Entoloma sericellum (Fr.) P. Kumm. - Cream Pinkgill

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

Entoloma sericellum, Cream Pinkgill

This tiny white-capped pinkgill is very common in pastures, in grassy and mossy areas under broadleaf trees in parkland, and in or on the edges of open deciduous woodland. Cream Pinkgills are often ignored, as they are easily mistaken for the much more common Snowy Waxcaps when seen from a distance.

Entoloma sericellum, Cream Pinkgill, Wiltshire UK

Although mainly seen as singletons or in small groups, Cream Pinkgills occasionally appear in arcs or in complete fairy rings.

Distribution

The Cream Pinkgill is an occasional find in Britain and Ireland, where it is widely distributed. This pinkgill occurs also throughout most mainland Europe, where it is an occasional to fairly common find.

Taxonomic history

When in 1818 the Swedish mycological pioneer Elias Magnus Fries described this pinkgill mushroom he gave it the name Agaricus sericeus ß sericellus. It was the German mycologist Paul Kummer who in 1871 transferred this species to the genus Entoloma, thereby establishing its currently-accepted binomial name as Entoloma sericellum.

Entoloma sericellum has attracted a vast array of synonyms including Agaricus sericeus ß sericellus Fr., Leptonia sericella var. sublutescens Henn., Rhodophyllus carneoalbus (With.) Quél., Clitopilus carneoalbus (With.) Sacc., and Alboleptonia sericella (Fr.) Largent & R.G. Benedict.

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 sericellum refers to the silkiness of the cap surface, although this feature is unreliable as some specimens have very smooth caps.

Identification guide

Cap of Entoloma sericellum – Cream Pinkgill

Cap

0.6 to 3cm across, conical becoming convex, flattening with an undulating and slightly incurved margin; white, becoming pale ochre from the centre with age; surface usually silky smooth.

Gills of Entoloma sericellum

Gills

Sinuate; white, turning pale pink as the spores mature.

Stem

2 to 3cm long and 2 to 3mm diameter; smooth; the base sometimes slightly swollen; white, becoming gradually yellow-ochre with age; no stem ring.

 

Spores

Angular, pentagonal in side view; 8-12 x 6-9μm.

Spore print

Pink.

Odour/taste

Not distinctive.

Habitat & Ecological role

Saprobic, usually in small groups in grassland or under broadleaf trees in parkland and open woodland.

Season

Fruiting from summer to late autumn in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

The Cream Pinkgill is often mistaken for one of the small white waxcaps such as Hygrocybe virginea, the Snowy Waxcap. The distinction becomes much clearer when the fruitbodies reach maturity, as the gills of the waxcaps remain white while those of pinkgills turn pink.

  • Clitopilus prunulus is larger and has decurrent gills and a grey cap; it smells mealy.

  • Inocybe geophylla has brownish gills and provides a brown spore print, whereas Entoloma sericellum has pink spores.

Culinary Notes

Reported in some field guides to be inedible and perhaps suspect, Entoloma sericellum is in any case insubstantial and of no culinary interest.

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.

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