Gymnopus androsaceus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Gymnopus androsaceus Mushroom
Gymnopus androsaceus (Marasmius androsaceus) is a medicinal fungus mainly used to treat various forms of pain in China. There is little obvious difference between this tiny mushroom and the Collared Parachute, Marasmius rotula until you glance beneath the cap, but then you will see that the gills of the Horsehair Parachute are attached directly to the stem and not to a collar.
Other distinguishing features are the remarkably long stem in comparison with the size of the cap, and fine horsehair-like threads of densely interwoven mycelium extending outwards from the stem base in search of new substrate material to colonize.
This mushroom is generally regarded as inedible.
Other names: Horsehair Parachute.
Gymnopus androsaceus Identification
The cap 3-8 (10) mm broad, convex, becoming plano-convex, the disc slightly depressed to umbilicate; margin incurved in youth, then decurved, crenate; surface dry, dull, more or less glabrous, at first dark-brown, to dark reddish-brown, remaining so at the disc, fading to medium-brown or buff-brown at the margin, the latter sparsely covered with a buff-colored pubescence in youth; context thin, < 1 mm thick, cream-colored; odor and taste mild; fruiting bodies capable of reviving after drying.
Gill close to subdistant, adnate, narrow, pale apricot-tan in youth, darkening slightly with age; edges lighter than the faces, minutely fringed; lamellulae in two to three series.
Stipe 25-50 mm long, 0.5-1.0 mm thick, filiform, hollow, equal, round to flattened; surface reddish-brown at apex, blackish below, more or less glabrous but with innate fibrils when viewed with hand lens; short, stub-like branches covered with a buff tomentum occasionally seen at base; numerous hair-like, black rhizomorphs interspersed with fruiting bodies; partial veil absent.
Spores 6.5-8.0 x 3.5-4.5 microns, ellipsoid, thin-walled, smooth, hilar appendage conspicuous; spores inamyloid, deposit not seen.
Gregarious on needle litter of coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), pines (Pinus spp.), occasionally with hardwoods; fruiting after fall rains into mid-winter; common, inconspicuous.
Gymnopus androsaceus Taxonomy & Etymology
The species was described in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus, who gave it the binomial name Agaricus androsaceus. It was a recently as 2004 that this species was renamed Gymnopus androsaceus, as a result of work published by American mycologists Juan Luis Mata and Ronald H Petersen (b 1934).
Gymnopus androsaceus has several synonyms including Agaricus androsaceus L., Merulius androsaceus (L.) With., Marasmius androsaceus (L.) Fr., Androsaceus androsaceus (L.) Rea, and Setulipes androsaceus (L.) Antonín.
Gymnopus, the generic name, comes from Gymn- meaning naked or bare, and -pus meaning foot, stem or stalk; hence, bare-stemmed is the implication.
The specific epithet androsaceus comes from andros- meaning a tiny plant or herb, plus the suffix -aceus which has many interpretations including 'with the quality (or color) of', or 'closely resembling', or even more loosely 'relating to'.
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