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A picture of a Funeral Bell Mushroom

Funeral Bell Mushroom

Galerina marginata

Also known as

Funeral Bell Fungus, Funeral Bell

Galerina marginata 63678 by here (CC BY-SA 3.0)

More images of Funeral Bell Mushroom

A photograph of the fruiting bodies of the fungus known as Funeral bell Galerina marginata
A photograph of the fruiting bodies of the fungus known as Funeral bell Galerina marginata
A photograph of the fruiting bodies of the fungus known as Funeral bell Galerina marginata
A photograph of the fruiting bodies of the fungus known as Funeral bell Galerina marginata
A photo of Funeral Bell Mushroom

Funeral Bell Mushroom Overview

Galerina marginata is a small yet incredibly dangerous species commonly known by the Funeral Bell Fungus. It is particularly harmful if inhaled or consumed. It's a typical little brown mushroom, which is why it's often confused with several edible fungi. To make things worse, it's highly variable, with the cap texture dependent on growing conditions. For example, appearance is highly dependent on humidity, with the colour and feel of the cap reflecting the moisture of the environment it was grown. The Funeral Bell Fungus shows a striking resemblance to the species Armillaria mellea and Kuehneromyces mutabilis, the latter requiring expert observation to distinguish. This fungus contains a type of toxin collectively known as amatoxins. These can be extremely harmful, even in small doses. The toxins do not break down after heating, termed thermostable. Therefore any toxic effects are not reduced by cooking. Amatoxins work by blocking an enzyme involved in protein synthesis in animal cells. It can travel through the body within the bloodstream, becoming fatal when it reaches the liver and heart. The main symptoms reported in victims include headaches, dizziness, sickness and diarrhoea, shortness of breath, insomnia, liver and kidney failure, and in many cases, death. Although a rare sight in Britain, it can sometimes be sighted growing on tree trunks and bark (specifically on dead or decaying wood). It particularly favours the wood of conifer trees but has been reported growing on hardwood too. Fruiting bodies (mushroom caps) become most evident during August to November.