Honey Fungus – Armillaria mellea

Fungi of the Week

1st October 2019 | Info

Common name: Honey fungus

Scientific name: Armillaria mellea

Introduction: Honey fungus is a native fungus that has parasitic qualities.



Cap: Typically honey-coloured (yellowy-brown) and is convex at first but flattens as it matures. Occasionally will have concentric circles of darker scales.

Gills: Linked to the stem and begin white. As the fungus matures, it turns to a deep yellow to brown colour.

Stem: There can be thick or slender stems. Thicker stems are scaly and are white before turning to a yellow-brown colour. Slimmer stems are typically smoother and begin white before turning to yellow and then a red-brown. 

Spores: Ellipsoid and begin white before darkening into a pinkish-brown.

Flesh: White.

Group: Physalacriaceae.

Habitat: Honey Fungus typically grows in huge clusters on the trunks and stumps of many tree species. Unusually, these fungi can live on trees that are dead or alive. It can commonly be found on trees such as Birch, Cedar and Apple trees. Honey fungus can however also be found in the grass as its rhizomorphs spread to find more trees to infect. 

Significance to Trees: Honey Fungus is considered to be one of the most dangerous fungi that affect trees. It’s parasitic, pathogenic and can affect a large number of broad-leaved and coniferous trees. It causes one of the most common root diseases (armillaria root rot) which can lead to the death of a tree or brittle fractures at its base. 

Source: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=180

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