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Scarlet Caterpillarclub

Inedible Inedible
Autumn Autumn
Summer Summer

The commonest Cordyceps species growing in the UK although being small can make it hard to find.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Scarlet Caterpillar Club
Scientific Name Cordyceps militaris
Season Start Aug
Season End Nov
Average Mushroom height (CM) 4
Average Cap width (CM) 0.5
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Fruiting Body

The slightly swollen bright orange to scarlet/orange fruit body can be up to 4cm long and is covered in raised pores.

Stem

Under the fruiting body is a thinner, pale stem leading down to the buried pupae or lavae.

Bulbous Base

It does not have a bulbous base but is attached to a butterfly or moth lava or pupa which can appear bulbous or large if the mushroom is unearthed.

Habitat

In grassland or woodland edges.

Possible Confusion

Can look similar to some Clavaria species but these grow in groups rather than the normally single Caterpillarclub.

Spore Print

White. It has barrel shaped spores that first appear joined like a string of sausages.

Frequency

Fairly common.

Other Facts

The Scarlet Caterpillarclub takes over a butterfly or moth lavae or pupae and grows from inside the lava, filling it with mycelium.

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