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Inocybe (Fiber caps)
Inocybe rimosa.jpg
Inocybe rimosa
Scientific classification

(Fr.) Fr. (1863)
Type species
Inocybe relicina
(Fr.) Quél. (1888)
  • Agaricus trib. Inocybe Fr. (1821)
  • Agaricus subgen. Clypeus Britzelm. (1881)
  • Astrosporina J.Schröt. (1889)
  • Clypeus (Britzelm.) Fayod (1889)
  • Agmocybe Earle (1909)
  • Inocibium Earle (1909)
  • Astrosporina S.Imai (1938)
  • Inocybella Zerova (1974)

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.


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”).[2]


The genus was first described as Agaricus trib. Inocybe by the famous 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 [3]


Metuloid-type cystidium, an identifying micromorphological characteristic of Inocybe.

Typical mushrooms of the genus are any of 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 raised central knob or umbo. The cap often appears fibrous or frayed, 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:

  • The small to medium size pilleus is in the small, thin, big fleshy, initially stretched conical or bell-shaped, then flattened, or flattened, or with a fairly prominent sharp or flattened gurgle in the center. It is not hygrophanous and has a dry appearance. In the beginning, the edge often shows a pale, curving curve, and in the old age does not show short radial cracks to the depths. The cuticle is in a youthful, brutish, silky, and sometimes sprinkled with partial wound remnants, further developing radial fibers. There are also species with a woolly-peeling surface. Coloring is at first on almost all white to gray-whitish varieties. Some retain color, others change, varying between ocher-yellowish and brown, various shapes, even lilac-like to purple.
  • The lamellas: are dense, thick and bulky, with short intermediate legs at the edge and only weakly attached to the foot, almost loose. Coloring is in many white starters, which becomes mature gray-brown, ocher-brown or gray-olive. The edges are whitish or white-flocked.
  • The 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. Basidias are tertrasporics. Cisterns with or without crystalline fossil are fusiform, bulging in the middle and with a tumbling at the top.
  • The stipe: it is thin, fibrous, cylindrical, more or less thicker and white-colored at the base as fast as the inside. The surface is whitish, smooth, glossy, and often bruised or faint to the hat. It usually does not have a ring.
  • The context: White to slightly yellowish, oxidized or not in reddish on cutting, always having a faint smell to disgusting sperm, the taste being sweet. It contains muscarin .


Originally placed in the family Cortinariaceae (later shown to be polyphyletic[4][5]), phylogenetic analyses suggests that the genus is better placed as the type genus of the family Inocybaceae.[6]


Inocybe species are not considered suitable for consumption, although in some underdeveloped countries certain species of Inocybe mushrooms are eaten.[citation needed] 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,[7] having been found to contain psilocybin, including Inocybe aeruginascens which also contains aeruginascine (N, N, N-trimethyl-4-phosphoryloxytryptamine).

Sections or subgenera[8][edit]

Two supersections are informally recognized:[9] 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 morphology[edit]

The genus of the Inocybe is very species-rich. The genus is divided according to Bon (2005[10]) 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
    • Section: Lilacinae: cap lilac, wool-peel surface, and scaly. Common.
    • Section: Lacerae: non- rimose stipe, no liliac shades.
    • Section: Tardae: stipe only bumpy at the top
    • Section: Splendentes: stipe rimed completely or two-thirds.
  • Subgenus: Clypeus - spores tuberculate or star-shaped


There are hundreds of species of Inocybe. Representatives of the genus include:

Images of some genera[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Synonymy: Inocybe (Fr.) Fr". Species Fungorum. CAB International. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  2. ^ Ulloa, Miguel; Aguirre-Acosta, Elvira (2020). Ilustrated generic names of Fungi. APS press. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-89054-618-5.
  3. ^ "Inocybe". Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  4. ^ Moncalvo JM, Lutzoni FM, Rehner SA, Johnson J, Vilgalys R (June 2000). "Phylogenetic relationships of agaric fungi based on nuclear large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences". Syst. Biol. 49 (2): 278–305. doi:10.1093/sysbio/49.2.278. PMID 12118409.
  5. ^ Moncalvo JM, Vilgalys R, Redhead SA, Johnson JE, James TY, Catherine Aime M, Hofstetter V, Verduin SJ, Larsson E, Baroni TJ, Greg Thorn R, Jacobsson S, Clémençon H, Miller OK (June 2002). "One hundred and seventeen clades of euagarics". Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 23 (3): 357–400. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00027-1. PMID 12099793.
  6. ^ Matheny PB (April 2005). "Improving phylogenetic inference of mushrooms with RPB1 and RPB2 nucleotide sequences (Inocybe; Agaricales)". Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 35 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.11.014. PMID 15737578.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Inocybaceae genera". Retrieved 3 April 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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)

Further reading[edit]

  • 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).

External links[edit]