Wild "Poisonous" Plant Of The Week 9 - Fool's Funnel

Botanical name: Clitocybe rivulosa

Common names: False Champignon, Fool's Funnel

Seasonality: Summer to Autumn in the UK.

Fools Funnel mushroom

Habitat: The Fool's Funnel prefers open grassland where it often forms fairy rings. The grasses in and around a fairy ring formation is said to be more verdent than normal.

Identification:The body fruit appears as a small white mushroom with a funnel shaped cap. When young, the fruit may appear more brown in colour with a trasluscent aspect. As the specimen matures and dries out, the flesh becomes more uniformly white. The surface may appear to have a cracked appearance. The mushroom may have a frosted appearance. According to the "mushroomdiary.co.uk", when the flesh of the False Champignon is crushed, it emitts a sweetish odour. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands afterwards! The gills are white with pinkish specs.

Toxicity: Quite. Shortly after ingestion, the person will begin to suffer with greatly increased salivation, sweating and lacrimation (production of tears). With the consumption of larger doses, the patient may begin to suffer with nausea, abdominal cramping, blurred vision, laboured breathing and diarrhea. Fatal heart failure may occur but is rare.

Fortunately, most cases of clitocybe poisoning are not fatal and the above symptoms may gradually subside over the course of two to three hours. Always do seek medical treatment if you suspect ingestion of poisonous material.

Photos courtesy of Andreas Kunze via Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution