Brick-red honey mushroom (Hypholoma lateritium) photo and description

Brick red honey fungus (Hypholoma lateritium)

  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
  • Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
  • Family: Strophariaceae (Strophariaceae)
  • Genus: Hypholoma (Gifoloma)
  • Species: Hypholoma lateritium (Brick-red honey fungus)
    Other names for the mushroom:
  • Fake Foam Brick Red

Other names:

  • Gifoloma brick-red

  • Fake Foam Brick Red
  • Hypholoma sublateritium
  • Agaricus carneolus
  • Nematoloma sublateritium
  • Inocybe corcontica

Hypholoma latertiium - Brick-red False Foam


Hat: 3-8 centimeters in diameter, sizes are indicated up to 10 and even up to 12 cm. In young ones it is almost round, with a strongly turned edge, then convex, becomes widely convex and over time - almost flat. In the aggregates, the caps of brick-red false hooters are often deformed, since they do not have enough room to turn around. The skin of the cap is smooth, usually dry, wet after rain, but not too sticky. The color of the cap can be described as “brick red” in general, but the color is uneven, darker in the center and paler (pinkish buffy, pinkish to bright red, sometimes with darker spots) at the edge, especially at a young age. in older specimens, the cap darkens evenly. On the surface of the cap, especially at the edges, as a rule, there are thin "threads" - whitish hairs, these are the remnants of a private veil.

Hypholoma latertiium - Brick-red False Foam

Plates : evenly adherent or with a small notch. Frequent, narrow, thin, with plates. Very young mushrooms are whitish, whitish-buffy or creamy:

Hypholoma latertiium - Brick-red False Foam

But soon they darken, acquiring a color from pale gray, olive-gray to gray, in mature specimens - from purple-gray to dark purple-brown.

Hypholoma latertiium - Brick-red False Foam

Stem : 4-12 cm long, 1-2 cm thick, more or less flat or slightly curved, often tapering significantly towards the base due to growth in clusters, often with a small tapered process. Glabrous or finely pubescent at the top, often with an ephemeral or stable annular zone at the top. The color is uneven, whitish at the top, from whitish to yellowish, light ocher, brownish shades appear below, from light brown to rusty brown, reddish, sometimes with “bruises” and yellow spots. The leg of young mushrooms is solid, hollow with age.

Hypholoma latertiium - Brick-red False Foam

The ring (the so-called "skirt"): obviously absent, but if you look closely, in the "ring zone" in some adult specimens, you can see the remnants of "threads" from a private bedspread.

Flesh : firm, not too fragile, whitish to yellowish.

Smell : odorless, soft, weak mushroom.

Taste . This should be said in more detail. Different sources indicate very different data on taste, from "mild", "slightly bitter" to "bitter". Whether this is due to the characteristics of some specific populations, to weather conditions, to the quality of the wood on which the mushrooms grow, to the region, or to something else, it is not clear.

It seemed to the author of this note that in regions with a milder climate (the British Isles, for example) the taste is more often indicated as "mild, sometimes bitter", the more continental the climate, the more bitterness. But this is only an assumption, not scientifically confirmed in any way.

Chemical reactions : KOH is brownish on the surface of the cap.

Spore powder : purple-brown.

Microscopic features : spores 6-7 x 3-4 microns; ellipsoidal, smooth, smooth, thin-walled, with implicit pores, yellowish in KOH.

Season and distribution

The brick-red false foam is widespread in Europe, Asia, America.

Fruiting from summer (end of June-July) to autumn, November-December, up to frost. It grows in groups and intergrowths on dead, rotten, rarely living wood (on stumps and near stumps, on large lumber, dead roots submerged in the ground) of deciduous species, prefers oak, found on birch, maple, poplar, fruit trees. According to literature data, it can rarely grow on conifers.


Here, as with information about taste, the data are different, contradictory.

