Common Bonnet (Mycena galericulata) Identification

Common Bonnet / All Year Round / Edible

Scientific Name

Mycena galericulata


Common Names

Common Bonnet, Toque mycena, the Rosy-gill fairy helmet.


Family

Mycenaceae


Habitat

They are saprotrophic, living off dead matter, they can be found on well decayed logs and stumps. They are most common on beech and oaks and only occasionally found on conifers. Typically they appear in small clusters or individually.


Description 

A fairly common mushroom, as the name suggests. They are edible and one of the larger bonnet shaped mushrooms that you find on logs but they are quite small and insubstantial.


Identifying Features:

Cap:

Bell-shaped and then flattening out with a central raised umbo.

They can be quite changeable.

They are typically grey to brown, getting lighter in colour towards the edges. Up to 6cm across.

They quite often split at their edges as they grow and have striations that mirror the gills underneath.

Rosser1954 Roger Griffith, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Stem:

Thin, fibrous and quite often twisted. They are almost white at the tops and darken towards the base. Up to 10 cm long.

Jerzy Opioła, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Gills:

The gills are white to grey, with a slight pink tinge. They are adnexed or sinuate and quite widely spaced. When the mushroom is mature small veins appear connecting the gills and look a bit like the rungs on a ladder. Not all of the gills run the whole length from edge to stem.

Adnexed Gill Mushroom
sinuate gill

Smell:

Like raw flour or damp flour.


Spores:

White.


Uses

In food

They are classed as edible but are pretty insubstantial and they don’t have a great texture or flavour, probably best avoided.


Known hazards

None known.


Potential lookalikes

The distinctive gills of this mushroom when mature and its size are good ID features but it can be mistaken for other Bonnet species, for example, the Lilac Bonnet (Mycena pura) but these have lilac to purple caps and have much simpler gills.


Extra Notes

The name Mycena comes from the hats worn by the ancient Greek Mycenae people. Galericulata refers to the size of the caps galer means ‘with a small hat’ in Latin.

 

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