Melanophyllum echinatum(Roth ex. Fr.) Sing. 1951


This interesting fungus was recently found near Birmingham University by David Antrobus, who took this photograph. There have been several previous records in Warwickshire.



The species looks like a small Inocybe, or Lepiota till it is turned over. The gills are red. The fresh spore print is olive green but on drying turns reddish.

This fungus, while easy to recognise, has not been easy to place.It has been perplexing to mycologists over the years.

  • It started life as Agaricus haematospermus Bull.,1792, then Agaricus echinatus Roth 1800.
  • Fries' name was Agaricus (Psalliota) echinatus Roth,bullet but he also included it as Agaricus (Psalliota) haematosperma Bull.
  • Kummerlegitimised the first name as Psalliota echinata (Roth ex Fr.) Kummer1871.
  • Gillet described the fungus as Pratella echinata (Roth ex Fr.) Gillet 1874.
  • Quelet thought differently and described it as Lepiota echinata (Roth ex Fr.) Quel 1879.
  • Saccardo went even better, making it Inocybe echinata (Roth ex Fr.) Sacc.1887.
  • In more modern times, Singer, not to outdone by this moved it into Cystoderma echinatum (Roth ex Fr.) Sing.,1936.
  • In the other direction, Quelet considered there to be two species and also described Lepiota haematosperma (Bull. ex Fr. 1821) Quel.1876
  • Velenovsky described it as a new species in a new Genus as Melanophyllum canali Velen. 1921.
    Most recently, Singer reviewed the situation, and gave us the name which we all now accept Melanophyllum echinatum (Roth ex Fr.) Sing.,1951.

    The species has been found in several sites in Warwickshire as follows-

    • Chesterton Wood
    • Moreton Morrell
    • Sutton Park
    • Upton House
    • Warwick Castle Park - first Warwickshire record.
    • Edgbaston Park Nature Reserve - photograph.
The associations recorded were, garden refuse, sawmill refuse, amongst old railway ballast, leaf mould in woodland, and on soil.


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