Velvet Foot

(Flammulina velutipes)

Conservation Status
Velvet Foot
Photo by Matt Sundquist
  IUCN Red List

not listed


not listed


not listed


Velvet Foot is a late season, cold weather, gill mushroom. It is extremely widespread, occurring throughout Europe, across North America, and in Japan. It is fairly common in Minnesota. It appears in the late fall in deciduous and mixed forests and woodlands. It grows in dense clusters on stumps, logs, and living trunks of hardwoods, especially elm. It obtains its nutrients from both dead wood (saprobic) and living wood (parasitic).

The cap is to 2 ¾ in diameter and convex at first with the margins curved down and in. As it matures it becomes broadly convex or flat, sometimes with a raised “bump” in the center. The upper surface is smooth and hairless, and has no scales. It is slimy when wet, viscid when moist or fresh, dry only in arid conditions. The cap color is somewhat variable. It may be reddish-brown, yellowish-brown, orangish-brown, or yellowish-orange. It fades with age and in dry weather.

The stalk is tough, smooth, slender, ¾ to 4 long, and to ½ thick. It bends at the base then grows straight up. It is pale and colorless or yellowish to orangish-brown at first. As it ages it develops a dense covering of dark velvety hairs beginning at the base and progressing upwards. There is no ring around the stalk.

The flesh is thin and white or yellowish. It is edible but due to its similarity in appearance to the poisonous Funeral Bell (Galerina marginata) it should be avoided. Making matters worse, Funeral Bell often grows in close proximity to Velvet Foot.

The gills are closely spaced and white to pale yellow. They are broadly to narrowly attached to the stalk, sometimes notched at the point of attachment.

The spore print is white.


Similar Species

  Funeral Bell (Galerina marginata) has a ring around the stalk, the remnants of the partial veil, but this often disappears with age.  
Habitat and Hosts

Deciduous and mixed forests and woodlands




Late fall


A Japanese cultivar of Velvet Foot, known as Enokitake or Enoki, is white and grows in dense clusters. It has very small caps and very long slender stalks. To achieve this, it is grown in complete darkness in a carbon dioxide rich environment. Producing more than 300,000 tons per year at the end of the twentieth century, it is one of the six most actively cultivated mushrooms in the world.

In 1993, Velvet Foot mushrooms were grown on the space shuttle to test the effects of zero gravity. As expected, the mushrooms grew in all directions.


Distribution Map



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




Very widespread and fairly common

  Kingdom Fungi (fungi)  
  Subkingdom Dikarya  
  Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)  
  Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)  
  Class Agaricomycetes (mushrooms, bracket fungi, puffballs, and allies)  
  Subclass Agaricomycetidae  
  Order Agaricales (common gilled mushrooms and allies)  
  Suborder Marasmiineae  
  Family Physalacriaceae  
  Genus Flammulina  

Velvet Foot species was formerly classified as Collybia velutipes. In 1951 it was given its own genus Flammulina based on the viscid cap and sterile cells in the gills. At that time it was once thought that the new genus consisted of just this species, F. velutipes. Following detailed studies of collected specimens worldwide there are now twelve species recognized in the genus.




Agaricus velutipes

Collybia velutipes


Common Names




Velvet Foot

Velvet Shank

Velvet Stem

Winter Mushroom












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

Visitor Photos

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Ben A

    Velvet Foot   Velvet Foot  
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Ginger Halverson

    Velvet Foot   Velvet Foot  

Matt Sundquist

    Velvet Foot   Velvet Foot  
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  Winter Mushroom
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Winter Mushroom  

Flammulina velutipes

  Flammulina velutipes
miguel angel
  Flammulina velutipes  



Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Meet the vibrant velvet shank (Flammulina velutipes)
Lisa Cutcliffe

Published on Jan 1, 2015

Edulis wild food guide Lisa C introduces you to a voluminous group of velvet shanks (Flammulina velutipes), taking you through the key ID points for this common and distinctive winter mushroom. This particular cluster has dry caps (they are usually very slimy) so all the nicer for eating! Happy new year and happy foraging :)

Found on 1 January 2015 in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK

Important safety information:
* Never eat any mushroom (or anything) unless you are 100% sure of its identity and that it is edible ('...if in doubt, throw it out!')

* Remember that you alone are responsible for what goes into your mouth. Never eat anything based upon an ID from a single online source (such as this video) alone, always research your own finds further using multiple reliable sources and become absolutely sure of the ID for yourself.

* Most wild fungi and some wild plants and fruits must be cooked before they are safe to eat. Always research how wild food species should be prepared before consuming it.

  On Velvet Foot Mushrooms
The Richest Fare

Published on Apr 18, 2016

A brief overview of the velvet foot mushroom as a wild edible.

WARNING: This mushroom has a deadly look alike! It is not a beginner's mushroom. Consult a local expert!

Go to for more about real food, healthy living and spiritual encouragement.




Visitor Sightings

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  Ben A

Location: Cass County

Velvet Foot  
  Ginger Halverson

Location: Closest nearby town is Sunburg, MN. In Kandiyohi County.

Velvet Foot  
  Matt Sundquist

Location: Cuyuna Country Recreational Area, Crow Wing County

Velvet Foot  






Created: 10/10/2018

Last Updated:

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