Lepiota grangei (Eyre) Kühner - Green Dapperling

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

Lepiota grangei, Green Dapperling

Few dapperlings are more distinctive than the Green Dapperling Lepiota grangei, whose scales are sometimes a startlingy bright emerald green. Like other small dapperlings Lepiota grangei is reported to be seriously poisonous.

Distribution

grangei, England

Rare in Britain and Ireland (not recorded from Scotland), mainly appearing in broadleaf woodland but sometime in nettle beds, Lepiota grangei occurs also in parts of mainland Europe including Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Poland.

Taxonomic history

This mushroom was described in 1902 by English mycologist Rev. William Leigh Williamson Eyre (1841 - 1914), who published notes and lists of fungi found in various parts of Hampshire, England, including Grange Park. Eyre gave this dapperling the name Schulzeria grangei, but in 1934 Robert Kühner transferred this species to the genus Lepiota, establishing its currently-accepted common name of Lepiota grangei.

Synonyms of Lepiota grangei include Schulzeria grangei Eyre and Hiatula grangei (Eyre) W.G. Sm.

Etymology

Lepiota, the genus name, comes from Greek words Lepis-, meaning scale, and -ot, meaning ear. Scaly ear fungus is an interpretation, therefore. Scales on a convex (vaguely ear-shaped, perhaps) cap are characteristic of fungi in this genus, as also are free gills and a stem ring.

The specific epithet grangei refers to Grange Park, near Northington in Hampshire, England, where Rev. Eyre made records of the fungi.

Identification guide

Cap of Lepiota grangei

Cap

Initially hemispherical, becoming convex and sometimes almost flat with a slight umbo; ochraceous surface with velvety dark-green cuticle scales near the centre, surrounded by concentric rings of brownish-green scales, paler and more widely spaced towards the margin; flesh whitish.

Cap diameter at maturity ranges from 2 to 4cm.

Gills of Lepiota grangei

Gills

The free, crowded gills are white or cream, darkening with age. Pleurocystidia are clavate.

Stem

Creamy white or ochraceous, 3 to 5cm long and 3 to 6mm diameter; bulbous base; flesh whitish. The lower two thirds of the stem, below an indistinct white ring, is decorated with green scales, becoming smaller towards the base.

Spores of Lepiota grangei

Spores

Cylindrical to oblong ovoid, with a truncate base; smooth, 10-12 x 3.5-4μm; dextrinoid.

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Spore print

White.

Odour/taste

Odour unpleasant sickly sweet, similar to Lepiota cristata; taste not significant (but note that tasting dapperlings is inadvisable).

Habitat & Ecological role

Saprobic, solitary or in small groups in broadleaf and mixed woodlands, often with Beech.

Season

September to November in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

Lepiota ignivolvata has a bright orange or red-brown ring low down on the stem.

Lepiota cristata is typically larger with brownish scales.

Toxicity

In my opinion there are no dapperlings worth collecting to eat, particularly because confident identification in the field is very difficult and several of them are seriously toxic toadstools. For example, Lepiota cristata the Stinking Dapperling is poisonous and could be mistaken for a small edible Parasol Mushroom Macrolepiota procera. If what you believe to be Parasols are smaller than 10cm in cap diameter then check very carefully, because it is possible that they are actually poisonous Lepiota species.

grangei,southern England

Acknowledgements

This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Simon Harding.

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly 2016.

Eyre, W. L. W. (1907). A list of the fungi of Grange Park and neighbourhood, Hampshire. Winchester: Warren & Son.

Funga Nordica: 2nd edition 2012. Edited by Knudsen, H. & Vesterholt, J. ISBN 9788798396130

British Mycological Society. English Names for Fungi

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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