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Inocybe is a large, complex genus of mushrooms. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Typical mushrooms of the genus are any of 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 raised central knob. The cap often appears fibrous or frayed, giving the genus its common name of “fiber caps”. Many species have a distinctive odor, various described as musty or spermatic.

Classification

Originally placed in the family Cortinariaceae (later shown to be polyphyletic[1][2]), phylogenetic analyses suggests that the genus is better placed as the type genus of the family Inocybaceae.[3]

Toxicity

Inocybe species are not considered suitable for consumption, although in some under developed countries certain species Inocybe mushrooms are eaten.[citation needed] Many 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 toxic, seven rare species of Inocybe are hallucinogenic,[4] having been found to contain psilocybin including Inocybe aeruginascens which also contains aeruginascine (N, N, N-trimethyl-4-phosphoryloxytryptamine).

Written on February 14th, 2012 , Botany, Mycology Tags:

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