What You Should Know
Mycena arcangelianais is a small conical fungus with a whitish cap. Stem much longer than cap diameter, hollow. Has no smell when fresh but if collected it develops a medicinal (iodine) smell as it dries out. It has been known by several scientific names, and its taxonomy is still somewhat disputed.
The mushrooms can be mistaken for the similar Mycena flavescens. They have a mild taste, but a strong smell of iodoform; they are not edible. The species grows on dead wood in the autumn months and can be found throughout Europe.
Other names: Angel's Bonnet, Late-season Bonnet
Mycena arcangeliana Mushroom Identification
0.7 to 2.5 cm across; conical, becoming bell-shaped and eventually broadly umbonate; smooth with translucent striations; hygrophanous, grayish brown tinged with yellow or olive when moist, drying pale grey.
The abundant cheilocystidia (standing out from the gill edges) of the Angel's Bonnet mushroom are up to 55µm long; they are pyriform (pear-shaped), with their tips bearing numerous short, thin 'brushcells'. The pleurocystidia (on gill faces) are similar.
Adnate or slightly decurrent; crowded; white, turning pinkish grey. The gill edges are slightly toothed.
4 to 8cm long and 2 to 4mm in diameter; white at the apex (with a lilac tinge when young), the lower part grey tinged with olive; the base covered in white downy hairs; no ring.
Broadly ellipsoidal to pip-shaped, smooth, 7-9 x 5-6µm; amyloid.
Odor and Taste
The odor of iodine; tastes mild but not distinctive.
Habitat & Ecological Role
Mostly on fallen Beech and Ash, but occasionally on other fallen hardwood trees; exceptionally this species is found on rotting conifer wood.
Mycena arcangeliana Look-Alikes
Species are found in both hardwood and softwood forests on the floor among leaf or needle litter or grassland. M. flavescens typically has a whiter cap and a smell reminiscent of radish.
Known from Algeria, has a similar cap color to M. arcangeliana, but has a yellow stem.
Known from the Netherlands, has a lemon-yellow cap and stem and more gills.
Has a sweet taste.
Mycena arcangeliana Taxonomy and Etymology
Mycena arcangeliana was first described by Giacomo Bresadola; the species was listed along with 41 others found in Pisa, in an article by Egidio Barsali published in the Bollettino Della Societa Botanica Italiana (Bulletin of the Botanical Society of Italy).
Authors Roger Phillips and Paul Sterry both describe the name Mycena oortiana as synonymous; M. oortiana was a name given by Frederich Hora in 1960 based on Robert Kühner's 1938 name for the variety Mycena arcangeliana var. oortiana, an invalid name. Phillips had earlier considered M. arcangeliana var. oortiana to be a synonym of M. oortiana, and MycoBank lists it as a synonym of Lucien Quélet's Mycena olivascens.
However, Index Fungorum lists both M. olivascens and Kühner's Mycena vitilis var. olivascens as synonyms of M. arcangeliana. The specific epithet arcangeliana may be in honour of Giovanni Arcangeli, who collected the species in the Orto botanico di Pisa. M. arcangeliana is commonly known as the angel's bonnet, or the late-season bonnet.
Within the genus Mycena, it is found in the section Filipedes, on account of the cheilocystidia covered with evenly spaced, short cylindrical excrescences, and its size and occurrence on wood. It can be separated from the other members of the section on account of a cap with yellowish to olive shades, gills with pinkish hints and stems with vaguely violet coloration.
The specific epithet of these angelic little mushrooms, arcangeliana, apparently refers to Michael the archangel.
Photo 1 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 2 - Author: Josh Milburn (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 4 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 5 - Author: Daphne Lantier (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)
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