Deadly Fibrecaps (Inocybe erubescens) Identification



Common names

Deadly fibrecaps, red staining inocybe

Botanical name

Inocybe erubescens

Meaning of Scientific classification

The name derives from the genus name Inocybe meaning fibrous head and rubescens meaning becoming red.

Class: Agaricomycetes

Order: Agaricales

Kingdom: Fungi

Division: Basidiomycota

Could be confused with

Since it appears in spring and summer it could be confused with the St. Georges mushroom but this lacks the radial fibres and doesn’t stain red. It could also be confused with other inocybe species but as they are all considered deadly toxic and are generally avoided by foragers.

You can see from the image below of a deadly fibre cap and then st george that when the deadly fibre cap is young and its gills white there is a potential for confusing. I’ve heard people in spring say any white mushroom with white gills is safe to eat. So if you’re picking St Georges make sure to be clued up on Deadly Fibre Caps.

Click here for a full St George Identification Guide

This image was created by user Nadine (nadine modad) at Mushroom Observer, a source for mycological images.You can contact this user here.English | español | français | italiano | македонски | മലയാളം | português | +/−, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
St George Mushroom


Fairly common in southern parts of the UK, but rare in other parts of the country.

Key features and habitat of Deadly fibre cap mushrooms


The caps are generally 3-7 cm in diameter, conical when young, flattening when older but still retaining a central umbo with streaky radial fibres. The caps are quite often split in older specimens and stain red when damaged.

Andreas Kunze, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


The gills start whitish and gradually turn red/brown with ages. The gills stain red when damaged, are crowded and can be adnate or adnexed.

Adnexed Gill Mushroom
Jerzy Opioła, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


They are mycorrhizal with deciduous trees most commonly beech and hornbeam on calcareous soils.


Dull Brown

Edible uses

Toxic. As the name suggests potentially deadly. They contains a deadly amount of the toxin muscarine. The antidote for which is atropine, the main toxin found in the Deadly Nightshade plant. Self-administration is not recommended!!!

Hints and tips

As most members of this family are suspected of being highly poisonous they should all be avoided.

Andreas Kunze, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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