Galerina venenata (Deadly Lawn Galerina)

Description: Small mushroom with moist, reddish-brown cap, fading to buff; in lawns.

Cap: 3/8-1 3/8" (1-3.5 cm) wide; convex, becoming flat or with depressed center and somewhat torn, arched margin; moist, smooth; reddish- to cinnamon-brown, fading to dingy yellowish-white or pinkish-buff. Flesh moderately thick. Odor mealy; taste bitterish.

Gills: attached, nearly distant, broad; yellowish-brown, becoming cinnamon-brown.

Stalk: 1 1/4-1 5/8" (3-4 cm) long, 1/8-1/4" (3-5 mm) thick, enlarging somewhat toward base; brownish, smooth, with cottony, white mycelium about base.

Veil: partial veil leaving a small, thin ring pressed against upper stalk.

Spores: 8-11 X 5-6.5 m; oval, roughened with smooth, pool-like depression at base. Spore print rust.

Edibility: Deadly.

Season: November-January.

Habitat: In lawns.

Range: Washington and Oregon.

Look-alikes: G. autumnalis and G. marginata, both deadly, grow on decaying wood.

Comments: This species usually grows in lawns, but it may also occur on buried decomposed wood. It has reportedly caused life-threatening poisoning similar to that caused by the Deadly Galerina (G. autumnalis) and the destroying angels.

Galerina venenata image and excerpt from Gary H. Lincoff's National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, (1981/2004, pp. 622-623 , image #39).

Galerina venenata (Deadly Lawn Galerina)