Conical Brittlestem – Parasola Conopilus

This little clump of slender brown mushrooms had a lovely fairy tale look about them nestled in the moss on a damp and gloomy day.

This particular clump is a little past its best, which is often the case with the fungi you come across when rambling, making identification a bit more challenging! However, the long slender stems, brown conical caps with fine striations visible along the bottom edge, and the environment in which they’re growing lead me to be reasonably confident in identifying these as Conical Brittlestem mushrooms, Parasola conopilus.

This is a common fungus in the UK, and can be found growing on deciduous wood, either on tree stems or stumps as pictured here, or on buried twigs and branches in grassland.

When they are still fresh, the long stems have a pale white-ish colour. The caps can vary in colour from a dark chestnut brown in damp conditions to a pale beige in dry conditions. This is a common feature of hygroscopic fungi, and a good tip to be aware of if you are interested in getting to know your mushrooms.

By Chris Eyles, Senior Warden for Exmoor

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