Flammulaster šipovatyj (Flammulaster muricatus)

  • Division: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
  • Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
  • Family: Inocybaceae (Fibrous)
  • Flammulaster (Flammulaster)
  • Type: Flammulaster muricatus (Flammulaster šipovatyj)


  • Flammulaster prickly
  • Agaricus muricatus Fr.
  • Pholiota muricata (Fr.) P. Kumm.
  • Dryophila muricata (Fr.) Quel.
  • Naucoria muricata (Fr.) Kuehner & Romagn.
  • Phaeomarasmius muricatus (Fr.) Singer
  • Flocculina muricata (Fr.) PD Orton
  • Flammulaster denticulatus P.D. Orton

Full scientific name: Flammulaster muricatus (Fr.) Watling, 1967

taxonomic history:

In 1818, the Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries scientifically described this fungus, giving it the name Agaricus muricatus. Later, the Scotsman Roy Watling transferred this species to the genus Flammulaster in 1967, after which it received its current scientific name Flammulaster muricatus.

head: 4 – 20 mm in diameter, occasionally can reach three centimeters. Initially hemispherical with a curved edge and a felt-grained veil under the plates. As the fruiting body matures, it becomes convex-prostrate with a small tubercle, conical. Red-brown, brown, in dry weather ocher-brown, light brown, later with a rusty tint. With an uneven matte, felted surface, covered with dense, erect, warty scales. The edge is fringed. The color of the scales is the same as the surface of the cap, or darker.

The scales hanging from the edge are grouped into triangular rays, creating the effect of a multi-beam star.

This fact perfectly illustrates the meaning of the Latin genus name. The epithet Flammulaster is derived from the Latin flámmula meaning “flame” and from the Greek ἀστήρ [astér] meaning “star”.

cap pulp thin, fragile, yellow-brown.

Leg: 3-4 cm long and 0,3-0,5 cm in diameter, cylindrical, hollow, slightly widened at the base, often curved. Most of the leg is covered with orange-brown, spiny scales. The bottom is darker. In the upper part of the stem, in most cases, there is an annular zone, above which the surface is smoother, without scales.

Pulp in the leg fibrous, brownish.

Records: adnate with a tooth, medium frequency, with a light yellowish jagged edge, matte, with numerous plates. Young mushrooms have a light ocher color, turning brown with age, sometimes with an olive tint, later with rusty spots.

Smell: in some sources there is a very faint smell of pelargonium (room geranium). Other sources characterize the smell as rare.

Taste not expressive, can be bitter.


Spores: 5,8-7,0 × 3,4-4,3 µm; Qm = 1,6. Thick-walled, ellipsoidal or slightly ovoid, and sometimes slightly flattened on one side, smooth, straw-yellow in color, with a noticeable sprouting pore.

Basidia: 17–32 × 7–10 µm, short, club-shaped. Four-spored, rarely two-spored.

Cystids: 30–70 × 4–9 µm, cylindrical, straight or sinuous, colorless or with yellowish-brown contents.

Pileipellis: consists of spherical, oblique pear-shaped elements 35 – 50 microns, with brown inlay.

spore powder: rusty brown.

Spiny Flammulaster is a saprotrophic fungus. Grows singly and in small groups on decaying hardwood: beech, birch, alder, aspen. It can also be found on bark, sawdust, and even on weakened living trunks.

Shady deciduous forests with lots of deadwood are its favorite habitats.

Fruiting from June to October (massively in July and in the second half of August).

Pretty rare mushroom.

Flammulaster muricatus can be found in many parts of central and southern continental Europe, as well as southern Britain and Ireland. In Western Siberia recorded in Tomsk and Novosibirsk regions and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug.

Extremely rare in North America. Finds reported in Hocking Forest Reserve, Ohio, California, and southern Alaska.

And there are also finds in East Africa (Kenya).

It is included in the Red Lists of macromycetes: the Czech Republic in the category EN – endangered species and Switzerland in the category VU – vulnerable.

Unknown. There are no toxicological data reported in the scientific literature.

However, the mushroom is too rare and small to be of any culinary interest. It is better to consider it inedible.

Flammulaster beveled (Flammulaster limulatus)

This small fungus can be found in shady forests on rotten hardwood, which makes it similar to Flammulaster muricatus. They are similar in size as well. Also, both are covered with scales. However, the scales of Flammulaster spiny are noticeably larger and darker. The key difference is the presence of a fringe along the edge of the cap of the Spiky Flammulaster, while the Slanted Flammulaster does without it.

In addition, Flammulaster limulatus does not smell of either geranium or radish, which can be considered another difference between these two similar mushrooms.

Common flake (Pholiota squarrosa)

Outwardly, the Flammulaster is prickly, at a young age it can be mistaken for a small scaly. The key word here is “small”, and that’s the difference. Although outwardly they are very similar, Pholiota squarrosa are mushrooms with larger fruiting bodies, even young ones. In addition, they grow in bunches, while Flammulaster is a single mushroom.

Phaeomarasmius erinaceus (Phaeomarasmius erinaceus)

This fungus is a saprotroph on dead trunks, mostly willows. When describing Theomarasmius, the same macrofeatures are used as for Flammulaster prickly: a reddish-brown semicircular cap covered with scales with a fringed edge, a scaly stalk with an annular zone above which is smooth. Because of this, it is difficult to describe the differences between these species.

However, if you look closely, you can see the difference. First of all, Phaeomarasmius erinaceus is an even smaller fungus than Flammulaster muricatus. Usually no more than a centimeter. The scales on the stem are small, felty, and not spiny, as in Flammulaster. It is also distinguished by dense rubbery pulp and lack of smell and taste.

Photo: Sergey.

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