Inocybe is a large genus of mushroom-forming fungi with over 1400 species, including all forms and variations. Members of Inocybe are mycorrhizal, and some evidence shows that the high degree of speciation in the genus is due to adaptation to different trees and perhaps even local environments.
|Inocybe (Fiber caps)|
(Fr.) Fr. (1863)
(Fr.) Quél. (1888)
The name Inocybe means "fibrous hat". It is taken from the Greek words ἴς (in the genitive ἴνος, meaning “muscle, nerve, fiber, strength, vigor”) and κύβη (“head”).
The genus was first described as Agaricus trib. Inocybe by Swedish scholar Elias Magnus Fries in volume 1 of his work, Systema mycologicum (1821), and verified in the volume 2 of his book Monographia Hymenomycetum Sueciae in 1863. All other renaming attempts are accepted synonymous 
Typical mushrooms of the genus have various shades of brown, although some lilac or purplish species exist. Caps are small and conical, though flattening somewhat in age, generally with a pronounced central umbo. The cap often appears fibrous, giving the genus its common name of "fiber caps". Many species have a distinctive odor, various described as musty or spermatic.
Description valid for most species:
- Pileus: small to medium size, thin, fleshy, initially narrow conical or bell-shaped, or with a prominent or flattened umbo in the center. It is not hygrophanous and has a dry appearance. The pileus margin often shows at first a pale curtain that disappears quickly, and in old age it often presents short radial cracks. The cuticle is finely silky and sometimes sprinkled with remnants of the partial veil, further developing radial fibers. There are also species with a woolly surface (woolly in Mycological sense). Coloring is at first all white to gray-whitish varieties. Some retain color, others change, varying between ocher-yellowish and brown, various shapes, even lilac-like to purple.
- Lamellas: are dense, thick and crowded, with short intermediate sinus at the edge and only weakly attached to the stipe, almost free. Coloring is manly white at the beginning, which becomes mature turns to gray-brown, ocher-brown or gray-olive. The edges are whitish.
- Spores: they are brownish, tiny, normally oval to slightly ellipsoidal, often elongated in the form of almonds or beans (Clypeus tuberculous or star-shaped subgenus), smooth, never verrucous and germ-free. Basidia are tetrasporic. Cystidia with or without crystalline crystals, spindle-shaped, convex in the middle and with a sharp point at the tip.
- Stipe: it is thin, fibrous, cylindrical, more or less thickened and felt-white at the base, hollow inside. The surface is whitish, smooth, glossy, and often silky and slightly furfuraceous towards the apex of the stipe. It usually does not have a ring.
- Context: white to slightly yellowish, oxidized or not to reddish when cutting, usually having a faint smell of green corn, chlorine or sperm. Commonly the flesh contains muscarine.
Inocybe species are not considered suitable for consumption, although in some underdeveloped countries certain species of Inocybe mushrooms are eaten. Many species contain large doses of muscarine, and no easy method of distinguishing them from potentially edible species exists. In fact, Inocybe is the most commonly encountered mushroom genus for which microscopic characteristics are the only means of certain identification to the species level. While the vast majority of Inocybes are toxic, seven rare species of Inocybe are hallucinogenic, having been found to contain psilocybin, including Inocybe aeruginascens which also contains aeruginascine (N, N, N-trimethyl-4-phosphoryloxytryptamine).
Two supersections are informally recognized: Cortinate supersection: The stipe are no pruinose, only in the apex or the upper half. The stipe base is (generally) not bulbous and a remnant of a cortina is present in the margin of the young caps. Marginate supersection: The stipe are entirely pruinose and has a bulbose base as general.
Also, several subgenera/sections are recognized:
This subgenera has pleurocystidia, usually thick-walled and in the apex has crystals. The basidiospores are smooth or angular-nodulose. The basidia is not necropigmented (basidia that become ochraceous and collapse). The hilar appendice is conspicuous. This subgenera is cosmopolitan and frequent in temperate ecosystems.
