Entoloma prunuloides (Fr.) Quél. - Mealy Pinkgill

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

Entoloma prunuloides

The Mealy Pinkgill Entoloma prunuloides fully deserves its common name, as both the odour and the taste of this grassland mushroom are farinaceous (like wet flour, or meal). In this, however, it is not unique among fungi; for example, St George's Mushroom Calocybe gambosa is also a 'mealy mushroom'..

We are grateful to David Kelly for the pictures shown on this page, the accuracy of which have been independently verified by microscopic examination of samples of gill and cap tissue.

Entoloma prunuloides, Mealy Pinkgill, Hampshire UK

Distribution

The Mealy Pinkgill is an uncommon find in Britain and Ireland, although it is widely distributed; this pinkgill occurs also throughout most mainland Europe, where it rarely more than an occasional find.

Taxonomic history

When in 1821 Elias Magnus Fries described this species in his Systema Mycologicum he gave it the scientific (binomial) name Agaricus prunuloides. (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 the French Mycologist Lucien Quélet who, in 1872, transferred this species to its present genus, whereupon its scientific name became Entoloma prunuloides.

Synonyms of Entoloma prunuloides include Agaricus prunuloides Fr., Rhodophyllus prunuloides (Fr.) Quél., Entoloma inocybiforme Bon, and Entoloma inopiliforme Bon.

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 prunuloides means 'similar to prunulus', which in turn is nothing to do with prunes but simply means pruinose - frosted as if covered in a fine white powder.

Identification guide

Cap and stem of Entoloma prunuloides

Cap

2 to 7cm across; initially convex becoming plane with an umbo; not hygrophanous; colour varying from white through cream to ochre-brown; surface smooth or inately radially fibrillose but not striate.

 

Gills of Entoloma prunuloides

Gills

Fairly distant, adnate to emarginate; whitish at first, maturing pink.

Stem

3 to 12cm long and 0.5 to 2.2cm diameter, smooth, cylindrical; white, bruising yellowish red; no stem ring.

Spores of Entoloma prunuloides

Spores

Isodiametrical, thin-walled; 6.5-8 x 6.5-8μm.

Show larger image

Spore print

Brownish pink.

Odour/taste

Mealy (farinaceous) odour and taste.

Habitat & Ecological role

Saprobic in unimproved sheep-grazed grassland.

Season

Fruiting from late summer to late autumn.

Similar species

Entoloma griseocyaneum has a scaly cap and much larger spores.

Culinary Notes

Reported in some field guides to be inedible and in others as poisonous, Entoloma prunuloides 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

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 David Kelly.

Top of page...


Fascinated by Fungi, 2nd edn, hardback

If you have found this information helpful, we are sure you would also find our book Fascinated by Fungi by Pat O'Reilly very useful. Author-signed hardback copies at a special discount price are available here...

Other nature books from First Nature...