JNTM's picture

Small brown garden 'toadstool'

Observed: 30th November 2011 By: JNTM
Showing general pattern of growth
Typical cluster
Typical specimen - side view
View of underside
View from above
Spore print

These 'toadstools' first appeared 5-6 years ago as a distinct 'fairy ring' in the middle of the lawn. They have reappeared every November.
The 'ring' has grown progressively outwards - increasing in radius by perhaps half a metre a year, though the ring-like appearance has now been reduced to two clusters moving in opposite directions. This year the main cluster seems to have colonised the grass over the track of an old, now buried, pathway.
Since the photos were taken we have had a frost and the caps of the toadstools have turned up at the edges, making the cap viewed from above concave rather than convex.
This year's display has been particularly spectacular.


No identification made yet.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Jonathan's picture

I can't help you with the ID,

I can't help you with the ID, though I hope someone will. However, I just wanted to say what an exemplary set of photos you have given us! Even a spore print. Great.

University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Fenwickfield's picture

same thought

I was about to say the same Jonathan and will have a search through my books but hopefully Flaxton will know.The only thing I could think was Cortinarius genus.


flaxton's picture

After going on about people

After going on about people just posting one photo of the top of the cap and that is often blurred what a great set. Just a shame I cannot come up with an id. Are those spores actually pink? If so we are looking at an Entoloma.

JNTM's picture

"Are those spores actually pink?"

"Are those spores actually pink? If so we are looking at an Entoloma."

A soft pinky brown - I imagine that a paint manufacturer might call it 'brown blush' or some-such!

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way of putting up supplementary photos - I tried to get a good photo several times, but though the spore print was clear enough to the eye, for some reason it seemed almost 'lost' in the photos so that it was quite hard to make out, which is why I increased the contrast. I did wonder if the spores were reflective or shiny in some way too subtle for the eye to see, but affecting the camera.

What extra information would you need to be able to make some progress with the identification?


Jonathan's picture

John, you have achieved a lot

John, you have achieved a lot with this. There are observations that cannot be resolved to a species, especially in fungi and it looks like this is one of them.

For future reference, to add more photos, use the Edit tab that you will see when you are looking at one of your own obs and you are logged in.

University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

JNTM's picture

Cortinarius? Entoloma?

Following your genus hints, I tried Google Images on them. Results overwhelming! I see why it is difficult to identify from photos. Sadly I don't have access to a suitable microscope to check on the spores.

I found a picture of a Cortinarius (delibutus f. ochroleucoides Bon & Jamoni (1994)) that looked promising and was displayed beside a pine cone (my specimens are growing in a lawn beside a huge ex-Xmas tree). But most of the other Cortinarius delibutus photos looked less promising.

Trying the same for Entoloma, some pictures of Entoloma rhodopolium looked promising, but:

a) Gills always seem to be the same weak tea-with-milk color (or perhaps 'redbush' tea-with-milk!), not white, even in 'juvenile' specimens (cf (http://www.mushroomexpert.com/entoloma_rhodopolium.html).

b) If you cut a specimen in two lengthways, the tea colour continues throughout (though perhaps slightly lighter in the stalk rather than the cap).

c) The smell is normal 'mushroom' smell (cf http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/gallery/DisplayBlock~bid~5915.asp) - no trace of ammonia, etc.)

However, I gathered from some websites that the classification and naming of 'Entoloma' species is often contested, and one site described 'Entoloma rhodopolium' as a **group** of species.

So I guess the answer may well be a lemon - though (in the case of Entoloma rhodopolium) quite possibly a poisonous one!


flaxton's picture

John Welcome to the

Welcome to the fascinating but frustrating world of fungi. You have given us an excellent spread of photos showing all the relevant details which is more than a lot of newcomers do. With this information it would often lead to a straightforward identification unfortunately Entolomas have over 200 species and a lot of them are very similar macroscopically. This means a microscope rather than any more photos is the only way forward and without this I would say and Entoloma sp is the best we could do.