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Monday, 21 September 2015

Galerina marginata

Monday Mushroom #81

Galerina marginata - Funeral Bell

I don't often come across truly deadly mushrooms on my forays, but yesterday I did find a tuft of Galerina marginata - wikipedia suggests that it has been recorded as the cause of death in ten cases over the last century (though it doesn't give a citation or say if that is nationally in the US, or worldwide, or somewhere else.)

Galerina marginata - Deadly Skullcap. Tiny fruiting bodies just emerging.

This mushroom is pretty small - too small to be considered for the table normally - but it does strongly resemble a couple of small fungi that are good edibles. These are Kuehneromyces mutabilis - Two-toned Wood Tuft - and Flammulina velutipes - Velvet Shank - which make up for their small stature by growing in large troops.

Galerina marginata - Autmn Pixycap

The three species are similar in size, shape, cap-colour and all grow in tufts on dead wood, but they have very different stems. Here's a photo of Kuehneromyces mutabilis for comparison:

Keuhneromyces mutabilis - Two-Toned Wood Tuft. A good eible that looks rather too similar to Galerina marginata for comfort.

You may notice that each of the Galerina marginata photos has a different common name beneath it - this mushroom has collected numerous common names - none of which seem to predominate. It also used to be classified as several different species, which genetic analysis has shown to be indistinct.

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