Honey Mushroom

(Armillaria mellea group)

Overview
Honey Mushroom
Photo by diraek
 

Honey Mushroom was formerly considered an extremely variable species with a very broad distribution and a wide host range. It was the only species in the genus Armillaria. Spore tests were conducted to see which fungi would “mate”. If they mated, they were the same species. The tests resulted in splitting Armillaria mellea into 35 species worldwide. Subsequent DNA studies in 2012 and 2013 upheld the results of the mating tests. Ten of these species occur in North America. One of them was transferred to the new genus Desarmillaria. Identification in the field from morphological features is difficult at best and may not always be possible. For that reason, the species are are often treated as a species group.

 
 

Honey Mushroom usually appears in small to massive clusters on stumps or logs, on the lower trunk of living trees, or on the ground on tree roots; occasionally solitary on the ground.

 
             
 
Description
 
 

On young mushrooms the gills are enveloped in a protecting, Kleenex-like, cottony, membranous tissue (partial veil). At maturity, the veil breaks up to release the spores. Remnants of the veil usually remain as a ring near the top of the stalk. There are sometimes fragments of the veil clinging to the rim of mature mushrooms.

The cap is 1¼ to 6 in diameter and convex at first. With age it may become broadly convex or flat, with or without a raised “bump” in the center, or convex with uplifted margins. The cap color is extremely variable. It may be yellowish-brown (honey colored), reddish-brown, pinkish-brown, tan, or some similar color. There are usually tiny brown scales, most dense in the center and more or less radiating outward.

The flesh is thick. It is white when young, sometimes becoming pale tan with age. It is edible and tastes mild when cooked but bitter when raw.

The stalk is tough, fibrous, 2 to 8 long, and 3 16to 2 in diameter. When clustered, the stalk tapers to the base. When solitary, the stalk is enlarged at the base. It is smooth, dry, and whitish above the ring, reddish-brown or yellowish below. When young it is often covered with cottony scales.

The gills are white when young, becoming yellowish or flesh-colored, then brown or with dark spots in age. They are usually broadly attached and may slightly run down the stalk. Occasionally they are notched at the base.

The spores are white. In mature clusters, white spore dust is usually visible on top of the lower caps.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.

 
  9/27/2021      
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Agaricales (common gilled mushrooms and allies)  
  Suborder Marasmiineae  
  Family Physalacriaceae  
  Genus Armillaria (honey mushrooms)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Bulbous Honey Mushroom (Armillaria gallica)

Honey Mushroom (Armillaria calvescens) ?

Honey Mushroom (Armillaria gemina)

Honey Mushroom (Armillaria mellea)

Honey Mushroom (Armillaria NABS XI)

Honey Mushroom (Armillaria nabsnona)

Honey Mushroom (Armillaria sinapina)

Honey Mushroom (Armillaria solidipes)

Ringless Honey Mushroom (Desarmillaria tabescens)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Agaricus melleus

Agaricus sulphureus

Armillaria mellea var. glabra

Armillaria mellea var. maxima

Armillaria mellea var. minor

Armillaria mellea var. sulphurea

Armillariella mellea

Clitocybe mellea

Lepiota mellea

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Honey Mushroom

The Honey Fungus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Partial veil

A protective covering over the gills or pores of a developing mushroom. At maturity it disappears, collapses into a ring around the stem, or wears away into a cobwebby covering and ring zone.

 
 
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Jennifer Dimich

 
    Honey Mushroom      
 

Luciearl

 
 

These mushroom were everywhere on the trail. If edible, someone could have a full meal.

 
    Honey Mushroom      
 

Jamal Matteson

 
 

Growing like mad near my home.

 
    Honey Mushroom      
 

dg99

 
    Honey Mushroom   Honey Mushroom  
 

Robin

 
    Honey Mushroom      
 

Diraek

 
    Honey Mushroom   Honey Mushroom  
           
    Honey Mushroom      
           
 
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Other Videos
 
  Honey Mushroom - Armillaria mellea
sporeprints
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 24, 2009

Tradd finds a honey mushroom patch, a problematic mushrooms that attacks living and dead trees, and it is very parasitic.

   
  The Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea)
Roger Griffith
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 8, 2013

The Honey or Bootlace Fungus (Armillaria mellea) at Spier's Old School Grounds, Beith, North Ayrshire, Scotland. This fungus is very destructive and kills many trees in plantations and woodlands. A parasitic fungus was found on one troop appearing as a white cotton wool-like growth on the caps and stems of the mushrooms.

   
  Armillaria mellea
Βότανα
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 1, 2015

Armillaria mellea, commonly known as honey fungus, is a basidiomycete fungus in the genus Armillaria. It is a plant pathogen and part of a cryptic species complex of closely related and morphologically similar species. It causes Armillaria root rot in many plant species and produces mushrooms around the base of trees it has infected.

   
  Honey Mushrooms - Armillaria mellea - Yellow Variety
Dan Kennedy
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 30, 2015

Yellow variety of Honey Mushrooms... Armillaria mellea.

   
  Foraging for Ringed Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria mellea) - www.Returntonature.us
ReturntoNatureSkills
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 12, 2015

The ringed honey mushroom (Armillaria mellea) is a common wild edible mushroom distributed widely throughout North America. Heres a video showing you a look at some of its key features..

Forage safely,
Dandelion
www.returntonature.us

   

 

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Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Apricity Apricity
Fall 2021

Location: Martin County, Fairmont, MN

 
  Jennifer Dimich
9/25/2021

Location: Ely MN

Honey Mushroom  
  Luciearl
9/28/2020

Location: Cass County

Honey Mushroom  
  Jamal Matteson
9/27/2020

Location: Aitkin, MN

Growing like mad near my home.

Honey Mushroom  
  dg99
September 2020

Location: Tamarack Nature Center

Honey Mushroom  
  Robin
9/5/2017

Location: Walker, MN

I am wondering if these are Honey Mushrooms. The grew in the same place last Fall too.

Honey Mushroom  
  Diraek
10/10/2016

Location: Brainard, Minnesota, USA

Honey Mushroom  
           
 
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Created: 10/18/2016

Last Updated:

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