The Ringless Honey Mushroom: Armillaria Tabescens

by | Aug 1, 2018 | Foraging

If you live in the North East or near the Great Lakes (or east of the Mississippi) then you are seeing this wild mushroom now. In LARGE amounts. EVERYWHERE!

This mushroom starts to show up in late summer and seems to suddenly appear out of thin air. I really enjoy eating this fungus and love that I can step onto my lawn and harvest fresh mushrooms. But, there is a downside. A. tabescens is a ferocious parasite that will kill every tree it finds. It is also saprobic and will decompose the tree it killed. As you can see in the top left this fungus will seem to be growing in the grass, sometimes quite far from its host tree. Be assured that it is growing off the tree, in this case the trees roots.

Identifying Characteristics:

Look for a cap that ranges in color from straw-yellow to tan to maroon-brown and is covered with tiny scales. The scales tend to flake off with age leaving a slightly pitted bumpy texture. The gills are close to distant, will run a short ways down the stem, and be white or pinkish with age. The gills will slowly bruise brown when damaged and will leave a pure white spore deposit. The stems of this fungus will taper and seemingly fuse together at their base in a cepitose growth pattern.

How To Use It:

At Larder we grill this fungus over high heat and use it in duxelles, salads, and pickles. Be sure to thoroughly cook these Ringless Honey Mushrooms to reduce any possibility of gastric upset (bloating and gas). This is one fungus that you should definitely harvest without any reservation seeing that it is a death sentence for any tree it encounters.

Remember that if you ever have questions about wild edible plants or mushrooms that you can contact us. We always have a licensed wild mushroom expert in our store who can help you to properly and safely identify your foraged finds. Stop by in person with your finds or call us at 216.912.8203 or email to contact us with your questions.


  1. Donna

    I found some that are a darker brownish red. Not honeycolored the stems are a bit shaggy or? Not sure if best description but they are kind of wide at base not thin like in some pics. They have the black hairs when young do u think its them?

  2. Dave Perales

    Found these in an old cherry tree stump

  3. Dave Perales

    I parboiled.them.there are these tiny white rice lookin things in the fills here and there..any ideas what these are .spores??


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