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Group of Fungi: Agarics
Latin Name: Mycena leaiana (Berk.) Sacc.
Common Name: Orange Mycena
Description: Total height 1 1/4–2 1/4 in (3–6 cm); cap 3/8–1 5/8 in (1–4 cm) wide, bell-shaped at first but becoming convex in age; upper surface visid and shiny, reddish orange fading to orange-yellow; margin striate; gills moderately close, pinkish orange to pinkish yellow, bruising yellow orange, edges of gills deep reddish orange edges; stalk 1–2 in (2.5–5 cm) long, 1/16–1/8 in (1.5–3 mm) in diameter, smooth, viscid, orange to yellow with dense orange hairs at the base; spores white in mass.
Biological Role: Decomposer of wood.
Habitat: On decaying wood of broadleaf trees; especially common on beech; usually occurring in clusters.
Geographical Distribution: Found throughout eastern North America.
Comments: Because of its bright orange color, Mycena leaiana is rather noticeable in nature. During the summer months, it seems to be present on just about every decaying beech log or stump. This fungus produces a watery latex that will stain the fingers orange when a fruiting body is handled.