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Hebeloma crustuliniforme

Hebeloma crustuliniforme
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Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is umbonate
hymenium is adnate
stipe is bare
spore print is brown
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: poisonous

Hebeloma crustuliniforme, commonly known as poison pie or fairy cakes, is a gilled mushroom of the genus Hebeloma found in Europe and North America, and has been introduced into Australia. Its specific name derives from the Latin crustulum or little biscuit. It is moderately poisonous.[1]


The buff to pale tan cap is 4-10 cm in diameter, convex then umbonate with an inrolled cap margin until old. The gills are pale grey-brown and exude droplets in moist conditions. The stipe is 4-7 cm high and bears no ring, while the thick flesh is white. The fungus has a radish-like smell and bitter taste.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

A common mushroom, Hebeloma crustuliniforme can be found in open woodland and heathland in summer and autumn, though may extend through winter in places with milder winters such as California.[3]


This fungus is poisonous, the symptoms being those of a severe gastrointestinal nature, namely vomiting, diarrhea and colicky abdominal pain several hours after consumption.[4] The toxic agents have not been identified.[5][6]


  1. ^ Nilsson, S. & Persson, O. (1977) Fungi of Northern Europe 2: Gill Fungi. Penguin Books.
  2. ^ Phillips R (1985). Mushrooms of Great Britain and Europe. Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-26441-9. 
  3. ^ Phillips R (1991). Mushrooms of North America. Little, Brown & Co. ISBN. 
  4. ^ North, Pamela (1967). Poisonous Plants and Fungi in colour. Blandford Press & Pharmacological Society of Great Britain. 
  5. ^ Benjamin DR. Hebeloma crustuliniforme. pp. 362–363.  in: Mushrooms: poisons and panaceas — a handbook for naturalists, mycologists and physicians. New York: WH Freeman and Company. 1995. 
  6. ^ Price HW (1927) Mushroom poisoning due to Hebeloma crustuliniforme American Journal of Diseases of Childhood 34 441-442


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