What You Should Know
Lyophyllum connatum is a pure white mushroom usually growing in fairly dense clusters beside woodland paths. The fruiting bodies of this group of mushrooms form compact clusters so that the bases are fused and the stems are bent to avoid each other. Caps to about 12 cm diameter, convex expanding with maturity, thick, fleshy, buff-colored often with darkish spots in a circle up from the margin. Gills free, whitish to buff-colored, less than 20% of the cap thickness. Spore print white. Stems solid, white, bent tapering from the top, at maturity about 2 cm wide near apex and 4-5 cm wide at the base and up to 15 cm long. Do not eat.
Although for many years the White Domecap was considered to be a good edible mushroom, doubts have been cast recently as one research source reported finding toxins in these fungi capable of causing DNA mutations. Those findings have been challenged by other researchers, but given the uncertainty, Ultimate Mushroom is against gathering Lyophyllum connatum for human consumption.
Other names: White Domecap, Witte bundelridderzwam (Dutch), Lyophylle en touffe (French), Weißer Rasling (German), Oshiroishimeji (Japanese).
Lyophyllum connatum Mushroom Identification
3 to 8cm across; convex, expanding but not flattening completely; often developing a wavy margin; white; smooth and dry.
Adnate or slightly decurrent; crowded; white.
3 to 6cm long and 0.8 to 1.5cm dia.; usually slightly swollen at base; white; no ring.
Ellipsoidal, smooth, 5.5-7 x 3.2-4.2µm, with oil drops.
Odor and Taste
Habitat & Ecological Role
Saprobic, on disturbed soil rich in leaf litter.
The White Domecap could be confused with the deadly poisonous Destroying Angel, Amanita virosa, but in common with other Amanita fungi the Destroying Angel has a volva at the base of its stem.
Lyophyllum connatum Taxonomy and Etymology
This forest fungus was first described in scientific literature in 1801 by the Danish mycologist Heinrich Christian Friedrich Schumacher (1757 - 1830), who gave it the binomial name Agaricus connatus.
In 1939, German-born mycologist Rolf Singer transferred this species to the genus Lyophyllum, thus establishing its currently-accepted scientific name as Lyophyllum connatum.
The specific epithet connatum comes from Latin and means 'born together, in other words, fruiting in tufted groups rather than singly.
Synonyms of Lyophyllum connatum include Agaricus connatus Schumach., Clitocybe connata (Schumach.) Gillet, and Tricholoma connatum (Schumach.) Ricken.
Lyophyllum connatum Bioactive Compounds
A variety of bioactive components have been reported from the methanolic extract of fresh fruit bodies of L. connatum, including N-hydroxy-N‘,N‘-dimethylurea (yield 0.01-0.02%, fresh weight), the N-hydroxyamino acid chromogen connatin (Nδ-hydroxy-Nω,Nω-dimethylcitrullin, yield 0.20-0.25%), and the alkylazoxycarboxamide lyophillin (N,N-dimethylazoxycarboxamide, yield 0.04%) (Fugmann and Steglich, 1984). Lyophyllin was previously shown to be formed by oxidative condensation of N-hydroxy-N‘N‘-dimethyurea with N-methylhydroxylamine by an unspecific condensing enzyme (Ye et al., 1997).
Eight ergostane-type sterols have been isolated from the fruit bodies of L. connatum (Hazuki et al., 2002), as well as the novel ceramide (2S, 3S,4R)-2- [(9’Z, 12’Z)-9′, 12′-octadecadienoylamino]- 1, 3, 4-octadecanetriol (Yaoita et al., 2003).
Lyophyllum connatum Medicinal Properties
Antioxidant activity/Free-radical scavenging activity
The methanol extract of L. connatum was reported to have antioxidant and free-radical scavenging abilities (Keller et al., 2002). Later research identified some of the specific compounds responsible: ergothionene (ERT), N-hydroxy-N‘,N‘-dimethylurea, connatin (N-hydroxy-N‘,N‘-dimethylcitrullin), and the novel ergothioneine derivative, β-hydroxyergothioneine (HERT) (Kimura et al., 2005). Notably, ERT and HERT had radical-scavenging activity almost equivalent to trolox, the water-soluble vitamin E analogue used as a positive control in the DPPH radical-scavenging assay.
Both ergothioneine and β-hydroxyergothioneine showed protective ability against carbon tetrachloride-induced injury in rat primary liver cell cultures (Kimura et al., 2005).
Methanol extracts of L. connatum inhibited the inflammatory activity induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate in the mouse ear oedema assay (Yasakuwa et al., 1996).
Lyophyllum connatum Video
All photos were taken by the Ultimate Mushroom team and can be used for your own purposes under the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.