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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

07 January, 2012

Clouded Agaric (Clitocybe nebularis)

Common names can be so confusing! This is the Clouded Agaric and so you might reasonably think that it is related to the more distinctive red-capped Fly Agaric but no, totally different families. The Fly Agaric is an Amanita whereas the Clouded Agaric is a Clitocybe. Just to add to the confusion, Agaric comes from Agaricus which is the familiy name of fungi we know as edible mushrooms so neither the Fly or Clouded are Agarics at all ...

The Clouded Agaric is pretty common, especially here in Purbeck, as it thrives in both deciduous and coniferous woodland and is quite at home amongst the conifers in and around Wareham Forest. It usually appears in troops, or possibly as a ring. The cap is slightly convex at first and gradually flattens and then becomes concave. The cap is a milky grey in colour, often darker in the centre. The cap can vary in size from a couple of inches in diameter to six inches or even more.

Supposedly edible but apparently it is known to cause gastric upsets so another species left well alone for others to see and enjoy.