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Xerula megalospora

Common Name: Rooting Collybia

Synonyms: Oudemansiella radicata; Collybia radicata

Substrate: Ground

Location: Hardwood forests near decayed stumps; Lawns

Spore Color: White

Gill Color: Whitish

Gill Attachment: Notched

Comments: 

This mushroom has a reltively large cap relative to the thickness of its stem. That combines with the texture and color of the cap gives it a fairly distinctive appearance. But all of these features combined are not the best way to confirm the ID. This mushroom is one of a few that actually have a deep root that goes into the ground for several inches. So if you can remember not to pluck the mushroom but dig it up, your ID will be fairly easy. 

This mushroom also appears in the woods with a regular amount of frequency. It often fruits around very well decayed stumps. Stumps that have decomposed to the point of barely being visible anymore. Digging down also often reveals colonies of ants or termites under these mushrooms. Is it possible that there is a relationship there? That is still unknown to me.

There is another similar species of Xerula called X. furfuracea. As the name might suggest, X. megalospora has larger spores that are visible with a microscope. For a simple field ID, if the mushroom has a brown cap, call it X. furfuracea. If you have a lighter tan or whitish cap, call it X. megalospora.

Lookalikes: 

Xerula furfuracea

Pictures:

 

Xerula megalospora

Xerula megalospora

Yard in Bloomington, IN - 8/30/11 - Ground was too tough to get the roots

Xerula megalospora

5/14/12 - Griffy Reservoir - Bloomington, IN