Conocybe tenera

Brown Cone Head

Order Agaricales, family Bolbitiaceae

CAP BROWNISH, CONICAL

Cap:  1-3 cm wide; narrowly conical to bell-shaped; cinnamon brown, fading with age; fine striations on cap edge

GILLS CINNAMON BROWN

Gills:  free or nearly free; narrow; cinnamon brown

STALK BROWNISH, FRAGILE, NO RING

Stalk:  4-9 cm long; 1-2 mm thick; brownish

SPORE PRINT CINNAMON BROWN

Spores 10-14 x 5-7 µm, smooth, thick walled, apical pore

ON LAWNS

NOT EDIBLE

Lookalikes:

White dunce cap (C. lactea) -- lighter cap and stem

Yellow Bolbitius (Bolbitius vitellinus) -- more viscid

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We're all for xeriscape (low watering) gardens and replacement of the water-guzzling Kentucky Blue Grass, which dominates our cities and parks. But it should be known that while such a move would promote growth of some mushrooms, it would hurt some—like the brown cone head. It emerges after dawm watering of city lawns.

You don't have to be dense or a dunce to get a little excited about this brown dunce cap, which wilts away by mid-day. Self-important early-morning-go-get-'em types look ridiculous scurrying past dunce caps in the wet grass.  It's less common than its lookalike, the white dunce cap.


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