Gymnopus confluens: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Gymnopus confluens Mushroom
Gymnopus confluens recognized by its crowded gills, quickly fading cap, tendency to grow in loose clusters, and its distinctive stem, which is covered with a fine whitish fuzz and is quite long in proportion to the width of the cap. Found under deciduous hardwood trees but also occasionally in conifer forests, crowds of these pale caps jostle with one another and often form impressive fairy rings. Although they may appear to be sprouting from the forest floor or in the grass at woodland edges, there is often buried rotten wood (their staple diet) just below the surface.
This mushroom is recorded as 'edible but worthless' in many field guides: the cap flesh is so thin and insubstantial and the stems so tough that Clustered Toughshanks are not worth considering as a culinary collectible.
Phylogeographic data indicate that DNA differences consistently exist between the North American and European allopatric populations of Gymnopus c
Other names: Clustered Toughshank, Knippe-fladhat (Danish).
Gymnopus confluens Identification
Saprobic; growing in loose clusters or sometimes merely gregariously on the leaf or needle litter or from woody debris; summer and fall; apparently widely distributed in North America, at least as a species group.
1-6 cm; convex with an incurved margin when young, becoming broadly convex, bell-shaped, or nearly flat; moist or dry; bald or minutely silky; reddish-brown at first, but quickly fading to pale tan or pinkish buff.
Narrowly attached to the stem, or nearly free from it by maturity; crowded or close; whitish when young, darkening to pinkish buff.
2.5-13 cm long; 2-9 mm thick; more or less equal, or flared at the apex and/or base; dry; tough and flexible; finely hairy or finely velvety with whitish fuzz that becomes more noticeable as the mushroom matures; buff to pale cinnamon.
Whitish; thin; tough.
Odor and Taste
Not distinctive, or very rarely reminiscent of onions.
KOH negative to faintly olive on cap surface.
Spores: 6-10 x 3.5-5 µ; smooth; lacrymoid to elliptical or nearly fusoid; inamyloid (but reported as amyloid on young specimens from Colorado by Mitchel & Smith, 1978). Pleurocystidia absent. Cheilocystidia abundant and easily demonstrated; clavate, subclavate, cylindric, or subfusoid; flexuous; often somewhat lobed and/or diverticulate; to about 70 x 6 µ. Pileipellis a cutis of branched elements 2.5-7 µ wide.
When they are dry, Deceivers, Laccaria laccata, become very pale, and although not generally found in dense bunches they could be confused with Clustered Toughshanks.
Gymnopus confluens Medicinal Properties
Antitumor effects. Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of G. confluens and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 70% and 80%, respectively (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).
Gymnopus confluens Taxonomy & Etymology
The Clustered Toughshank was described in 1796 by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon, who established the basionym of this species when he gave it the binomial scientific name Agaricus confluens. It was as Collybia confluens, a name given to it in 1871 by German mycologist Paul Kummer, that this woodland mushroom was generally known until very recently.
The scientific name Gymnopus confluens dates from a 1997 publication by Vladimir Antonín, Roy Halling and Machiel Noordeloos.
Synonyms of Gymnopus confluens include Agaricus confluens Pers., Agaricus ingratus Schumach., Agaricus archyropus Pers., Marasmius archyropus (Pers.) Fr., Collybia confluens (Pers.) P. Kumm.., Collybia hariolorum, Collybia confluens var. confluens (Pers.) P. Kumm., Collybia ingrata (Schumach.) Quél., and Marasmius confluens (Pers.) P. Karst.
Gymnopus, the generic name, comes from Gymn- meaning naked or bare, and -pus meaning foot (or, in the case of a mushroom, stem). The specific epithet confluens comes from Latin and means clustered.
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