Plums and Custard
Cap: 3-10cm across Stem: 4-8cm in length, 1-3cm diameter
meaning 'like a Tricholoma' which contains similar shaped mushrooms.
meaning 'becoming red'
Overall: in our opinion one of the most attractive mushroom species we have in the UK, the bright plum purple and custard yellow are a real contrast and brighten up any fungi foray. nearly always found on rotting coniferous stumps and trunks.
Stem: Usually the same colour as the cap but can vary, usually paler near the stem apex. Often looking like it is made up of many 'scales'.
Flesh: Yellow but can fade and be almost white in some specimens. no distinctive smell or colour change. Usually stronger colour above the gills.
Gills: custard yellow but can become paler as specimens mature as the spores of this species are white. Rather crowded gills with many 'half' gills coming from the cap edge in.
Cap: when it starts the cap is rounded and a lovely velvety plum purple, becoming paler as it matures. Where it cracks or has been nibbled some yellow flesh maybe visible.
OVERALL: this beautiful mushroom with a name of Plums and Custard is sadly not edible. It is a species one would expect to find in woodlands that have rotting coniferous wood in them, where it often grows on rotting stumps and trunks. The contrasting plum colour of the cap against the custard yellow of the gills is very distinctive and once seen is not forgotten. Despite it having yellow gills the spore print is white, proving that gill colour alone can not be used to gauge what colour the spores will be, if in doubt always perform a spore print.
HABITAT: Grows on the wood of rotting coniferous trees, very occasionally decidious trees. Sometimes appearing to grow from the ground but it is actually attached to some buried wood just under the surface.
DISTRIBUTION: Found across the UK, it never seems abundant in any one area but in conifer plantations and woods you can often find some on rotting coniferous wood.
SEASON: late summer to late autumn.
EDIBILITY: Inedible, considered by many to be too bitter and foul tasting, some people have suffered reactions to it.
SMELL: Not distinctive.
SPORE PRINT: White.
SIMILAR SPECIES: The much rarer Prunes and Custard (Tricholomopsis decora), also grows on Pine stumps and branches but is much more yellow in appearance, it is mainly found in Scotland and is very rare in England.
SYNONYMS: Agaricus rutilans Schaeff., Agaricus xerampelinus Sowerby, Tricholomopsis rutilans (Schaeff. ex Fr.) Singer, Gymnopus rutilans (Schaeff.) Gray, Tricholoma rutilans (Schaeff.) P. Kumm.