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Conocybe apala is a basidiomycete fungus and a member of Conocybe. It is a fairly common fungus, both in North America and Europe, found growing among short green grass. Until recently, the species was also commonly called Conocybe lactea or Conocybe albipes and is colloquially known as the white dunce cap .[1] Another common synonym, Bolbitius albipes G.H. Otth 1871, places the fungus in the genus Bolbitius.

Conocybe apala
Conocybe lactea.jpg
Scientific classification
C. apala
Binomial name
Conocybe apala
((Fr.) Arnolds, 2003)

Conocybe lactea
Conocybe lactea var. huijsmanii
Conocybe lateritia
Conocybe albipes
Bolbitius albipes
Bolbitius tener

Conocybe apala
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is conical
hymenium is adnexed or free
stipe is bare
spore print is brown to reddish-brown
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: poisonous



Easily missed due to their very small size, C. apala fruit bodies are otherwise quite easy to identify. The cap has a pale cream to silvery-white colour and may sometimes have a darker yellow to brown coloration towards the central umbo. Its trademark hood-shaped conical cap expands with age and may flatten out, the surface being marked by minute radiating ridges. The cap can be up to 3 cm in diameter. The gills may be visible through the thin cap and these are coloured rust or cinnamon brown and quite dense. They are adnexed or free and release brown to reddish-brown elliptical spores producing a spore print of the same colour. The stem is cap-coloured, elongated, thin, hollow and more or less equal along its length with a height up to 11 cm and diameter 0.1 to 0.3 cm.[2][3] It can bear minuscule striations or hairs. The flesh of C. apala has no discernible taste or smell and is extremely fragile to the touch.


C. apala is a saprobe found in areas with rich soil and short grass such as pastures, playing fields, lawns, meadows as well as rotting manured straw, fruiting single or sparingly few ephemeral bodies. It is commonly found fruiting during humid, rainy weather with generally overcast skies. It will appear on sunny mornings while there is dew but will not persist once it evaporates. In most cases, by midday the delicate fruiting bodies shrivel, dry and fade from sight. C.apala's fruiting season begins in spring and ends in autumn.[2] It is distributed across Europe and North America.[4]


While it has not caused deaths, it is toxic, containing phallotoxins [5]

External links and resourcesEdit

  1. ^ Index Fungorum - Names Record
  2. ^ a b "Conocybe albipes at Mushroom Expert". Mushroom Expert. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  3. ^ M. Jordan (1995). The Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe. David & Charles. p. 249. ISBN 0-7153-0129-2.
  4. ^ "Conocybe lactea at Rogers Mushrooms". Rogers Mushrooms. Archived from the original on November 18, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
  5. ^ Hallen, Heather E.; Watling, Roy; Adams, Gerard C. (2003). "Taxonomy and toxicity of Conocybe lactea and related species". Mycological Research. 107 (8): 969–979. doi:10.1017/S0953756203008190. ISSN 0953-7562.