Onion-stalk Lepiota

Lepiota cepaestipes or Leucocoprinus cepaestipes

Onion-stalk lepiota

Look here! A delicate white mushroom growing in my mulch pile! It just goes to show you, if you never get around to spreading your mulch, it will eventually become a garden of its own!

This diminutive species is common in urban areas because it likes to grow in wood chips. The household name for it is Onion-stalk lepiota, because the stem resembles a young onion stalk.

One thing’s for sure, Lepiota cepaestipes grows quickly. Over the course of one day it morphs from the tiny “egg” stage, to a beautiful bell-shape. Within a few more hours it flattens out to a lovely parasol shape. The fully-opened cap may have a raised area in the center, called an umbo.

The caps are white or cream-colored, and usually have a dark-colored, gray/brown central disk. Look closely and you’ll notice the surface of the younger caps have a granular texture; they will later develop tan scales. The edge of the cap is lined with fine striations.

Turn the cap over and the gills underneath are white and free from the stem; the color fades quickly to off-white or beige. The spore print is white.

Onion stalked lepiotaThe stipe, or stalk, is initially white, fading to pink with age. It usually shows a ring leftover from a partial veil. 

At full size, Lepiota cepaestipes measures about 2 inches in height; the caps will be 1 to 2 inches wide. 

Look for Onion-stalk lepiota late in the summer or in the fall. As I noted earlier, it often grows on mulch in urban ares or on woody litter in the forest.

The photos below were taken in mid-September in Blacksburg.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. jimwdollar says:

    Hi Gloria, I think you might like the work of a friend of mine (If you don’t know him already). Here is his WordPress site: http://www.jfowlerphotography.com/

    And I’m sending him yours.

    Happy photoing!

    –Jim Dollar

    1. Gloria says:

      Hi Jim! Indeed! I discovered his website last week when I was researching a new orchid that I found. Wow! He’s an outstanding photographer! I’d love to meet him some day. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Fascinating things, Gloria. They make me think of a ballerina’s skirt, not the tutu but the longer version in classic ballet.

    1. Gloria says:

      Yes, so dainty and pretty! Like tulle and lace 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s