Galerina paludosa (Fr.) Kühner - Bog Bell

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

Galerina paludosa

Galerina paludosa with its reddish-brown caps, is a fairly common sight in upland bogs and on wet moorland; however, these are not the most hospitable of sites to visit on foot, and so a high proportion of the formal records for this species are from mossy areas of relatively-accessible woodlands.

Identifying with certainty the many small Galerina and Mycena mushrooms requires microscopic examination (preferably assisted by chemical testing!).

Distribution

Galerina paludosa is a fairly common sight in acidic moorland, mossy wet woodlands and Sphagnum-filled bogs in Britain and Ireland. This species is also recorded throughout most of mainland Europe and in North America.

Taxonomic history

This attractive little mushroom was described in 1838 by Elias Magnus Fries, who gave it the binomial scientific name Agaricus paludosus. (Most gilled fungi were initially dumped into a gigantic Agaricus genus, since largely redistributed across several newer genera.)

It was German mycologist Robert Kühner (1903 - 1996) who, in 1935, transferred this species to the genus Galerina, thus establishing its currently-accepted binomial name Galerina paludosa.

Synonyms of Galerina paludosa include Agaricus paludosus Fr.,Galera paludosa (Fr.) P. Kumm., Tubaria paludosa (Fr.) P. Karst., and Pholiota paludosa (Fr.) Pat.

Etymology

Galerina means 'like a helmet', while the specific epithet paludosa means 'of bogs or swamps' - an appropriate epithet for this little moorland/bog mushroom.

Toxicity

Galerina paludosa is described in many field guides as inedible or suspect. In view of the fact that other fungi in this genus are known to be toxic toadstools - for example Galerina marginata contains deadly poisonous amatoxins which are the same kinds of substances that make Amanita phalloides, the Death Cap, so dangerous - this species should not be collected for eating.

Identification guide

Cap of Galerina graminea

Cap

Initially conical becoming convex then bell-shaped or slightly umbonate with an incurved margin, ochre brown to reddish brown; hygrophanous, darkest when young and moist, drying out greyish orange and palest at the margin; 8 to 25mm in diameter when fully expanded.

Gills and stem of Galerina graminea

Gills

Moderately spaced, adnate, often with a small decurrent tooth; with 2 or three sizes of lamellulae.

Stem

1.5 to 3mm in diameter and 4 to 12cm tall; cylindrical, paler than the cap; fibrous a covered in flaky scales; white, white partial veil forms a superior ring zone of fibrils and irregular patches of veil fibrils adhering to the stem below the ring zone. The stem base where it is attached to the moss is tomentose.

 

Basidia

Clavate, four-spored, with clamps.

Spores

Ellipsoidal, 9.5-11 x 6-7 μm; finely warty.

Spore print

Brown.

Odour/taste

Odour and taste not significant.

Habitat & Ecological role

On moors, in wet woodlands and in bogs, invariably with Sphagnum moss, upon which it is reported to be parasitic.

Season

May to October in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

Kuehneromyces mutabilis, a much larger mushroom, is similar in colour range but has a pale cap centre and a darker margin; it does not grow in grass but is confined to mainly hardwood substrates.

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly (2016)

BMS List of English Names for Fungi

Redhead, S. A.. (1981). Parasitism of bryophytes by agarics. Can J Bot 59:63–67.

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.

Acknowledgement

We are grateful to Simon Harding who kindly contributed photographs for this page.

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