Cystoderma amianthinum

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Cystoderma amianthinum
Amiant-Körnchenschirmling Cystoderma amianthinum.jpg
Scientific classification
C. amianthinum
Binomial name
Cystoderma amianthinum
(Scop.) Fayod (1889)
  • Agaricus amianthinus Scop. (1772)
Cystoderma amianthinum
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
gills on hymenium
cap is convex or umbonate
hymenium is adnexed
stipe has a ring
spore print is white
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: edible, but unpalatable

Cystoderma amianthinum, commonly called the saffron parasol, the saffron powder-cap, or the earthy powder-cap, is a small orange-ochre, or yellowish-brown, gilled mushroom. It grows in damp mossy grassland, in coniferous forest clearings, or on wooded heaths. It is probably the most common of the small genus Cystoderma. Possibly edible, it is not recommended due to its unpleasant odour and resemblance to poisonous species.


Cystoderma amianthinum was first noted by the Italian-Austrian naturalist Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, who called it Agaricus amianthinus in 1772. The present generic name Cystoderma was erected by Swiss mycologist Victor Fayod in 1889, and is roughly translated as 'blistered skin', and is probably a reference to the appearance of the pellicle (cap skin).[1]


The cap is usually between 2 and 5 cm (1 and 2 in) in diameter, convex to bell-shaped, and later flat with a slight depression around a low umbo (central boss). It is dry and powdery, often with a shaggy or fringed margin (appendiculate), and is saffron-yellow or orange-ochre. The stem is cylindrical, and has a flaky-granular sheath beneath a fleeting, powdery ring. The gills are white initially, and become creamy later. They are adnexed (narrowly attached to the stem), and initially quite crowded.[2] The spore print is white.[3] The flesh is thin and yellowish, with an unpleasant mouldy smell.

A very similar form with a markedly radially wrinkled cap, has been separated by some authors, and given the binomial Cystoderma rugoso-reticulatum.[2]

Cystodermella granulosa, and Cystodermella cinnabarina are both redder as a rule, and have adnate gills (broadly attached to the stem).[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Cystoderma amianthinum is widespread in Europe and North America, and common in northern temperate zones. It occurs in mossy woodland, on heaths, amongst grass or bracken, and sometimes with willow.[4] It is often found on acidic soils.[5]


Cystoderma amianthinum is said to be edible, but of poor quality, and caution is strongly advised as the deadly toxic Lepiota castanea is a common lookalike.


  1. ^ David Arora (1986). Mushrooms Demystified. Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0-89815-169-4.
  2. ^ a b Helmut and Renate Grunert (1992). Field Guide to MUSHROOMS of Britain and Europe (English Edition). The Crowood Press Ltd. ISBN 1-85223-592-6.
  3. ^ a b Roger Phillips (2006). Mushrooms. Pan MacMillan. p. 138. ISBN 0-330-44237-6.
  4. ^ Thomas Laessoe (1998). Mushrooms (flexi bound). Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0-7513-1070-0.
  5. ^ Regis Courtecuisse and Bernard Duhem (1995). Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and Europe. Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-220025-2.