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Spindle Toughshank

Inedible Inedible
Autumn Autumn
Summer Summer

A cluster of mushrooms which don’t particularly make foragers happy, especially around their favourite Oaks and Beech trees.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Spindle Toughshank (EN), Spindleshank (EN), Coeswydn Gwerthyd (CY), Łysostopek Wrzecionowatotrzonowy (PL), Árvégű Fülőke (HU)
Scientific Name Gymnopus fusipes
Synonyms Collybia fusipes
Season Start Jul
Season End Oct
Average Mushroom height (CM) 4–10
Average Cap width (CM) 3–7
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


3-7 cm. Variable in colours, orangish to rusty, red-brown, and due to its hygrophanous nature, it could even be faded to pale cream. Often covered with darker, more or less rusty spots. Convex at first, flattening with age (with or without having an umbo remain), often becoming irregular. Margin is inrolled at first, but opens up with age, acute.


Cream to buff coloured, often covered with rusty spots. More or less widely spaced, (some authors say they are fairly crowded), free to finely attached to the stem. They have smooth edges.  


4–10 cm long, 1-2 cm diameter. Spindle-shape, often grooved longitudinally, also, often twisted. Whitish at the apex, darker tan or rusty towards the base which ends up in an elongated, rooting, pointy stem base.


Thin, whitish pink in cap, similar in the tough stem.


Fruiting in clusters around the roots, or on decaying stumps of hardwoods, preferably Oaks and Beech. It is a necrotrophic parasite, causing root rot, but also act as wood-inhabiting saprotrophic when it fruits on already dead hardwood.

Possible Confusion

Due to its unique, deeply rooting, pointy stem-base, it is hard to confuse with other species.

Taste / Smell

Inedible (not recommended for human consumption). Smell and taste not distinctive.


Common and widespread in the UK.


Spore print is white. Spores ellipsoid, smooth, hyalin (colourless).

Other Facts

As a result of the long development and weather-resistance, the fruit bodies of Gymnopus fusipes often become colonized by microorganisms which may cause gastro-enteritis. Following the edibility rankings of many countries, we do not recommend this species for human consumption.


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