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Honey Mushroom


There are a few Honey Mushrooms. This one is most likely Armillaria gallica. I found these in the woods growing terrestrially, perhaps from buried wood, in small clusters. The mostly flat cap measured 5.5 cm across. It was mottled and dingy with little hairs, best seen with a hand lens. The stem was 6 cm long and about 1 cm wide. The stem was flattened and only slightly enlarged at the base. The stem had a light-colored ring and darkened toward the base. The gills were tannish white, close, and slightly decurrent. The flesh was white and stringy. It had a light mushroomy smell. The spore print was white. You can see the spore deposit in the last photo. The cap turned slightly yellow in KOH, and then, quite remarkably, disintegrated where the KOH was applied. I've never seen that before.

This mushroom is edible, but given that it is nearly an LBM (Little Brown Mushroom), I would urge caution. A lot of mushrooms are similar to this one, and some can kill you. 

This mushroom is listed in Mushrooms of the Midwest, but not in Mushrooms Demystified or in the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. But the similar Armillaria mellea is. That species grows on wood in large clusters and tends to be larger. Compare also with the Ringless Honey Mushroom.