Hypholoma fasciculare

Hypholoma fasciculare, commonly known as the sulphur tuft or clustered woodlover, is a common woodland mushroom, often in evidence when hardly any other mushrooms are to be found. This saprotrophic small gill fungus grows prolifically in large clumps on stumps, dead roots or rotting trunks of broadleaved trees.

Hypholoma fasciculare
Hypholoma fasciculare Queteraro.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Strophariaceae
Genus: Hypholoma
H. fasciculare
Binomial name
Hypholoma fasciculare
(Huds.:Fr.) P.Kumm. (1871)
  • Agaricus fascicularis Huds. (1778)
  • Naematoloma fasciculare (Huds.) P.Karst. (1880)
Hypholoma fasciculare
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Gills on hymenium
Cap is convex
Hymenium is adnate
Stipe has a ring
Spore print is purple-brown
Ecology is saprotrophic
Edibility: poisonous

The "sulphur tuft" is bitter and poisonous; consuming it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and convulsions. The principal toxin is a steroid known as fasciculol E.[1]

Taxonomy and namingEdit

The specific epithet is derived from the Latin fascicularis 'in bundles' or 'clustered',[2] referring to its habit of growing in clumps. Its name in Japanese is Nigakuritake (苦栗茸, means "Bitter kuritake").


The hemispherical cap ranges from 2–6 cm (342+38 in) in diameter. It is smooth and sulphur yellow[3] with an orange-brown centre and whitish margin. The crowded gills are initially yellow but darken to a distinctive green colour as the blackish spores develop on the yellow flesh. It has a purple-brown spore print.[4] The stipe is 3–10 cm (1+183+78 in) tall and 4–10 mm wide,[3] light yellow, orange-brown below, often with an indistinct ring zone coloured dark by the spores. The taste is very bitter,[5] though not bitter when cooked, but still poisonous.

Similar speciesEdit

The edible Hypholoma capnoides is similar, but lacks the greenish-yellow gills and bitter taste.[3] H. sublateritium is similar as well, with a reddish cap.[5]

Distribution and habitatEdit

Hypholoma fasciculare grows prolifically on the dead wood of both deciduous and coniferous trees. It is more commonly found on decaying deciduous wood due to the lower lignin content of this wood relative to coniferous wood. Hypholoma fasciculare is widespread and abundant in northern Europe and North America. It has been recorded from Iran,[6] and also eastern Anatolia in Turkey.[7] It can appear anytime from spring to autumn.[4]

Use in forestryEdit

Hypholoma fasciculare has been used successfully as an experimental treatment to competitively displace a common fungal disease of conifers, Armillaria solidipes, from managed coniferous forests.[8]

Chemistry and toxicityEdit

Fasciculols, the toxic constituents of Hypholoma fasciculare mushrooms

The toxicity of sulfur tuft mushrooms has been attributed, at least partially, to steroid depsipeptides fasciculol E and fasciculol F (in mice, with LD50(i.p.) values of 50 mg/kg and 168 mg/kg, respectively).[9] In humans, symptoms may be delayed for 5–10 hours after consumption, after which time there may be diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, proteinuria and collapse. Paralysis and impaired vision have been recorded. Symptoms generally resolve over a few days. The autopsy of one fatality revealed fulminant hepatitis reminiscent of amatoxin poisoning, along with involvement of kidneys and myocardium. The mushroom was consumed in a dish with other species so the death cannot be attributed to sulfur tuft with certainty.[10]

Extracts of the mushroom show anticoagulant effects.[11]



  1. ^ "Grünblättriger Schwefelkopf (Hypholoma fasciculare) im GIFTPFLANZEN.COMpendium - www.giftpflanzen.com". giftpflanzen.com.
  2. ^ Simpson, D.P. (1979). Cassell's Latin Dictionary (5 ed.). London: Cassell Ltd. p. 883. ISBN 0-304-52257-0.
  3. ^ a b c Davis, R. Michael; Sommer, Robert; Menge, John A. (2012). Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 215–216. ISBN 978-0-520-95360-4. OCLC 797915861.
  4. ^ a b Nilsson, Sven; Persson, Olle (1977). Fungi of Northern Europe 2: Gill-Fungi. Penguin, New York. ISBN 0-14-063006-6.
  5. ^ a b Trudell, Steve; Ammirati, Joe (2009). Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. Timber Press Field Guides. Portland, OR: Timber Press. pp. 206–207. ISBN 978-0-88192-935-5.
  6. ^ Asef Shayan, M.R. (2010). قارچهای سمی ایران (Qarch-ha-ye Sammi-ye Iran) [Poisonous mushrooms of Iran] (in Persian). Iran shenasi. p. 214. ISBN 978-964-2725-29-8.
  7. ^ Demirel K, Uzun Y, Kaya A (2004). "Some Poisonous Fungi of East Anatolia" (PDF). Turk J Bot. 28: 215–19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-05-05. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  8. ^ Chapman, Bill; Xiao, Guoping; Myers, Sheldan (2004). "Early results from field trials using Hypholoma fasciculare to reduce Armillaria ostoyae root disease". Canadian Journal of Botany. 82 (7): 962–9. doi:10.1139/b04-078.
  9. ^ Suzuki, Kumiko; Fujimoto, Haruhiro; Yamazaki, Mikio (1983). "The toxic principles of Naematoloma fasciculare". Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 31 (6): 2176–8. doi:10.1248/cpb.31.2176. PMID 6685576.
  10. ^ Benjamin, Denis R. (1995). Mushrooms: poisons and panaceas — a handbook for naturalists, mycologists and physicians. New York: WH Freeman and Company. pp. 381–82. ISBN 0-7167-2600-9.
  11. ^ Doljak, B.; Stegnar, M.; Urleb, U.; Kreft, S.; Umek, A.; Ciglarič, M.; Štrukelj, B.; Popovič, T. (2001). "Screening for selective thrombin inhibitors in mushrooms". Blood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis. 12 (2): 123–8. doi:10.1097/00001721-200103000-00006. PMID 11302474. S2CID 28411589.

External linksEdit