Small, about an inch or less, buff to dark brown, gilled mushroom, growing in prolific clusters on dead wood. Cap is bell-shaped and shows radial grooves, especially near the edge when young. As the mushroom ages the cap may rise up, flatten and split. Gills crowded, pale to pinkish. The stalk often has a long extension deep within the wood (a pseudorrhiza or "false root"), as seen at right. Spores are white and may dust the wood under the mushrooms. A common
fungus in fall.
Occasional on rotting logs in the woodlands of
This is a prime example of the difficult-to-identify fungi disparaged as LBM's (little brown mushrooms). However, it is very common, so if you should find an LBM in dense clusters, with crowded gills, striations on the cap, and a long pseudorrhiza, it is very likely to be the common mycena. Deadly galerina (Galerina marginata) has rusty brown spores that color the gills and usually a ring around the stalk, and grows in smaller clusters.