What You Should Know
Mycena alcalina is an inedible but not poisonous species of fungus in the family Mycenaceae. The cap ranges from conical to bell-shaped and is generally 1–5 cm in diameter. It is supported by a thin, hollow stem growing anywhere from 20-65mm long. The cap appears black at first, but fades to a gray-brown color around the edges, with the stem generally being the same color as the cap. The flesh of Mycena alcalina ranges from white to translucent and is fragile and thin. It grows widely, ranging from North America to Europe.
Synonyms: Mycena vexans Peck., 1885, Prunulus vexans Murrill, 1916.
Other names: Stump Fairy Helmet, Red-spotted Mycena.
Mycena alcalina Mushroom Identification
1-5 cm in diameter, first conical, later bell-shaped. The surface of the cap is radial-scarred, brownish-brownish-gray, brown, lighter in the center.
Plates liquid, gray-brown, with a whitish edge.
8-12 * 4.5-8 μm, elliptical, with a smooth surface.
5 - 7 cm high, 0.1 - 0.2 cm in diameter, cylindrical, flat or curved, the same color as the surface of the cap or yellow-brown.
The flesh is very thin, with a strong ammonia odor.
Mycena alcalina Mycoremediation
Mycoremediation, a form of bioremediation, is the process of using fungi to degrade or sequester contaminants in the environment. Some types of fungi are hyperaccumulators and are capable of absorbing and concentrating heavy metals within the fruiting bodies. Some mushrooms produce large amounts of extracellular enzymes, which break down the toxins and render them inert or less dangerous. In the case of Mycena alcalina, it is believed that the bleach-like odor is due to this species ability to break down chlorinated compounds. There has also been recent research done with M. alcalina indicating it also can break down brominated compounds
Photo 1 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 2 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 4 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
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