(Jacq.) Fr. (1838)
|gills on hymenium|
|cap is convex|
|hymenium is adnate|
|stipe is bare|
|spore print is white|
|ecology is saprotrophic|
Marasmius alliaceus, commonly known as the Garlic Parachute, is one of the larger mushrooms of the genus Marasmius, having a beige cap of up to 4 cm and a long tough slender stipe. It emanates a strong smell of garlic, and this is the significance of the Latin species name, alliaceus. It is distributed throughout Europe, being fairly common in some areas and quite rare in others.
The species can be described as follows. The cap is beige, ochre or flesh-coloured and is 2–4 cm in diameter, sometimes wrinkled; it is somewhat domed in the middle. The gills are whitish and narrowly attached to the stem, and the spore powder is white. The tough dark-coloured stem can be 15 cm tall but is only up to 3 mm in diameter. The stem is velvety (pruinose) and black below, though it may be brown near the top. The strong taste and smell of garlic is a product of the separation of γ-glutamyl-marismin. This mushroom is found in European woods (especially beech woods) from early summer to autumn, growing on fallen leaves and rotting wood.
Related species and possibility of confusion
M. alliaceus gives its name to the section Alliacei of the genus, consisting of a few closely related species, not all of which have a garlic smell. Of those that do smell of garlic, the most likely to be confused is the fairly common M. scorodonius, which is distinguished by a bare shiny red-brown stem. M. prasiosmus (synonym: M. querceus) has a velvety stem like M. alliaceus, but the colour is purple-brown and it has a hot taste.
Garlic-smelling Alliacei species also occur in America; examples are M. perlongispermus and M. copelandii.
The cap of M. alliaceus is edible, but of limited culinary value due to its meagre flesh. It can be added to dishes to give a garlic flavour, which could be useful for people who are allergic to real garlic.
- Régis Courtecuisse, Bernard Duhem : Guide des champignons de France et d'Europe (Delachaux & Niestlé, 1994-2000), also available in English. ISBN 2-603-00953-2
- Marcel Bon: The Mushrooms and Toadstools of Britain and North-Western Europe Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 0-340-39935-X.
- Meinhard Moser, translated by Simon Plant: Keys to Agarics and Boleti (Roger Phillips 1983) ISBN 0-9508486-0-3
- See entry in Mycorance site.
- See Marasmius perlongispermus page from species list of "Macrofungi of Costa Rica" site by Roy E. Halling and Gregory M. Mueller.