Trisha Shetty (Editor)


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Kingdom  Fungi
Order  Agaricales
Scientific name  Clitocybe
Rank  genus
Division  Basidiomycota
Family  Tricholomataceae
Higher classification  Tricholomataceae
Clitocybe California Fungi Clitocybe tarda
Lower classifications  Clitocybe nebularis, Clitocybe nuda, Clitocybe odora, Clitocybe dealbata, Ampulloclitocybe clavipes

Clitocybe is a genus of mushrooms characterized by white, off-white, buff, cream, pink, or light-yellow spores, gills running down the stem, and pale white to brown or lilac coloration. They are primarily saprotrophic, decomposing forest ground litter. There are estimated to be around 300 species in the widespread genus.


Clitocybe httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Clitocybe means sloping head.

A few members of the genus are considered edible; many others are poisonous, containing the toxin muscarine among others. Distinguishing individual species of Clitocybe is generally prohibitively difficult to non-experts, requiring the analysis of microscopic characters. Therefore, with the exception of a few charismatic and readily identified members, Clitocybe mushrooms are rarely collected for consumption.

Clitocybe California Fungi Clitocybe tarda

The trooping funnel infundibulicybe clitocybe geotropa


Clitocybe California Fungi Clitocybe nebularis

Clitocybe was originally proposed by Elias Fries in 1821 as a tribe in the genus Agaricus. Friedrich Staude elevated it to generic status in 1857.

Recent molecular work has shown the genus to be polyphyletic, with many members seemingly distantly related and other fungi, such as the field blewit and wood blewit, now known as Clitocybe saeva and C. nuda respectively, are more closely related. As C. nebularis is the Type species, those most distantly related to it would be likely to be reclassified in the future.

In a 2003 paper, Finnish mycologist Harri Harmaja proposed C. geotropa and twelve other Clitocybe species be split off into a new genus Infundibulicybe on the basis of spore properties. He also reclassified C. clavipes in the genus Ampulloclitocybe, that genus name taking precedence over his own proposal Clavicybe. Other former Clitocybe species have been placed in the genera Atractosporocybe, Leucocybe and Rhizocybe.


The consumption of two species, Clitocybe acromelalga from Japan, and Clitocybe amoenolens from France, has led to several cases of mushroom-induced erythromelalgia which lasted from 8 days to 5 months.

Many small Clitocybe species contain the toxin muscarine, which was originally found in small amounts in the famous fly agaric. However, the small white Clitocybe species contain muscarine in dangerous amounts, and two species in particular, the closely related Clitocybe dealbata and Clitocybe rivolusa, contain muscarine in deadly amounts, and deaths have been recorded for eating those two Clitocybe species.

Selected species

  • Clitocybe acromelalga (Japan)
  • Clitocybe agrestis
  • Clitocybe alexandri
  • Clitocybe amarescens
  • Clitocybe amoenolens – poisonous bamboo mushroom (France)
  • Clitocybe brumalis – winter funnel cap
  • Clitocybe candicans
  • Clitocybe candida
  • Clitocybe cerussata
  • Clitocybe cistophila – Europe
  • Clitocybe clavipes – may be edible but poisonous when consumed in conjunction with alcohol
  • Clitocybe dealbata – ivory funnel, sweating mushroom (Europe), poisonous
  • Clitocybe ditopus
  • Clitocybe dilata
  • Clitocybe eccentrica
  • Clitocybe entoloma
  • Clitocybe eucalyptorum
  • Clitocybe fennica
  • Clitocybe fragrans ' – fragrant funnel
  • Clitocybe geotropa – trooping funnel, monk's head agaric
  • Clitocybe glacialis
  • Clitocybe globispora
  • Clitocybe glutiniceps
  • Clitocybe lohjaensis
  • Clitocybe marginella
  • Clitocybe maxima
  • Clitocybe menthiodora
  • Clitocybe nebularis – clouded agaric – considered edible by some, though causes gastric upset in many people
  • Clitocybe nuda – wood blewit – a common edible distinguished in part by its lilac hue
  • Clitocybe odora – aniseed toadstool; grows near birch trees, but can be easily mistaken for poisonous ones mainly because of its appearance
  • Clitocybe paraditopa – Australia
  • Clitocybe parasitica
  • Clitocybe rivulosa – fool's funnel (Europe, North America)
  • Clitocybe ruderalis
  • Clitocybe sclerotoidea
  • Clitocybe strigosa
  • Clitocybe subcordispora
  • Clitocybe truncicola
  • Clitocybe vibecina
  • The bioluminescent jack o'lantern mushroom (Omphalotus olearius) was formerly placed in this genus as Clitocybe illudens.


    An extract of Clitocybe gibba exhibits inhibitory activity on thrombin.


    Clitocybe Wikipedia