Deadly Galerina, Galerina marginata
(Most field guides call this G. autumnalis; however recent DNA evidence have indicated that G. autumnalis, G. marginata, and several other species are all the same species. Thus, by the rules of Botanical nomenclature, the oldest name is the valid one.)
Cortinariaceae or Cort Family


Small mushroom, half to one and a half inches wide. Cap tawny to brown, smooth, slimy when young, bell-shaped to almost flat. Stalk about 1 to 4 inches, pale, shaggy below, usually with a ring of tissue (that was originally a veil covering the gills). The ring is white at first, but turns rusty brown from the spores. Gills not crowded, attached to stem, yellowish at first, but becoming rusty brown from the spores. Common in the fall, but sometimes seen in spring and summer also.

In clusters on dead wood, which it helps rot.

Common mycena (Mycena galericulata) has white spores and gills and no ring around the stalk. It grows in large clusters on wood. Winter mushroom (Flammulina velutipes) also grows in clusters on dead wood in cold weather, and is of similar size, but it has a more orange cap, white gills and spores, and no ring.

This mushroom produces amatoxins, chemicals deadly to cells that need to make a lot of protein, like liver cells. If the mushroom is eaten, the eater usually feels fine for a day and then feels ill as the intestines are damaged. Then he feels better for about a day. The his liver fails and he dies without a liver transplant.


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