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Honey Fungus

Edible Edible
Autumn Autumn

This tasty and very common mushroom can give a small amount of people gastric upsets so should be tried in small amounts the first time it is eaten.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Honey Fungus, Bootlace Fungus
Scientific Name Armillaria mellea
Season Start Sep
Season End Nov
Average Mushroom height (CM) 14
Average Cap width (CM) 15
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Cap

Conical when young, then convex, then flattening and even having upturned edges. Honey coloured, ochre or brown with a darker slight umbo and sometimes concentric circles of darker scales..

Gills

Gills start white turning yellow to brown and often darker. Crowded. Joined to the stem.

Stem

The chunky Honey fungus has a fairly thick, scaly, white to yellow brown stem which is usually bulbous at the base. The slender fungus is thinner, generally smoother and tapers towards the base and can be white to yellow to red/brown.

Skirt

The ring is usually very high on the stem and can appear as a double ring with chrome yellow edges.

Flesh

White.

Habitat

Growing in large clusters on trunks, stumps or dead wood of many different trees but can also be found in grass as the rhizomorphs spread looking for more trees to infect.

Possible Confusion

Galerina marginata, pictured, can look similar but is darker and has a distinct smell which is not mushroomy. Care should be taken with the identification of this fungi as Galerina marginata is also called The Funeral Bell.

Spore Print

White to pale cream. Ellipsoid.

Taste / Smell

Good and found in large numbers. Must be cooked before consumption but can still cause slight gastric upsets in a small number of people.

Frequency

Very common.

Other Facts

This mushroom is responsible for killing many trees and the rhizomorphs or ‘bootlaces’ can usually be found under the clusters of fungi and surrounding bark. Unlike most mushrooms this fungi can live on its host tree alive or dead and can spread under ground easily and ends up killing its host.
Armillaria do not grow from spores very easily.
An  Armillaria has formed what is thought to be the largest living single organism on the planet and has been reported at 3.4 square miles in size and thousands of years old.

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