Kees Uljé Coprinus site

Coprinus urticicola (B. & Br.) Buller var. urticicola - (NL: Witte halminktzwam, 026.07.0)

Coprinus urticicola (B. & Br.) Buller, Trans. Br. mycol. Soc. 5 (1917) 485;
Agaricus urticicola B. & Br. (as urticaecola), Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 3 (7) (1861) 376; Coprinus brassicae Peck, Rep. N.Y. St. Mus. nat. Hist. 43 (1890) 64. Coprinus melo J. Favre, Ass. fong. Hauts-Marais (1948) 215. Coprinus suburticicola PilŠt & Svrcek, Cesk Mykol. 21 (1967) 140.
Selected icons: Breitenb. & Kršnzl., Pilze Schweiz 4 (1995) 252, pl. 306; Cetto, Funghi Vero 5 (1987) pl. 1724.

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Macroscopic features

  Pileus 3-6(-8) x 2-4 mm when still closed, up to 13 mm when expanded, at first (sub)globose, ellipsoid, ovoid or conical, pure white. Veil white, breaking up in small, woolly-hairy scales. Lamellae, L = c. 35, l = 0-3, crowded, free, first white, then grey to blackish. Stipe up to 30 x 0.5-1 mm, white, greyish white, somewhat floccose above the slightly clavate base.

Microscopic features

  Spores [480,24,22] 5.3-8.9 x 4.3-6.7 µm, subglobose to ellipsoid and then often somewhat conical to base and apex, rounded at apex, rather pale red-brown, with central, 1.0-1.5 µm wide germ pore; Q = 1.10-1.65, av. Q = 1.25-1.45; av. L = 6.0-8.1, av. B = 4.8-6.0 µm. Basidia 10-23 x 6-8.5 µm, 4-spored, surrounded by (3-)4-6 pseudoparaphyses. Pleurocystidia 40-70 x 10-15 µm, (sub)cylindrical, (narrowly) utriform, oblong, ellipsoid or narrowly conical. Cheilocystidia 30-65 x 10-14 µm, similar to pleurocystidia. Elements of veil thin-walled, diverticulate, 2-8 µm wide; walls slightly to strongly incrusted. Clamp-connections absent.

Habitat & distribution

  Solitary or a few together, on grasses and herbs, sometimes on wood. Common in Europe. Recorded from Canada, U.S.A.


  Coprinus urticicola is a common species in hay-fields with abundant dead grasses; also rather common in Phragmites lands. The species can be recognized by the small, pure white basidiocarps with woolly scales of veil. Microscopically the often conical, ellipsoid or ovoid, pale coloured spores and thin-walled elements of veil are good characters to identify Coprinus urticicola. The microscopical characters of the types of Coprinus melo and C. suburticicola are similar to those of C. urticicola, and these species are therefore considered synonyms. Since the description of Coprinus brassicae Peck (1890: 64) also agrees very well with C. urticicola, this species is also listed among the synonyms.

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Edited for the Web with help from Marek Snowarski Fungi of Poland site