Galerina marginata

Galerina marginata
Image Courtesy of Emily Johnson
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Group of Fungi: Agarics

Family: Strophariaceae

Latin Name: Galerina marginata (Batsch) Kühner 1935

Synonym(s): Pholiota autumnalis Peck

Common Name: Deadly Galerina

Description: Total height 1 1/4–4 in (3–10 cm); cap 1–2 1/2 in (2.5–6.5 cm) wide, yellow-brown to dark brown, upper surface smooth viscid when moist, margin faintly striate; gills broad but closely spaced, rusty brown; stalk 1–3 1/2 in (2.5–9 cm) long, 1/8–5/8 in (0.3–1.5 cm) in diameter, pale brown with a darker base, longitudinally lined with white fibrils; annulus present near top of stalk, membranous, white; spores rusty brown in mass.

Biological Role: Decomposer of wood and wood debris.

Habitat: On decaying wood in broadleaf and conifer forests; often occurring in dense clusters.

Geographical Distribution: Widely distributed throughout North America.

Comments: Galerina marginata is one of the "little brown mushrooms" found on decaying logs and stumps. It is deadly poisonous, which is a good reason for never collecting any mushroom that fits this description for human consumption. Galerina marginata has a very long fruiting season that extends all the way from early spring to late fall.

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