Honey Mushroom

(Armillaria mellea group)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Honey Mushroom


not listed


not listed


Common and very widespread


Summer and fall


Usually small to massive clusters on stumps or logs, on the lower trunk of living trees, or on the ground growing on tree roots; occasionally solitary on the ground.



    Photo by diraek

This is an extremely variable group of closely related gill mushrooms. At least 14 varieties have been described. A detailed description of the color, shape, sliminess, and manner of growth would include so many possibilities that it would not be useful. However, there are several characteristics that are relatively constant.

It usually appears in small to massive clusters on stumps or logs, on the lower trunk of living trees, or on the ground on tree roots; occasionally solitary on the ground.

On young mushrooms the gills are enveloped in a protecting, Kleenex-like, cottony, membranous tissue (partial veil). At maturity, the veil breaks up to release the spores. Remnants of the veil usually remain as a ring near the top of the stalk. There are sometimes fragments of the veil clinging to the rim of mature mushrooms.

The cap is 1¼ to 6 in diameter and convex at first. With age it may become broadly convex or flat, with or without a raised “bump” in the center, or convex with uplifted margins. The cap color is extremely variable. It may be yellowish-brown (honey colored), reddish-brown, pinkish-brown, tan, or some similar color. There are usually tiny brown scales, most dense in the center and more or less radiating outward.

The flesh is thick. It is white when young, sometimes becoming pale tan with age. It is edible and tastes mild when cooked but bitter when raw.

The stalk is tough, fibrous, 2 to 8 long, and 3 16to 2 in diameter. When clustered, the stalk tapers to the base. When solitary, the stalk is enlarged at the base. It is smooth, dry, and whitish above the ring, reddish-brown or yellowish below. When young it is often covered with cottony scales.

The gills are white when young, becoming yellowish or flesh-colored, then brown or with dark spots in age. They are usually broadly attached and may slightly run down the stalk. Occasionally they are notched at the base.

The spores are white. In mature clusters, white spore dust is usually visible on top of the lower caps.



Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.





Basidiomycota (club fungi)



Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)



Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)






Agaricales (gill mushrooms)





Agaricus melleus

Agaricus sulphureus

Armillaria mellea var. glabra

Armillaria mellea var. maxima

Armillaria mellea var. minor

Armillaria mellea var. sulphurea

Armillariella mellea

Clitocybe mellea

Lepiota mellea


Honey Mushroom

The Honey Fungus









Partial veil

A protective covering over the gills or pores of a developing mushroom. At maturity it disappears, collapses into a ring around the stem, or wears away into a cobwebby covering and ring zone.

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  Honey Mushroom    
  Honey Mushroom   Honey Mushroom
  Honey Mushroom    
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Other Videos
  Honey Mushroom - Armillaria mellea

Uploaded on Feb 24, 2009

Tradd finds a honey mushroom patch, a problematic mushrooms that attacks living and dead trees, and it is very parasitic.

  The Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea)
Roger Griffith

Published on Oct 8, 2013

The Honey or Bootlace Fungus (Armillaria mellea) at Spier's Old School Grounds, Beith, North Ayrshire, Scotland. This fungus is very destructive and kills many trees in plantations and woodlands. A parasitic fungus was found on one troop appearing as a white cotton wool-like growth on the caps and stems of the mushrooms.

  Armillaria mellea

Published on Nov 1, 2015

Armillaria mellea, commonly known as honey fungus, is a basidiomycete fungus in the genus Armillaria. It is a plant pathogen and part of a cryptic species complex of closely related and morphologically similar species. It causes Armillaria root rot in many plant species and produces mushrooms around the base of trees it has infected.

  Honey Mushrooms - Armillaria mellea - Yellow Variety
Dan Kennedy

Published on Oct 30, 2015

Yellow variety of Honey Mushrooms... Armillaria mellea.

  Foraging for Ringed Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria mellea) - www.Returntonature.us

Published on Oct 12, 2015

The ringed honey mushroom (Armillaria mellea) is a common wild edible mushroom distributed widely throughout North America. Heres a video showing you a look at some of its key features..

Forage safely,




Visitor Sightings
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Location: Walker, MN

I am wondering if these are Honey Mushrooms. The grew in the same place last Fall too.

Honey Mushroom


Location: Brainard, Minnesota, USA

Honey Mushroom

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings





Created: 10/18/2016

Last Updated:

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