Galerina marginata

Galerina marginata

''Galerina marginata'' is a species of poisonous fungus in the family Hymenogastraceae of the order Agaricales. Prior to 2001, the species ''G. autumnalis'', ''G. oregonensis'', ''G. unicolor'', and ''G. venenata'' were thought to be separate due to differences in habitat and the viscidity of their caps, but phylogenetic analysis showed that they are all the same species.

The fruit bodies of this fungus have brown to yellow-brown caps that fade in color when drying. The gills are brownish and give a rusty spore print. A well-defined membranous ring is typically seen on the stems of young specimens but often disappears with age. In older fruit bodies, the caps are flatter and the gills and stems browner. The species is a classic "little brown mushroom"—a catchall category that includes all small to medium-sized, hard-to-identify brownish mushrooms, and may be easily confused with several edible species.

''Galerina marginata'' is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, North America, and Asia, and has also been found in Australia. It is a wood-rotting fungus that grows predominantly on decaying conifer wood. An extremely poisonous species, it contains the same deadly amatoxins found in the death cap . Ingestion in toxic amounts causes severe liver damage with vomiting, diarrhea, hypothermia, and eventual death if not treated rapidly. About ten poisonings have been attributed to the species now grouped as ''G. marginata'' over the last century.