (Peck) Sacc., Mycena berkeleyi Massee, Collybia rugulosiceps Kauffman, and Mycena rugulosiceps (Kauffman) A.H. Sm.
Mycena galericulata is the type species of the Mycena genus, now known to include more than 500 species worldwide.
The specific epithet galericulata comes from the Latin galer, which means 'with a small hat'. For the length of its stems, this mushroom does indeed often have a relatively small-cap.
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Photo 2 - Author: Holger Krisp (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
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Photo 5 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
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