Conocybe Tenera: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Conocybe Tenera Mushroom
Conocybe Tenera is a fairly common and widespread poisonous mushroom.
Group of small yellowish/tan mushrooms growing in the grass by side of the road near the beach. Close-cropped grassland such as lawns, golf courses, parks, and dune slacks seems to suit these conecaps well, but they can also appear on leaf litter, sawdust and woodchip mulch as well as on disturbed nutrient-rich soil in parks, orchards and gardens.
Other names: Common Conecap.
Conocybe Tenera Identification
1 to 3cm in diameter, the caps are conical at first, becoming bell-shaped with very faint marginal striations. The surface is smooth, dry and ochre-brown to cinnamon or rust-brown; hygrophanous, becoming yellowish in prolonged dry weather, eventually turning pale beige, with a weakly-lined margin.
This attractive conecap has adnexed gills. Initially very pale ochre, the crowded gills become cinnamon or rust colored as the spores mature; the gill edges are noticeably paler than the gill faces.
Slender straight stems of Conocybe tenera are level, 4 to 7mm in diameter and 5 to 9cm long, white flushed with rusty brown and finely granular; becoming hollow and very fragile. There is no stem ring
Ellipsoidal, smooth, 9-14 x 5-8 μm; thick-walled, with a broad germ pore.
Mushrooms have a rust-brown spore print.
Conocybe apala, the Milky Conecap, is a much paler, more sharply conical mushroom that appears briefly on lawns after rain.
Conocybe Tenera Taxonomy & Etymology
The Common Conecap was described in 1762 by the pioneering German mycologist Jacob Christian Schaeffer, who named it Agaricus tener. At that time most gilled fungi were placed initially in one gigantic Agaricus genus, whose contents have since largely been redistributed to other newer genera.
A delicate grassland and woodland-edge conecap, this species was transferred to its present genus by the Swiss mycologist Victor Fayod (1860 - 1900), at which point its binomial name became Conocybe tenera.
Synonyms of Conocybe tenera include Agaricus tenera Schaeff., Galera tenera (Schaeff.) P. Kumm., Galera tenera f. typica Kühner, Galera tenera f. microspora J. E. Lange, and Galera tenera f. tenella J. E. Lange.
The generic name Conocybe comes from the Latin Conus meaning a cone, and cybe meaning ahead - hence 'with a conical head', or in other words conecap. Less obviously, the specific epithet tenera comes from the Latin tener and means tender or delicate, an appropriate description for this and other members of the genus Conocybe, which are extremely fragile.
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