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Velvet Shank

Edible Edible
Spring Spring
Winter Winter

Capable of surviving being frozen solid this fungi can be found throughout the winter and is a tasty find when there is not much else about.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Velvet Shank
Scientific Name Flammulina velutipes
Season Start Dec
Season End Apr
Average Mushroom height (CM) 3
Average Cap width (CM) 10
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


Widely convex but due to the proximity of neighbouring caps the shape is usually distorted. Orange yellow/brown, darker in the middle. Smooth and slimy.


Gills white becoming pale yellow. Adnexed to sinuate. Gills of different lengths with some not reaching the stem. Not crowded.


Pale yellow becoming dark brown to black and velvety with maturity, sometimes keeping a yellow apex. Quite tough.


Thin and orange brown, darker in mature stems.


Growing on dead stumps and trunks of deciduous trees, particularly elm. Sometimes found on diseased living trees. Can grow in huge tiers and groups.

Possible Confusion

The Funeral Bell, Galerina marginata, pictured, is similar and deadly poisonous but it has a skirt on the stem, Velvet Shanks don’t.
The Sulphur Tuft, Hypholoma fasciculare is also similar but unlikely to be confused with the Velvet Shank as the sulphur tuft is sulphur yellow and has dirty olive green gills.

Spore Print

Slightly off white. Ellipsoid. You should scrape your spores into a small pile to get an accurate spore colour.

Taste / Smell

Good but the skin on the cap should be removed before cooking. Should be cooked before consumption.


Fairly common.

Other Facts

This mushroom is cultivated in Japan and known as the Enokitake where due to growing conditions is a small, thin but long, white mushroom with a small cap.


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