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Inocybe rimosa
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Inocybaceae
Genus: Inocybe
(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 varieties. 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 tribe 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.[3]


Metuloid-type cystidium, an identifying micromorphological characteristic of Inocybe

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.
  • Lamellae: are dense, thick and crowded, with short intermediate sinus at the edge and only weakly attached to the stipe, almost free. Coloring is mainly 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.



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]



Many Inocybe 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 neurotoxic, several rare species of Inocybe are hallucinogenic, having been found to contain indole alkaloids.[7]

Sections or subgenera



Two supersections are informally recognized:[9] Cortinate supersection: The stipe is only pruinose at 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 cap. Marginate supersection: The stipe are entirely pruinose and has a bulbose base as general.

Several genera are recognized within the family Inocybaceae:


This subgenus 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 subgenus has no 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 fruiting bodies of this subgenus usually have a distinct odor (fruity, honey-like, fishy). The pileus is radially rimose ("Rimosae") or can be squamulose to squarrose ("Cervicolores"). The lamella has no 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 there are also cheilocystidia as terminal elements. Spores smooth. Wide distribution


The lamellae have no pleurocystidia but there are cheilocystidia. Spores smooth. Known from tropical India.


Fruitbodies have indistinct, spermatic or green corn odor. The pileus is radially rimose or rimulose, never squarrulose and rarely squamulose. Pleurocystidia are absent and cheilocystida are present. Spores smooth. Wide distribution.


Small fruiting bodies with tubarioid or omphalinoid habit. Decurrent lamellae and cheilocystiidia present. Spores smooth. Known from mediterranean and tropical Africa.

Sections based in morphology


The genus Inocybe is very species-rich. The genus is divided according to Bon (2005[10]) into three subgenera with sections:

  • Subgenus: Inosperma (now a separate genus) - without crystal-bearing cystidia
  • 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



It is estimated that there are ca. 1050 species within Inocybe.[11] Representatives of the genus include:

Images of selected species



  1. ^ a b "Synonymy: Inocybe (Fr.) Fr". Species Fungorum. CAB International. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  2. ^ Ulloa, Miguel; Aguirre-Acosta, Elvira (2020). Illustrated generic names of Fungi. APS press. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-89054-618-5.
  3. ^ "Inocybe". mycobank.org. 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. ^ Gotvaldova, Klara; Borovicka, Jan; Hajkova, Katerina; Cihlarova, Petra; Rockefeller, Alan; Kuchar, Martin (2022). "Extensive Collection of Psychotropic Mushrooms with Determination of Their Tryptamine Alkaloids". International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 23 (22): 14068. doi:10.3390/ijms232214068. ISSN 1422-0067. PMC 9693126. PMID 36430546.
  8. ^ "Inocybaceae genera". inocybaceae.org. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  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. Bibcode:2019MycPr..18..247B. doi:10.1007/s11557-018-1439-9. ISSN 1861-8952. S2CID 53085519.
  10. ^ Pareys Buch der Pilze : über 1500 Pilze Europas. Bon, Marcel., Wilkinson, John., Lohmeyer, Till R. Stuttgart: Kosmos. 2005. ISBN 9783440099704. OCLC 181441359.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  11. ^ Csizmár, M.; Cseh, P.; Dima, B.; Assamere, A.; Orlóci, L.; Bratek, Z. (2023). "Contribution to the Taxonomic Knowledge of the Family Inocybaceae in Budapest, Hungary" (PDF). Applied Ecology and Environmental Research. 21 (1): 409–420. doi:10.15666/aeer/2101_409420. S2CID 256756052.

Further reading

  • 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).