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Armillaria mellea   (Honey Mushroom)
North America, Europe
Cap 3-15 cm diameter, stem 6-15 cm tall * 0.5-1.5 cm thick

Armillaria mellea, also known as Honey Mushroom, is a medium-sized agaric that has a convex, flattened, or wavy, olive-tinged, pale yellow-brown cap with a darker center and sparse pale scales. It grows, midsummer to late fall, densely clustered or in groups, around bases of living or dead trees or stumps of either coniferous or hardwood trees.

Cap convex at first but becoming flattened, often with a central raised umbo, later becoming somewhat dish-shaped. The margins are often arched at maturity and the surface is sticky when wet. Though typically ochraceous, this fungus is rather variable in appearance and sometimes has a few dark, hairy scales near the centre somewhat radially arranged. The flesh is white, thin and firm. Gills at first white, sometimes becoming pinkish-yellow or discoloured with age, broad and fairly distant, attached to the stipe at right angles or are slightly decurrent, crowded. The spore print is white. Stem at first whitish, becoming yellowish or reddish-brown, more or less equal or tapering towards the base, finely wholly. The ring is yellowish, cottony or woolly, superior and fairly persistent.

Similar species include Galerina marginata, which is deadly poisonous.

Note Armillaria species were for many years generally considered edible but lately, members of the honey fungus group (including Armillaria mellea) has been found to be suspect, as cases of poisoning have been linked to eating these mushrooms.

Armillaria mellea on the First Nature Web site.
Armillaria mellea on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.

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