So, for example, some of the Russian- (Ukrainian-) lingual sources classify brick-red honey mushrooms as inedible mushrooms or as conditionally edible 4 categories. It is recommended to boil two or three times a day from 5 to 15-25 minutes each, with the obligatory draining of the broth and washing the mushrooms after each boiling, after which the mushroom can be fried and marinated.

But in Japan (according to literary data) this mushroom is almost cultivated, calling it Kuritake (Kuritake). They say that the hats of brick-red honey mushrooms after boiling and frying in olive oil acquire a nutty flavor. And not a word about bitterness (unlike the sulfur-yellow False Foam, which in Japan is called Nigakuritake - "Bitter kuritake" - "Bitter kuritake").


Raw or insufficiently cooked, these mushrooms can cause gastrointestinal upset. Therefore, many English-language sources do not recommend trying raw brick-red honey mushroom, even for identification purposes, and if you do try it, do not swallow it.

There is no reliable data on the identified toxins. There is no information about any serious poisoning.

From the history of taxonomy

When Jacob Christian Schaeffer described this species in 1762, he named it Agaricus Lateritius. (Most lamellar fungi were originally placed in the genus Agaricus in the early days of fungal taxonomy.) Over a century later, in his book Der Führer in die Pilzkunde, published in 1871, Paul Kummer transformed the species into his current genus Hypholoma.

Synonyms for Hypholoma lateritium include a fairly large list, among them should be called:

  • Agaricus lateritius Schaeff.
  • Agaricus sublateritius Schaeff.
  • Agaricus pomposus Bolton
  • Pratella lateritia (Schaeff.) Gray,
  • Deconica squamosa cooke
  • Hypholoma sublateritium (Schaeff.) Quél.
  • Naematoloma sublateritium (Schaeff.) P. Karst.

In the United States, most mycologists prefer the name Hypholoma sublateritium (Schaeff.) Quél.

In the Russian-speaking tradition, the names "Brick-red honey mushroom" and "Brick-red honey mushroom" have become established.

It is necessary to understand: the word "honey mushroom" in the Russian-language names of false-horned animals has nothing to do with real mushrooms (Armillaria sp), they are not even "relatives", these species belong not only to different genera, but even to families. Here the word "honey mushroom" is equivalent to "honey mushroom" = "growing on stumps". Be careful: not everything that grows on stumps is honey mushrooms.


Hypholoma (Gifoloma), the name of the genus, roughly translated means "mushrooms with threads" - "mushrooms with threads." This may be a hint of a filamentous partial veil that connects the edge of the cap to the stem, covering the plates in very young fruiting bodies, although some authors believe that this is a reference to filamentous rhizomorphs (basal mycelium bundles, hyphae) that are visible at the very base of the stem.

The specific epithet lateritium and its synonymous epithet sublateritium deserve some explanation. Sub simply means "almost", so that's pretty straightforward; lateritium is a brick color, but since bricks can be of almost any color, this is perhaps the most descriptive name in the kingdom of mushrooms; however, the color of the brick red honey agaric's cap is probably very close to what most people think of as "brick red." Therefore, the specific name Hypholoma lateritium has now been adopted, more than meeting all the requirements.

Similar species

Sulfur-yellow false foam (Hypholoma fasciculare)

Sulfur-yellow false foam (Hypholoma fasciculare)

Young sulfur-yellow false pigs are indeed very similar to young brick-red ones. And it can be quite difficult to distinguish them: the species overlap by region, ecology and time of fruiting. Both types can taste equally bitter. You need to look at the plates of adults, but not aged and not dried mushrooms. In the sulfur-yellow plate, they are yellowish-greenish, “sulfur-yellow”, in the brick red they are gray with shades of purple and violet.

Gray lamellar honey fungus (Hypholoma capnoides)

Gray lamellar honey fungus (Hypholoma capnoides)

It looks like brick red very conditionally. The seroplate has gray plates, without yellowish tints in young mushrooms, which is recorded in the name. But the main distinguishing feature is the place of growth: only on conifers.

Video about the mushroom Honey mushroom brick-red:

Photo: Vitaly Gumenyuk and from the questions in Recognition.