Armored lyophyllum (Lyophyllum loricatum) photo and description

Armored lyophyllum (Lyophyllum loricatum)

  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
  • Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
  • Family: Lyophyllaceae (Lyophilic)
  • Genus: Lyophyllum (Lyophyllum)
  • Species: Lyophyllum loricatum (Armored Lyophyllum)
    Other names for the mushroom:
  • Rowing armor


  • Rowing armor

  • Agaricus loricatus
  • Tricholoma loricatum
  • Gyrophila cartilaginea

Lyophyllum armored Lyophyllum loricatum

Description of the mushroom

The cap of the  lyophillum is carapaced with a diameter of 4-12 (rarely up to 15) cm, in youth it is spherical, then hemispherical, then from flat-convex to prostrate, it can be both flat and with a tubercle, or depressed. The contour of the cap of an adult mushroom is usually irregular. The skin is smooth, thick, cartilaginous, and may be radially fibrous. The edges of the cap are even, from bent in youth, to, possibly, turned up with age. For mushrooms, the caps of which have reached the stage of prostrate, especially with curved edges, it is often characteristic, but not necessary, waviness of the edge of the cap, up to significant.

Lyophyllum loricatum - Armor Lyophyllum

The color of the cap is dark brown, olive brown, olive black, gray brown, brown. In old mushrooms, especially at high humidity, it can become lighter, leaving in a brownish-beige tone. Can fade in the sun to a rather bright brown.

The pulp of  carapace lyophyllum is white, brownish under the skin, dense, gristly, elastic, torn with a crunch, often cut with a creak. In old mushrooms, the flesh is watery, elastic, grayish-brownish, beige shades. The smell is not pronounced, pleasant, mushroom. The taste is also not pronounced, but not unpleasant, not bitter, possibly sweetish.

Plates of  carapace lyophillum are medium frequent, adherent with a tooth, widely adherent, or descending. The color of the plates is from white to yellowish or beige. Older mushrooms have a watery-gray-brownish color.

Lyophyllum loricatum - Armor Lyophyllum

Spore powder is white, light cream, light yellowish. Spores are spherical, colorless, smooth, 6-7 μm.

The leg is 4-6 cm high (up to 8-10, and from 0.5 cm when growing on mowed lawns and on trampled ground), with a diameter of 0.5-1 cm (up to 1.5), cylindrical, sometimes curved, incorrectly curved, fibrous. Under natural conditions, it is often central, or slightly eccentric, when growing on mowed lawns and trampled soil, from significantly eccentric, almost lateral, to central. The stem on top is the color of the mushroom plates, possibly with a mealy bloom, below it can become from light brown to yellow-brown or beige. In old mushrooms, the color of the leg, like the plates, is watery-gray-brownish.


Armor lyophyllum lives from the end of September to November mainly outside forests, in parks, on lawns, on embankments, slopes, in grass, on paths, on trampled ground, near curbs, from under them. Less common in deciduous forests, on the outskirts. It can be found in meadows and fields. Mushrooms grow together with their legs, often in large, very dense groups, up to several dozen fruiting bodies.

Lyophyllum armored Lyophyllum loricatum

Similar species

  • Crowded Lyophyllum (Lyophyllum decastes) - A very similar species, and lives in the same conditions and at the same time. The main difference is that in the lyophillum of the crowded plate from the adherent to the tooth, to practically free, and in the carapace, on the contrary, from the adherent to the tooth, insignificant, and to the descending. The rest of the differences are conditional: crowded lyophyllum has, on average, lighter tones of the cap, softer, non-creaky pulp. Adult mushrooms, at the age when the cap is turned inside out, and the plates of the specimen are adhered to the teeth, it is often impossible to distinguish them, and, even, their spores are the same shape, color and size. On young and middle-aged mushrooms, on the plates, they usually reliably differ.
  • Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus) (different species) The mushroom is very similar in appearance. Formally it differs only in that in oyster mushrooms the plates come off smoothly and slowly, to zero, and in lyophillum they break off rather abruptly. But, most importantly, oyster mushrooms never grow in the ground, and these lyophillums never grow on wood. Therefore, it is extremely easy to mix them up in a photograph, or in a basket, and this happens all the time, but never in nature!


Carapace lyophyllum refers to conditionally edible mushrooms, it is used after boiling for 20 minutes, universal use, similar to the crowded row. However, due to the density and firmness of the pulp, its taste is lower.


Carapace lyophyllum is interesting in that it often grows where, usually, no other mushrooms grow - on trampled areas of parks, on paths, from under concrete curbs, and in other, similar, completely non-mushroom places. You walk through the park, and suddenly, you see a kind of "covering" of the trampled area, really, like a shell. This, right away - armor lyophillum! Having picked it off the ground, one can very quickly be convinced of this.

The second interesting feature, this way of growing specimens, is that it is almost impossible to prove to any other mushroom picker who has not seen how and where he grew that this is not an oyster mushroom.

But from a culinary point of view, I did not manage to get to know him, since I do not eat mushrooms from city yards in principle, and outside settlements, away from roads, I have not yet come across this species.

Photo: Oleg, Andrey.