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Galerina heimansii Reijnders

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

Galerina heimansii

This pretty Galerina graminea, with its widely-spaced gills and dark-centred orange caps, is easily mistaken for one of the smaller rustgills, Gymnopilus species, but its widely-spaced gills and lined cap margins are important distinguishing features.

Galerina heimansii, southern England

Distribution

Galerina heimansii is a rare find in Britain and Ireland. This species is also recorded, albeit rarely, in parts of mainland Europe including Denmark, Germany, Holland and France.

Taxonomic history

This attractive little mushroom was first described scientifically in 1969 by South-African born Dutch mycologist Albert Marinus Franciscus (Bert) Reijnders (1899 - 2002), who gave it the scientific name Galerina heimansii by which it is generally known today.

I know of no synonyms of Galerina heimansii.

Etymology

Galerina means 'like a helmet', while the specific epithet heimansii honours a Dutch botanist (I belive) Jacob Heimans (1889 - 1978).

Toxicity

Many common Galerina species are described as either inedible or suspect while some - for example Galerina marginata - contain deadly poisonous amatoxins which are the same kinds of substances that make the Deathcap Amanita phalloides so dangerous. Galerina heimansii is a rare find, and so there are surely more than sufficient reasons for not gathering this species to eat.

Identification guide

Cap of Galerina heimasii

Cap

Initially conical or campanulate, becoming broadly convex, centre sometimes becoming slightly depressed but with a narrow central umbo; orange with a darker red-brown centre; strongly lined or grooved radially up to 3/4 from margin towards centre; 5 to 10mm in diameter when fully expanded.

 

Gills and stem of Galerina heimasii

Gills

Widely spaced, distant; ochraceous becoming more orange as the spores mature; adnate to adnexed. Basidia 2-spored. Cheilocystidia and pleurocystidia thick-walled, flask shaped 35-60 x 12-20μm.

Stem

1 to 1.5mm in diameter and 1.5 to 2cm tall; cylindrical or tapering slightly upwards from a slightly bulbous base, beige-orange and floury near apex; darker brown below then white and longitudinally fibrillose at the base.

Spore of Galerina heimansii

Spores

Ellipsoidal to almond shaped, 8-10.5 x 5-6μm; finely warty.

Show larger image

Spore print

Rusty brown.

Odour/taste

Indistinct or slightly raphanoid (of radish).

Habitat & Ecological role

Most often in carr woodland on rotten wood, usually alder Alnus spp.), willow (Salix spp.) or birch (Betula spp.) or on wet soil in swampy land.

Season

Early spring - early winter.

Similar species

Kuehneromyces mutabilis, a much larger mushroom with a pale cap centre and a darker margin.

Flammulina velutipes, commonly called Velvet Shank, has a darker, velvety stem and leaves a white spore print.

Galerina marginata is larger and has a mealy smell and a much less striate cap; it is deadly poisonous.

Reference Sources

Galerina heimansii Reijnders, in Persoonia 1(1): 165 (1959)

Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly 2016.

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

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi and (for basidiomycetes) on Kew's Checklist of the British & Irish Basidiomycota.

Acknowledgements

This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Simon Harding.

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