Aborted Entoloma

(Entoloma abortivum)

Conservation Status
Aborted Entoloma
Photo by Kirk Nelson
  IUCN Red List

not listed


not listed


not listed


Aborted Entoloma is both a typical mushroom and an infection of other mushrooms. As a typical mushroom, it obtains nutrients from non-living organic matter (saprobic), specifically woody debris and leaf litter. As an infection, it grows with and obtains nutrients from (parasitizes) Honey Mushroom (Armillaria mellea group). When a Honey Mushroom is infected, it forms a lumpy mass called a carpophoroid.

Aborted Entoloma is common and widespread in eastern North America in hardwood forests. It is found from mid-September through October on the ground, scattered or in groups, near decaying wood or in leaf litter. It is most often found with or near Honey Mushrooms. It is easily identified in its aborted (carpophoroid) form, and nearly impossible to identify in its mushroom form.

The cap is ¾ to 3 in diameter and convex at first. It is gray to grayish-brown, hairless, and dry. The margins are rolled under. As it ages it becomes broadly convex or flat, with or without a raised bump in the center.

The stalk is ¾ to 3 long and 3 16to thick. It is solid, hairless or finely hairy, and sometimes somewhat enlarged at the base. The base of the stalk is covered with a white fuzz that is part of the underground, vegetative component (mycelium).

The flesh is white and dense. It is edible but difficult to distinguish from other poisonous Entolomas. For this reason, only the aborted carpophoroid version should be eaten.

The gills are pale gray at first, becoming pink due to a covering of spores. They are close and slightly run down the stalk.

The spore print is pink.

The aborted form is an irregular, often lumpy mass. It is ¾ to 3 high and often depressed in the middle. It is white at first, becoming brownish with age. The flesh is marbled white and pinkish. The stalk, if present, is short. There are no gills.

A carpophoroid is the above-ground structure of a fungus whose development suggests a fruiting body but stops before developing a normal mushroom shape and does not become reproductive. When this fungus was first described, it was thought that the lumpy mass was a Entoloma abortivum (then called Clitopilus abortivus) mushroom that never developed properly. Studies by Roy Walting in 1974 showed it to be a fungus parasitized by another fungus. He concluded that the aborted fruiting body was an E. abortivum mushroom parasitized by a Honey Mushroom (Armillaria mellea group). In 2001, research published in Mycologia (Czederpiltz, Daniel Linder, Thomas J. Volk, and Harold H. Burdsall, Jr. 2001) suggested that the carpophoroid is in reality a Honey Mushroom parasitized by the E. abortivum fungus. This conclusion remains controversial because Honey Mushroom is only found growing on wood and Aborted Entoloma is only found growing on the ground. If true, Volk suggests that the common name is incorrect and should be changed to Aborted Armillaria.


Similar Species

Habitat and Hosts

Hardwood forests




Mid-September through October


Distribution Map



4, 7, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.




Common and widespread in eastern North America

  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Phylum Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subphylum Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushrooms, bracket fungi, puffballs, and allies)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Agaricales (common gilled mushrooms and allies)  
  Suborder Tricholomatineae  
  Family Entolomataceae  
  Genus Entoloma (pinkgills)  
  Subgenus Claudopus  



Agaricus abortivus

Clitopilus abortivus

Pleuropus abortivus

Rhodophyllus abortivus


Common Names


Aborted Entoloma

shrimp of the woods











The above-ground structure of a fungus whose development suggests a fruiting body but stops before developing a normal mushroom shape and does not become reproductive.



Obtaining nutrients from another living organism.



A term often used for saprotrophic fungi. Referring to fungi that obtain their nutrients from decayed organic matter.

Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this fungus.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Scott Fluegel

    Aborted Entoloma      

Honey Fae (Farah)

    Aborted Entoloma      

Stephanie Segner

    Aborted Entoloma      


    Aborted Entoloma   Aborted Entoloma  

Kirk Nelson

    Aborted Entoloma   Aborted Entoloma  
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos








Visitor Videos

Share your video of this fungus.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.


Other Videos
  Aborted Entoloma Mushroom

Published on Sep 27, 2011

Thanks for watching MiWilderness.

  Aborted Entoloma Griseum? Midwest Wild Mushrooms

Published on Oct 20, 2013

Please comment, share, like and subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/Earthwalker40

These appear to be a type of Entoloma mushroom which have been parasitized by an invading mycelium(Armillaria). I could find no Armillaria mushrooms, but many entolomas. One aborted appears to be growing from the same mycelium as an Entoloma mushroom.

Aborted Entoloma Griseum? Midwest Wild Mushrooms
Wild mushroomhunting
how to find mushrooms
edible wild mushrooms
midwest wild mushrooms
ohio muwshrooms

  Aborted Entoloma
Chris Matherly

Published on Nov 16, 2007

Video of Aborted entoloma mushrooms

  Found some Abortive Entoloma, Entoloma abortivum today!

Published on Oct 18, 2016

The controversy, does abortive entoloma parasite honey mushrooms (Armillaria mellea) or is it the other way around? Or something completely different.


In my limited experience it seems to me that honey mushrooms would not be growing in the locations where I found these entoloma. Notice the first set around a healthy young tree. I have yet to find any honeys growing off of healthy trees, especially young. The second set growing off the dead rootball of the tree seems an unlikely location for honey mushrooms to grow either, growing from the muddy side.

I did not see any honey mushrooms in the immediate area of both groups (doesn't mean they were not there though). I do see honey's growing in small amounts all through the forest.

I did not see any entolomas around the large honey mushroom grow site of my previous video (and most of those honeys were breaking down now). I am thinking about experimenting next year and spraying entoloma liquid culture/spores in that large honey mushroom area to see if I can force the parasitification.

The Lobster mushrooms: https://www.youtube.com/redirect?redir_token=QuONatMdIp4Of9RSs-c8IFzsROp8MTUwNjUyOTExOEAxNTA2NDQyNzE4&event=video_description&q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mushroomexpert.com%2Fhypomyces_lactifluorum.html

  Abortive Entoloma (snow shrimp)
Mark Robie

Published on Oct 7, 2013




Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this fungus.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
  Scott Fluegel

Location: Nerstrand Big Woods State Park

Aborted Entoloma

  Honey Fae (Farah)

Location: Dakota County, MN

Aborted Entoloma


Location: Washington County, MN

Aborted Entoloma

  Stephanie Segner

Location: Long Lake, MN

Aborted Entoloma

  Kirk Nelson

Location: Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Aborted Entoloma

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings




Created: 9/26/2017

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.