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Panellus stipticus

[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Mycenaceae > Panellus ... ]

by Michael Kuo

Panellus stipticus is a widely distributed, hardwood-rotting saprobe, but it is more common in eastern North America than in the West. It can be recognized by its small size (caps 1–3 cm across); the tiny, lateral stem that terminates in an abrupt line where it meets the gills; the tan to whitish, woolly cap surface; the (usually) bitter taste; and the white spore print. It is quite tough, and revives in rainwater after drying out, like many Marasmius species.

This little mushroom has reportedly been used as a styptic (blood thickening) agent, and it has luminescent gills. I have not had very good luck seeing the luminescence of glow-in-the-dark mushrooms (see Omphalotus illudens for details), so I had my doubts—but on a family camping trip last year I saw several logs full of Panellus stipticus emitting a dull yellowish glow in the dead of night, much to my amazement.

"Panellus stypticus" is an alternate spelling.


Ecology: Saprobic on the deadwood of hardwoods; usually growing in shelving clusters; spring through fall (also over winter in warm climates, or during winter warm spells in temperate areas); widely distributed in North America but more common in the east. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois, Kentucky, and Québec.

Cap: 0.5–2 cm wide; convex with an inrolled margin, becoming planoconvex with the margin even or slightly curved under; semicircular to kidney-shaped in outline; dry; finely velvety to woolly; often becoming wrinkled and somewhat cracked-scaly in age; tan to pale yellowish brown or orangish brown, sometimes fading to off-white.

Gills: Terminating abruptly at the stem; crowded; short-gills frequent; often forked; with cross-veins; pale golden tan.

Stem: Up to about 3 x 3 mm; lateral or off-center; fuzzy-velvety with whitish, tan, or rusty brown fuzz.

Flesh: Whitish or pale brownish; tough.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive; taste usually bitter, but mild in some collections.

Spore Print: White.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative to gray on cap surface.

Microscopic Features: Spores 2.5–3 x 1–2 µm; ellipsoid to suballantoid; smooth; hyaline in KOH; amyloid. Cheilocystidia 25–75 x 2.5–5 µm; cylindric to filiform; irregular; often diverticulate; smooth; thin-walled; hyaline to brownish in KOH. Pleurocystidia in bundles; 40–50 x 3–4 µm; long-fusiform, with apices sometimes submucronate or slightly diverticulate. Pileipellis a densely tangled cutis with some erect elements; hyaline to yellowish in KOH; terminal elements occasionally cystidium-like or forked. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (Bulliard, 1783) Karsten, 1879. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Miller, 1970; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Arora, 1986; Breitenbach, J. & Kränzlin, 1991; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; Roody, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Binion et al., 2008; Kuo & Methven, 2014; Desjardin, Wood & Stevens, 2015; Siegel & Schwarz, 2016.) Herb. Kuo 10010406, 10220403, 09270505, 10021601. Herb. EIU 004.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Panellus stipticus

Panellus stipticus

Panellus stipticus

Panellus stipticus

Panellus stipticus

Panellus stipticus

Panellus stipticus

Panellus stipticus

Panellus stipticus

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Kuo, M. (2017, May). Panellus stipticus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: