T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Hebeloma crustuliniforme (Poison pie)

Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Hymenogastraceae
Genus: Hebeloma
Species: H. crustuliniforme
Binomial name: Hebeloma crustuliniforme
Synonyms: Agaricus crustuliniformis, Agaricus crustuliniformis var. minor, Hebeloma crustuliniforme var. minor
Common name: Poison pie, Fairycakes

Hebeloma crustuliniforme is a moderately poisonous, mycorrhizal, gilled mushroom of the genus Hebeloma. It is quite a common mushroom on introduced hardwoods and softwoods throughout New Zealand growing gregariously, in loose clusters, arcs or fairy rings. It found during summer and autumn.

This fungus is poisonous, the symptoms being those of a severe gastrointestinal nature, namely vomiting, diarrhoea and colicky abdominal pain several hours after consumption. The toxic agents have not been identified.

Hebeloma crustuliniforme caps are 4 to 11cm across. They are convex at first with inrolled margins, becoming broadly umbonate, with margins that are often wavy, sometimes they are lobed. The cap’s surface is smooth and slightly greasy when wet. They are a dirty, pale buff to ochre in colour and are slightly darker in the centre.
The gills are attached to the stem, often by a notch. They are finely serrated and are white turning a pale brown with white edges. In damp conditions sometimes, they are exuding watery droplets that dry as brown spots on the edges of the gills.
The stems are cylindrical; 4 to 8cm long, 1 to 2cm in diameter. They are white or very pale yellow; sometimes they are slightly swollen at the base There is no cortina or ring zone. This fungus has a radish-like smell. The spore print is a dull brown.


Exuded water droplets that have dried as brown spots on the lamella's edges

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