This subgenera has not pleurocystidia and has necropigmented basidia. The spores are smooth and the hilar appendix is inconspicuous. Large cheilocystidia (>50 um). This is known from tropical Africa, Tropical, India and temperate Australia.
The sporomes of this subgenera usually has a distinct odor (fruity, honey-like, fishy). The pileus is radially rimose or can be squamulose to squarrose. The lamella has not pleurocystidia, but has cheilocystidia. Basidia necropigmented or not. The spores are smooth. In temperate areas. Wide distribution.
The cap is usually woolly-squamulose, the cap surface is conspicuously darkening with alkali. The lamella broadly adnate to subdecurrent. The stipe is shorter and has not pleurocystidia. The basidia are necropigmented and has cheilocystidia as terminal elements. Spores smooth. Wide distribution
The lamellae has not pleurocystidia but has cheilocystidia. Spores smooth. Known from tropical India.
Fruitbodies has indistinct, spermatic or green corn odor. The pileus is radially rimose or rimulose, never squarrulose and rarely squamulose. The pleurocystidia are absent and the cheilocystida present. Spores smooth. Wide distribution.
Small sporomes with tubarioid or omphalinoid habit. Decurrent lamella and cheilocystiida present. Spores smooth. Known from mediterranean and tropical Africa.
Sections based in morphologyEdit
The genus of the Inocybe is very species-rich. The genus is divided according to Bon (2005) into three subgenera with sections:
- Subgenus: Inosperma - without crystal-bearing cystide
- Subgenus: Inocibium - with thick-walled, crystal-bearing pleurocystidia.
- Section: Lactiferae: red or even greenish, with an extreme odor
- Inocybe piriodora
- Inocybe pudica
- Section: Lilacinae: cap lilac, wool-peel surface, and scaly. Common.
- Inocybe oscura
- Inocybe hystrix
- Inocybe griseolilacin
- Section: Lacerae: non- rimose stipe, no liliac shades.
- Section: Tardae: stipe only bumpy at the top
- Inocybe geophylla
- Inocybe flocculosa
- Inocybe virgatula
- Section: Splendentes: stipe rimed completely or two-thirds.
- Section: Lactiferae: red or even greenish, with an extreme odor
- Subgenus: Clypeus - spores tuberculate or star-shaped
There are hundreds of species of Inocybe. Representatives of the genus include:
- Inocybe aeruginascens (psychoactive)
- Inocybe coelestium (psychoactive)
- Inocybe corydalina var. corydalina Quél. (psychoactive)
- Inocybe corydalina var. erinaceomorpha (psychoactive)
- Inocybe erubescens (= I. patouillardii) red-staining inocybe
- Inocybe geophylla (toxic)
- Inocybe haemacta (psychoactive)
- Inocybe hystrix
- Inocybe lacera
- Inocybe tricolor (psychoactive)
Images of some generaEdit
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- Bandini, Ditte; Oertel, Bernd; Ploch, Sebastian; Ali, Tahir; Vauras, Jukka; Schneider, Anja; Scholler, Markus; Eberhardt, Ursula; Thines, Marco (2019-02-01). "Revision of some central European species of Inocybe (Fr.: Fr.) Fr. subgenus Inocybe, with the description of five new species". Mycological Progress. 18 (1): 247–294. doi:10.1007/s11557-018-1439-9. ISSN 1861-8952. S2CID 53085519.
- Pareys Buch der Pilze : über 1500 Pilze Europas. Bon, Marcel., Wilkinson, John., Lohmeyer, Till R. Stuttgart: Kosmos. 2005. ISBN 9783440099704. OCLC 181441359.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Atkinson, G. F. (1918). "Some new species of Inocybe". American Journal of Botany. 5 (4): 210–218. doi:10.2307/2435009. JSTOR 2435009.
- Cripps, C. L. (1997). "The genus Inocybe in Montana aspen stands". Mycologia. 89 (4): 670–688. doi:10.2307/3761005. JSTOR 3761005.
- Stuntz, D. E. (1978). Interim skeleton key to some common species of Inocybe in the Pacific Northwest. Notes and species descriptions by Gibson, I. (2004).