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Armillaria gallica

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Marasmiaceae (Tricholomataceae) > Armillaria ]

Taxonomy in Transition: ... Agaricales > Physalacriaceae Clade > Armillaria

by Michael Kuo

This honey mushroom is widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains, and is typically found on the ground or near the bases of hardwoods. It is smaller, on average, than Armillaria mellea, and its ring tends to be cobwebby and ephemeral, almost like a cortina. It is more apt to grow alone or in loose groups than in densely packed clusters that cause the stem bases to be pointed. In fact, the stem base of Armillaria gallica is swollen, exhibiting a "bulbicitiness" (Volk, 2004, pers. com.) not found in most other honey mushrooms.

Armillaria calvescens is similar to Armillaria gallica--so similar that the two species cannot reliably be separated without attempting to "mate" them in a laboratory. The range of Armillaria calvescens is more northerly, however; it appears to be rare or absent south of a line roughly below the southern edge of the Great Lakes.


Ecology: "[U]sually an innocuous saprophyte, living on organic matter in the soil and not harming trees to any great extent" (Volk & Burdsall, 1993); growing on the wood of hardwoods and occasionally on conifers. Mushrooms appear alone, gregariously, or in loose clusters, usually appearing terrestrial (but actually attached to roots)--but sometimes fruiting from the bases of trees and stumps; late summer and fall; widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains.

Cap: 2-6 cm; convex to broadly convex or flat in age; dry or sticky; tan to pinkish brown or tawny brown; usually with fine yellowish hairs; often with white partial veil material on the margin.

Gills: Running down the stem or nearly so; nearly distant; whitish, sometimes bruising or discoloring pinkish to brownish.

Stem: 5-10 cm long; .5-1 cm. thick at apex; with a swollen base that often stains yellow; whitish; with a yellow ring zone; attached to black rhizomorphs.

Flesh: Whitish.

Odor and Taste: Taste mild to bitter; odor sweet.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface negative.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 7-9.5 x 4.5-6 µ; smooth; more or less elliptical; inamyloid; with a prominent apiculus. Basidia with basal clamps.

REFERENCES: Marxmüller & Romagnesi, 1987. (Moser, 1983; Berube & Dessureault, 1988; Berube & Dessureault, 1989; Hansen & Knudsen, 1992; Volk, 2003.) Herb Kuo 09210401, 11020401, 12010401.

Armillaria lutea and Armillaria bulbosa are synonyms.

Further Online Information:

Armillaria gallica at Tom Volk's Fungi
Armillaria gallica at Roger's Mushrooms
Armillaria lutea at Fungi of Poland


Armillaria gallica

Armillaria gallica

Armillaria gallica

Armillaria gallica

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Kuo, M. (2004, October). Armillaria gallica. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: