Gymnopus confluens

Gymnopus confluens
Image Courtesy of Peter Katsaros
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Group of Fungi: Agaric

Family: Marasmiaceae

Latin Name: Gymnopus confluens (Pers.) Antonin, Halling & Noordel.

Synonym(s): Collybia confluens (Pers.) P. Kumm.

Common Name: Tufted Collybia

Description: Total height 2–4 in (5–10 cm); cap 3/4–2 in (2–5 cm) wide, pale brown to reddish brown when young but fading to grayish pink, margin incurved at first; gills crowded, white to cream or pinkish; stalk 1 5/8–3 1/2 in (4–9 cm) long, 1/8–1/4 in (0.3–0.5 cm) in diameter, often somewhat flattened, hollow, covered with grayish hairs; spores pinkish-cream in mass.

Biological Role: Decomposer of humus and litter.

Habitat: On the ground in broadleaf or conifer forests; usually occurring in dense clusters of several fruiting bodies more or less united at the base.

Geographical Distribution: Found throughout North America.

Comments: The fruiting bodies of most agarics are fleshy and decompose relatively quickly. Those of Gymnopus confluens are tough and can persist in nature for some time. In fact, they have the ability to revive after drying out if there is a period of rainy weather. This fungus is considered edible, but since the stalks are so tough that they have to be discarded, there is actually little left to consume.

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