Mycena galericulata

Scientific name:  Mycena galericulata (Scop.) Gray
Derivation of name:  Mycena is derived from the ancient
Greek word for mushroom. Galer- means "helmet"
referring to the helmet-shaped caps which most field guides
describe as bell-shaped.
Common name(s):  Common mycena.
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Agaricales
Family:   Mycenaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate:  Saprobic; single or most
often in clusters on well-decayed deciduous wood; spring
and fall.  
Dimensions:  Caps 2-7 cm wide; stipes 5-10 cm long and
2-5 mm thick.   
Cap:  Brownish, fading to gray or whitish toward the
margins and tannish in the center; striate at the margin;
conical to bell-shaped to hemispherical.      
Gills: Attached; whitish at first and pinkish at maturity;
prominent cross-veins at maturity.
Spore print: White.
Stipe: Stalks grayish-white above and darker below.
Stalks are smooth, slender, and hollow.
Veil: Absent.
Edibility: Inedible.
Comments:  Field guide authors point out the difficulty
in identifying with certainty the large number of nondescript
grayish and brownish Mycena species that occur on wood
in the Northeast. Although M. galericulata's larger size
helps separate it from many other mycenas, size alone is
not enough for confident identification. Michael Kuo
(see websites below) offers contrasting traits for
M. galericulata and the very similar M. inclinata. He
discusses other look-alike Mycena species and also the
very likely possibility that M. galericulata and
M. inclinata are misapplications of European names to
North American species. See:

Mycena galericulata at  

Mycena inclinata at

Given the identification uncertainties noted above, a few
comments about the identities of the specimens in the
photographs on this page seem warranted. I'm reasonably
confident the mushroom I photographed is M. galericulata.
For the photographs other than mine, I simply used the
name given to me by the photographer, trusting their

Figure 1. Mycena galericulata on wood.
Photo © Pam Kaminski.

Figure 2. Specimens of common mycena growing singly on wood.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 3. In contrast to the singly occurring specimens
pictured in Figure 2, Mycena inclinata (above) and
M. galericulata more commonly grow in clusters on
decaying wood. Photo © R. Al Simpson.

Figure 4. A white mycelial fuzz commonly occurs at the base of the
stalk of M. galericulata and M. inclinata.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 5. Mycena inclinata on decaying deciduous wood.
Photo © R. Al Simpson.

Figure 6. Caps are often lined or grooved radially and although the
overall brownish color fades, some color is usually retained on a
central 'bump." The gills are white when young.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 7. The gills are attached and there is usually abundant
cross-veining between the gills.
Photo © Gary Emberger.


Home | Shape key | Glossary

This page © 2008 by Gary Emberger, Messiah College