Weeping Widow - Lacrymaria lacrymabunda

Main features

  • Fruits Spring Autumn

  • Found as small groups

  • On grassland or leaf litter

  • No distinct smells

  • Cap covered in red-brown hair-like fibres

  • Has an umbo on cap and white veil remnant on cap margin

  • Cap starts off bell-shaped and widens with age

  • Cap reaches 4 to 312cm

  • Pale brown fibrous stem deeper brown towards base

  • Stem up of 10cm and and 0.5 - 1cm in diameter

  • Very fine remains of a ring often stained with black spores

  • Flesh is grey-white

  • Adnexed to free crowded gills

  • Gills started off yellow-brown and become dark brown and mottled black

  • When moist, gills edges hold black water droplets

  • Spore print is black

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Weeping Widow - Lacrymaria lacrymabunda

Edible mushroom - novice 

Other common names: Teardrop Mushroom

 

Scientific name meaning: Both parts of the name originate from the Modern Latin Lacrymaris, meaning of or pertaining to tears

Season - when will I find it? From Spring to Autumn
 

Habitat - where will I find it? In grassland or leaf litter

Description - what does it look like? 

Growth: The Weeping Widow is spbrobic growing in grass or leaf litter. It tends to fruit in small groups or clumps

Cap: The bell-shaped cap widens with ages and is covered in red-brown/yellow brown hair-like fibres. At the edge of the cap, white remains of the partial veil often remain. It has a centre umbo (bump) and reaches 4 to 12cm in width

Gills: Starting off a yellow-brown colour, they quickly become dark brown and mottled and finally blackened. When moist, dropets of water stained with black spores hang on the gills edges. The gills are crowded and adnexed to free

Flesh: grey-white

Stem: Fragile and very pale brown, with a deeper brown colour towards the base. The surface of the stem is fibrous and includes the very fine remains of a fragile ring. Both the stem surface and ring remains become peppered with black spores.

The stem can reach 5 to 10cm tall, and is 0.5 - 1cm wide

Smell: None

Spore colour: Black

Possible lookalikes Some Panaeolus species and perhaps the Pale Brittlestem (Psathyrella candolleana), but the black teardrops would be a distinguishing feature

Use as a food Should be cooked. Not considered to be of great culinary value as it turns to mush quickly when cooked and has little flavour

Use in herbal medicine None known

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Hazards This mushroom can grow on roadside grass verges where it can accumulate traffic-related toxins. It is advisable to avoid harvesting from the sides of busy roads

Importance to other species Provides food for a the larvae of a number of fly species. Worth remembering when harvesting. Younger specimens tend to have less livestock inside!

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!