Mycena flavoalba: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Mycena flavoalba Mushroom
Mycena flavoalba is a species of inedible mushroom in the family Mycenaceae. The cap is initially conical in shape, before becoming convex and then flattening out. The cap color is ivory-white to yellowish-white, sometimes more yellowish at the center.
This mushroom is found in Europe, the Middle East, and North America, where it grows scattered or in dense groups under conifers and on humus in oak woods.
Molecular studies performed by Aronsen & Larsson (2016) (https://www.svampar.se/smf/smt/SMT_2016_3.pdf) are indicating that M. flavoalba comprises two phylogenetic species, which should be explored further. They also found that the pink taxon, currently known as M. floridula, is conspecific with one part of the M. flavoalba material that they investigated, while the other part constitutes a sibling species currently not circumscribed.
Other names: Ivory Bonnet.
Mycena flavoalba Identification
1 to 2 cm in diameter when fully mature, the caps are conical or campanulate, eventually becoming flattened with an umbo; lined almost to the cap center; margin toothed; white at the margin and yellowish towards the center. The thin cap flesh is whitish.
Adnexed, usually with a short decurrent tooth, the fairly distant gills are white at first, becoming cream when fully mature.
Cylindrical, 2.5-6cm long and 1.5-2.5mm in diameter, the brittle stems are whitish to pale yellow, very finely pruinose (powdery) towards the apex, then smooth and usually with the base densely covered with coarse white fibrils. The stem flesh is whitish.
Cheilocystidia (cystidia on the gill edges) are lageniform (flask-shaped) or fusiform (spindle-shaped), 45-80μm tall and 9-14μm across; smooth except towards the narrow apex where they are sometimes covered in an amorphous jelly-like material. Pleurocystidia (cystidia on the gill faces) are similar to the cheilocystodia.
The slender-clavate basidia, 24-30μm tall and x 5.5-6.5μm in diameter at the widest point are four-spored; clamps are present at the bases.
Ellipsoidal to cylindrical, smooth, 7-9 x 3.5-4µm; inamyloid.
Odor and Taste
Odor and taste very faint, of radish.
Habitat & Ecological Role
The fruit bodies of Mycena flavoalba grow scattered to densely gregarious on needle beds under conifers, and on humus in oak woods during the autumns months. Although generally rare, the species sometimes occurs in large quantities in certain localities. In the United States, it has been collected from Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Florida, and Kansas. It is also found in Europe, and Israel. The species is listed as "Least Concern" in the Danish Red Data Book.
Mycena flavoalba Look-Alikes
Hemimycena lactea and Hemimycena delectabilis
It can be distinguished from these species by its white to the yellowish cap, and differences in the shape of both its spores and caulocystidia (cystidia on the stem).
A Spanish species described in 2005, is also similar in appearance, but differs in the distribution of pigment in the cap, and the differential staining in response to the dye cresyl blue — M. flavoalba is positive, while H. conidiogena is negative.
Mycena flavoalba Taxonomy & Etymology
When in 1838 Elias Magnus Fries described this bonnet mushroom, he called it Agaricus.
French mycologist Lucien Quélet transferred this species to the genus Mycena in 1872, but now its generally accepted scientific name is M. flavoalba, following a 2012 publication by Canadian mycologists Redhead, Moncalvo, Vilgalys and Perry.
In the past this mushroom was widely referred to by the scientific name Mycena luteoalba; however, that name was invalid because it had already been allocated to another bonnet mushroom, very rare in Britain, originally described in 1788 by James Bolton as Agaricus luteoalbus and in 1821 transferred to the genus Mycena by Samuel Frederick Gray, making it Mycena luteoalba (Bolton) Gray.
Synonyms: Atheniella flavoalba, Agaricus flavoalbus Fr., Hemimycena flavoalba (Fr.) Singer, and Marasmiellus flavoalbus (Fr.) Singer.
The specific epithet flavoalba comes from the prefix flavo- meaning yellow and -alba meaning white, and so this is a reference to the yellowish-white (ivory).
Mycena flavoalba profile
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