Melanoleuca short-legged (Melanoleuca brevipes) photo and description

Melanoleuca short-legged (Melanoleuca brevipes)

  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
  • Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
  • Family: Tricholomataceae (Tricholomaceae or Ordinary)
  • Genus: Melanoleuca (Melanoleuca)
  • Species: Melanoleuca brevipes (Melanoleuca short-legged)

Synonyms :

  • Melanolevka short-legged

  • Melanoleica short-legged

  • Agaricus brevipes
  • Gymnopus brevipes
  • Tricholoma brevipes
  • Gyrophila brevipes
  • Gyrophila grammopodia var. brevipes
  • Tricholoma melaleucum subvar. brevipes

Melanoleuca short-legged Melanoleuca brevipes

In a genus filled with hard-to-identify fungi, this melanoleuca stands (Or, better to say, “crouches”? In general, stands out) from the crowd with its gray hat and seemingly truncated leg, which seems disproportionately short for such a wide hat, much shorter than most members of the Melanoleuca genus. Of course, there are differences at the microscopic level as well.


Hat : 4-10 cm in diameter, according to various sources - up to 14. Convex in young mushrooms, rather quickly becomes prostrate, sometimes with a shallow central bulge. Smooth, dry. Dark gray to nearly black in young specimens, turns gray over time, pale gray, and eventually fades to a dull brownish gray or even light brownish.

Plates : adherent, usually serrated, or almost free. White, frequent.

Leg : 1-3 cm long and 1 cm thick or slightly more, solid, dense, longitudinally fibrous. Sometimes twisted, in young mushrooms it is often in the shape of a club, it evens out with growth, a slight thickening may remain at the base. Dry, cap color or slightly darker.

Melanoleuca short-legged Melanoleuca brevipes

Flesh : Whitish at the cap, brownish to brown at the stem.

Smell and taste : Faint, almost indistinguishable. Some sources describe the taste as "pleasant starchy".

Spore powder : White.

Microscopic features: spores 6.5-9.5 * 5-6.5 microns. More or less elliptical, decorated with amyloid protrusions ("warts").

Ecology : probably saprophyte.

Habitat and period of fruiting

Fruiting in summer and autumn, some sources indicate - from spring, and even from early spring. It is found in grassy areas, on pastures, forest edges and on soils with a disturbed structure, often in urban areas, parks, squares. It was noted that the mushroom is widespread in Europe and North America, probably not rare in other regions of the planet.


A little-known edible mushroom with an average taste. Some sources attribute it to the fourth category of edible mushrooms. It is recommended to boil before use.

Similar species

It is believed that thanks to such a disproportionately short stem, Melanoleucus short-legged simply cannot be confused with any other mushrooms. At least not with any spring mushrooms.

Photo: Alexander.