Gilled Mushrooms

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Amanita & Friends (still under construction)

This group of mushrooms contains the culturally recognizable red toadstool with white patches, the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria). General characteristics to look for --> free gills and a volva (cup at the base of the stem) and sometimes with patches/warts on the cap and a ring around the stem.

Look-a-like "Friends" included: Lepiota, Chlorophyllum, Macrolepiota, Leucoagaricus, Leucocoprinus 


    Habitat & Ecology: on the ground and mycorrhizal with trees

    Gill Attachment: Free 

    Spore Print: White


Brittlegills (Russula)

Russula caps can come in a wide range of colors and have a water-soluble color that sometimes looks mottled or faded. Most Russula's are characterized for having brittle gills that flake off easily when brushed and for their stubby stalks, which break off like chalk. Their caps range from convex to plano-convex and most often, with a depression in the center. These mushrooms can be small to medium-sized and are one of the more fleshy groups of fungi, appreciated as a snack by many woodland creatures.

Look-a-likes: Milkcaps (Lactarius and Lactifluus) → Slice the gills to check for milky latex 

Habitat & Ecology: on the ground and mycorrhizal with trees

Gills: Attached

Spore Print: Pale-colored, mostly white

Milkcaps (Lactarius & Lactifluus) 

These two genera are in the same family as Russulas and have a very similar form except when they are cut, they exude latex. The purpose of this latex is not certain, but it is suspected to be a defense against herbivory as in Milkweed. Like Russulas, their caps range from convex to plano-convex and most often, with a depression in the center. The stems are stalky and strong, and they are medium to large-sized mushrooms.

Look-a-likes: Brittlegills (Russula) → very similar structure except they lack latex when cut and are much more brittle and weak; their coloring is often not as mottled as Russulas either; Clitocybe →

Habitat & Ecology: on the ground and mycorrhizal with trees

Gills: Attached

Spore Print: Pale-colored, mostly white

Waxy Caps (Hygrocybe, Hygrophorus, Gliophorus, Cuphophyllus, Gloioxanthomyces, Humidicutis)

With the rise of DNA sequencing, the common name Waxcap or Waxy Caps now encompasses more than a few genera. The name still holds a practical purpose in referring to mushrooms of these genera in the family Hygrophoraceae, which have thick, waxy-looking gills, which are often brightly colored, and are small to medium-sized.

Habitat & Ecology: on the ground, well-rotted logs, and moss; the ecology of some of these genera is uncertain but most species described are mycorrhizal

Gills: varied but most are attached

Spore Print: pale-colored, mostly white


Deceivers (Laccaria spp.)

Species in the genera Laccaria are called the Deceivers for their wide ranges of variability and their tendency to shift color with changes in moisture content and age. Although these mushrooms have a few consistent characteristics, including white to lilac colored spore prints, thick and waxy-like gills (usually purple or flesh-colored), are always on the ground, and have tough and fibrous stems. Laccaria species are mycorrhizal and are found in various habitat types, especially the Common Laccaria (Laccaria laccata), a very common mushroom that can be found just about anywhere. This group is a look-a-like for Waxy Caps due to their distant, waxy gills, however, Laccaria spp. are never viscid or glutinous like many Waxy Caps.


Cortinarius (still under construction)

  • Ecology: mycorrhizal – on soil, moss or humus

  • The largest genus of mushrooms, likely to be raised to the family level soon – most are not able to be identified in the field

  • Rusty red spore print! 

  • Wide color range but many are brown or purple

  • When young, they have a cortina covering the gills, a web-like layer that disappears quickly and can form a ring zone on the stem


Marasmioid & Mycenoid Mushrooms

Small brown

  • Dingy Twiglet Simocybe centunculus
  • Scurfy Twiglet (Tubaria furfuracea)

Small red, yellow or orange

  • Velvet Foot or Wild Enoki (Flammulina velutipes)
  • Funeral Bell or Deadly Galerina (Galerina marginata)
  • Golden Conecap Conocybe aurea
  • Yellow Unicorn Entoloma (Entoloma murrayi)
  • Salmon Pinkgill (Entoloma quadratum) VT
  • Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma)

Small white

  • White Fibrecap Inocybe geophylla

Small purple

  • Lilac Fibrecap Inocybe lilacina



  • Yellow Unicorn Entoloma (Entoloma murrayi)
  • Salmon Pinkgill (Entoloma quadratum) VT
  • Entoloma conicum
  • Entoloma mougeotii
  • Straight-stalked Entoloma (Entoloma strictius)
  • Wood Pinkgill Entoloma rhodopolium
  • Pretty Pinkgill Entoloma formosum
  • Aborted Entoloma


  • Hemistropharia albocrenulata
  • Sharp-scaly Pholiota (Pholotia squarrosoides)


Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria)

  • Saprophytic and/or parasitic and/or pathogenic

  • White spore print

  • Gills broadly attached or running down the stem

  • Most species have a partial veil

  • Around 12 species in North America – many are parasitic and with black rhizomorphs

  • White gills that discolor pink, 

  • Found on wood and on the ground (attached to roots or buried wood)

Armillaria mellea

Bulbous Honey (Armillaria gallica) 

Ringless Honey (Armillaria tabescens)

Armillaria solidipes


Funnels (Clitocyboid Mushrooms Clitocybe, Collybiopsis, Lepista (Blewits)) & Knights (Tricholoma)

  • Club Foot Ampulloclitocybe clavipes
  • Clustered Clitocybe (Lepista subconnexa)
  • Lepista nuda 
  • Aniseseed Funnel (Clitocybe odora)
  • Common Funnel (Infundibulicybe gibba) 
  • Clustered Toughshank (Collybiopsis confluens)
  • Luxury Caps (Collybiopsis luxurians)
  • Robust Clitocybe Clitocybe robusta
  • Fragrant Funnel (Clitocybe fragrans)
  • Yellowish-White Melanoleuca (Melanoleuca alboflavida)
  • Soapy Trich (Tricholoma saponaceum)
  • Deceiving Knight (Tricholoma sejunctum)


Ink Cap Family

  • Scaly Ink Cap (Coprinopsis variegata)
  • Hare's Foot Inkcap (Coprinopsis lagopus)
  • Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)
  • Mica Cap (Coprinellus micaceus)


Miscellaneous for now

On wood

  • Plums-and-Custard (Tricholomopsis rutilans)
  • Weeping Widow (Lacrymaria lacrymabunda)
  • Deer Mushroom (Pluteus cervinus)
  • Scaly Shield (Pluteus petasatus)
  • Wrinkled Psathyrella (Typhrasa gossypina)
  • Platterful Mushroom (Megacollybia rodmanii)
  • Redspored Dapperling (Melanophyllum haematospermum)

On grass or mulch

  • Brick Cap (Hypholoma lateritium)
  • Wine-cap (Stropharia rugosoannulata)
  • Mulch Fieldcap (Agrocybe putaminum)
  • Veiled Poisonpie (Hebeloma mesophaeum)
  • Poison Pie (Hebeloma crustuliniforme)
  • Yellow Fieldcap (Bolbitius titubans)