Ampulloclitocybe clavipes (Pers.) Redhead, Lutzoni, Moncalvo & Vilgalys - Club Foot

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Agaricales - Family: Hygrophoraceae

Ampulloclitocybe clavipes, Hampshire UK

Until recently this white-spored mushroom was considered to be a member of the Clitocybe genus in the huge family Tricholomataceae. Recent DNA studies have shown it to be much more closely related to the colourful waxcaps and the woodwax fungi within the family Hygrophoraceae.

Ampulloclitocybe clavipes, Somerset UK


Common and widespread in Britain and Ireland, Club Foot is also recorded in many parts of mainland Europe and in North America.

Taxonomic history

When it was described in 1801 by Christiaan Hendrick Persoon, this mushroom was given the name Agaricus clavipes, at a rime when most gilled fungi were initially placed in the genus Agaricus (the contents of which have since been largely dispersed across many other newer genera). German mycologist Paul Kummer transferred this species to the white-spored genus Clitocybe, and until recently it was generally referred to as Clitocybe clavipes. Then, in 2002, Redhead et al determined by DNA analysis that this mushroom was more closely related to the waxcaps (Clitocybe species), and they transferred it to a newly established monotypic genus, at which point it acquired its currently accepted scientific name Ampulloclitocybe clavipes.

Synonyms of Ampulloclitocybe clavipes include Agaricus clavipes Pers., Clitocybe clavipes (Pers.) P. Kumm., and Clitocybe squamulosoides P.D. Orton.


The genus Ampulloclitocybe may come from ampula-, referring to a flask-like cavity (shaped like the Roma ampulla flasks) and -clitocybe meaning 'with a sloping head'. Mushrooms in this genus have flask-shaped stem bases, and when fully mature the centre of the heads or caps are funnelled (sloping downwards from the margin).

The specific epithet clavipes comes from Latin and means 'with a club-shaped foot'; the common name Club Foot is a literal translation of clavipes.

Identification guide

Cap of Ampulloclitocybe cavipes


Initially convex, later plane, 3 to 8cm in diameter; smooth or slightly tomentose; slightly greasy in wet weather; various shades of buff to mid brown, paler at the margin; not striate.

Gills of Ampulloclitocybe cavipes


The decurrent gills are white to pale cream, soft, and moderately spaced.


Cream to buffish brown, the stem is striate or slightly fibrilose with longitudinal fibres, 0.5 to 2cm in diameter but up to 4cm across the clavate base; 3 to 20cm tall; no stem ring. The whitish flesh is soft and spongy, especially in the stem base.

Basidia of Club Foot mushroom


Clavate, 25-35 x 5-10µm; some 2-spored (see left) but the majority 4-spored.

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Spores of Ampulloclitocybe clavipes, Club Foot


Ellipsoidal or ovoid, smooth, 6-9 x 4-5µm;hyaline; inamyloid.

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Spore print



Odour slight, pleasant; taste mild but not distinctive.

Habitat & Ecological role

In deciduous and coniferous woodland, also on heathland and occasionally in unimproved grassland.


July to November in Britain and Ireland.

Similar species

Clitocybe geotropa has a firm-fleshed stem base and smells slightly of bitter almonds.

Culinary Notes

The Club Foot mushroom can cause illness if eaten in conjunction with alcohol; it should therefore be classed as inedibe and suspect.

Ampulloclitocybe clavipes, Somerset

Reference Sources

Fascinated by Fungi, 2nd Edition, Pat O'Reilly 2016, reprinted by Coch-y-bonddu Books in 2022.

Funga Nordica, Henning Knudsen and Jan Vesterholt, 2008.

Fungi of Switzerland Agarics, vol 3, Breitenbach, J., Kränzlin, F.

British Mycological Society, English Names for Fungi.

Dictionary of the Fungi; Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers; CABI, 2008.


This page includes pictures kindly contributed by David Kelly.

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