Mycena haematopus

Also known as the bleeding Mycena, bleeding fairy helmet, and the burgundydrop bonnet, the Mycena haematopus is a fungal species that belongs to the order Agaricales. It is common and widespread in North America and Europe. It has also been found in Venezuela and Japan. This fungus was first scientifically described in 1799.

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This mushroom is stunning

The fruit bodies of the Mycena haematopus are reproductive structures produced by cellular threads which grow in rotting wood. As a result, the shape of the cap will vary depending on its maturity. Young caps are called buttons, and they are egg shaped to conical. Later on, they will be bell shaped. As the fruit body matures, the cap’s edge or margins will lift upwards so that the cap looks flat with a central nipple-shaped bump.

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They grow on rotting wood and clusters are often joined at the base

When the fungus is fully grown, the cap can reach up to 4 cm in diameter. The cap’s surface will initially be dry and covered with a fine whitish powder. However, the cap will soon become moist and polished. Mature caps are a bit translucent and will develop radial grooves that mirror the position of the gills which are underneath. The cap’s colour will be pinkish or reddish brown and can be tinged with violet. However, the colouration will become paler towards the edge. The margin is wavy sort of like a scallop or clam’s edge, and may appear ragged because of the partial veil’s remnants.

The flesh of the Mycena haematopus can be pale to red wine. It does not have a distinctive odour. When it is cut, it will ooze red latex or milk. Its gills are attached to the stem, and they are whitish or greyish red in colour, but can developed reddish-brown stains. There are about 20 to 30 gills from the cap to the stem. Coarse hairs can be present at the base.

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