Entoloma griseocyaneum (Fr.) P. Kumm. - Felted Pinkgill

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Agaricales - Family: Entolomataceae

Entoloma griseocyaneum – Felted Pinkgill, Wales UK

While the majority of grassland pinkgills have caps that flatten, Entoloma griseocyaneum is an exception. Its finely scaly cap is initially bell-shaped but, while expanding to become broadly convex, it does not flatten or become noticeably umbonate as many other grey-brown pinkgills do.

Once you have found a few of these uncommon but quite distinctive little mushrooms you may feel confident enough to base your identification on macroscopic characters alone.

Entoloma griseocyaneum – Felted Pinkgill, Hampshire, UK

Distribution

In Britain and Ireland The Felted Pinkgill is a fairly common sight on unimproved upland acid grassland. This pinkgill occurs throughout most of northern and central mainland Europe

Taxonomic history

The basionym of this species was defined when, in 1818 the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries described this species scientifically and gave it the binomial name Agaricus griseocyaneus. (In the early days of fungal taxonomy most of the gilled mushrooms were included initially in the genus Agaricus, since greatly reduced by the transfer of most of its contents to other newer genera.)

It was German mycologist Paul Kummer who, in 1871, transferred this species to its present genus, thereby creating its current scientific name Entoloma griseocyaneum.

Synonyms of Entoloma griseocyaneum include Agaricus griseocyaneus Fr., Rhodophyllus griseocyaneus (Fr.) Quél., and Leptonia griseocyanea (Fr.) P. D. Orton.

Etymology

The generic name Entoloma comes from ancient Greek words entos, meaning inner, and lóma, meaning a fringe or a hem. It is a reference to the inrolled margins of many of the mushrooms in this genus.

The specific epithet griseocyaneum means greyish deep (or dark) blue.

Identification guide

Entoloma grisocyaneum, fully-expanded cap

Cap

2 to 3cm across; initially conical, expanding to become broadly convex; fibrous and scaly, the scales being smaller near to the margin.

Gills of Entoloma griseocyaneum

Gills

Adnate or emarginate; fairly distant; whitish at first becoming pink (as shown on the right) at maturity.

Stem

4 to 10cm long and 3 to 7mm diameter; blue-grey with longitudinal silvery surface fibrils, paler towards base; fibrous; cylindrical; no stem ring.

Spores of Entoloma griseocyaneum

Spores

Irregular with usually six blunt angles, 9-13.5 x 6.5-8μm.

Spore print

Pink.

Odour/taste

Not distinctive.

Habitat & Ecological role

Saprobic, on grassland, most often in upland sheep-grazed pastures.

Season

Fruiting from summer to late autumn.

Similar species

The Wood Pinkgill, Entoloma rhodopolium, is similar in cap colour, although the surface is smooth and silky; it is a woodland species whereas the Felted Pinkgill occurs in grassland.

Entoloma griseocyaneum, Felted Pinkgill, southern England

Culinary Notes

Reported in some field guides to be inedible and in others as poisonous, Entoloma griseocyaneum is definitely not one for the pot. (Some Entoloma species - for example Entoloma sinuatum - are known to be deadly poisonous.).

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly 2016.

Knudsen H., Vesterholt J. (eds) Funga Nordica: agaricoid, boletoid and cyphelloid genera - Nordsvamp, 2008

Dictionary of the Fungi; Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers; CABI, 2008

British Mycological Society (2010). English Names for Fungi

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi and (for basidiomycetes) on Kew's Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota.

Acknowledgements

Some of the pictures on this page are shown with the kind permission of David Kelly.

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