Entoloma incanum (Fr.) Hesler - Mousepee Pinkgill

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

Entoloma incanum, Mousepee Pinkgill

With its greenish stem and an odour reminiscent of caged mice, Entoloma incanum is one of the few small grassland pinkgills that can be identified in the field withconfidence..

Cap colour is an unreliable identification character, because some are yellow, other greyish-brown, greenish-brown or in some cases bluish-brown, so the nose is much more important than the eyes when you find what appears to be the Mousepee Pinkgill.

Entoloma incanum, southern England

Distribution

This attractive little grassland mushroom is an uncommon find in Britain and Ireland, although it is quite widely distributed. Entoloma incanum occurs also throughout much of mainland Europe, where it is rarely more than an occasional find, and in parts of North America.

Taxonomic history

When in 1821 Elias Magnus Fries described this species he gave it the scientific (binomial) name Agaricus incanus. (Most gilled mushrooms were, in those early days of fungal taxonomy, initially placed in a gigantic Agaricus genus most of whose occupants have since been redistributed across many new genera.)

It was American Mycologist Lexemuel Ray Hesler (1888 - 1977) who, in 1967, transferred this species to its present genus, whereupon its scientific name became Entoloma incanum .

Synonyms of Entoloma incanum include Agaricus murinus Sowerby, Agaricus incanus Fr., Agaricus sowerbyi Berk., Agaricus euchlorus Lasch, Leptonia euchlora (Lasch) P. Kumm., Leptonia incana (Fr.) Gillet, and Leptonia incana var. citrina D.A. Reid.

Entoloma incanum, south-west England

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 incanum comes from the Latin adjective incanus, which means grey or hoary.

Identification guide

Cap of Entoloma incanum

Cap

1 to 4cm across; initially conical or hemispherical becoming broadly convex with a slight central depression; greenish-yellow soon fading to yellowish-brown or olive-brown, darker towards the centre; translucently striate.

The yellowish flesh is thin and very fragile; it turns blue-green when bruised.

 

Gills of Entoloma incanum

Gills

Fairly distant, adnate; whitish or tinged green at first, maturing greyish-pink, turning blue-green when bruised.

Stem of Entoloma incanum

Stem

Cylindrical sometimes tapering towards the apex; 2 to 8cm long and 1 to 4mm in diameter; smooth fibrillose towards the base; greenish-yellow becoming bluish-green when handled; no stem ring.

Spores of Entoloma incanum

Spores

Angular, mostly six-sided, thin-walled; 7-12.5 x 5-8μm; inamyloid.

Show larger image

Spore print

Brownish pink.

Odour/taste

Odour of mice; taste not distinctive.

Habitat & Ecological role

Saprobic in unimproved grassland and in woodland glades, mainly on alkaline soils.

Season

Fruiting summer and autumn in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

Entoloma serrulatum has blue-black gill edges.

There are several other bluish Entoloma species, although they are rare finds; key identification features include spore shapes and sizes and the form and dimensions of cystidia on the gill edges.

Culinary Notes

Entoloma incanum is a toxic toadstool and is not to be collected for eating. (Its small size and relative scarcity are two more good reasons for not gathering this mushroom other than when necessary for research purposes.)

Reference Sources

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

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

This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Simon Harding.

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