Xeromphalina campanella

May 2, 2022

Good evening, friends,

This week’s mushroom is Xeromphalina campanella, commonly known as the pinewood gingertail, the golden trumpet, or, by its comfier pseudonym, the fuzzy foot. I found this mushroom growing up in Manitou on 4/15/2022.

Fun Facts

The name “Xeromphalina” breaks down into ‘Xero’ meaning “dry”, ‘Omphal’ translating to “navel”, and “ina” is a suffix that denotes small in size. Yep, that’s “small dry belly button” for everyone keeping score at home. I couldn’t determine whether the words were derived from Ancient Greek, or Latin, but those are the two main languages used in bionaminal nomenclature. Campanella translates to “small bells” as ‘-ella’ is also a suffix for “small”. For what it’s worth I have no idea when to use ” or ‘ – I just figured I shouldn’t use them back to back in the previous sentence. If you know the proper grammar please respond to this email.

While looking up the origin of the name, I came across this helpful and beautiful slideshow from renowned mycologist Dianna Smith. It delves into a lot of the roots of scoientific names.

The common name “fuzzy foot” comes from the hairs around the base of the mushroom seen below:


X. campanella is saprobic, growing on dead conifers (evergreens, gymnosperms – whichever floats your boat). This is the major difference between X. campanella and the nearly identical X. kauffmanii that grows on hardwoods (deciduous trees, angiosperms) . These tiny mushrooms grow in dense clusters, fruiting gregariously on decayed logs and stumps. X. campanella is found across North America and temperate forests throughout the northern hemisphere. The mushrooms grow year-round in warmer climes but are typically found in the spring and summer.

The gills are decurrent, running down the stipe of the mushroom at the point of attachment. You can also see that as the mushrooms age the caps go from “campanulate”, or bell-shaped, to “umbilicate” with that navel-like depression in the center of the cap. In the first picture the mushrooms are fairly young, but below they’re you can see how they’ve matured: 

I tried to identify this moss too and got Thuidium delicatulum aka delicate fern moss.

The rain was pleasant today, we needed it. The strong winds last week had made everything quite arid, but it seemed like all of life today was rehydrating and saturated with optimism. I saw several new Stereum and Trametes mushrooms today, along with a lot of new plants popping up. Here are a few pictures I took:

Slug eating Exidia crenata
Fresh Schizophylum commune
Hypnotizing fiddleheads

The rains this week should bring all sorts of surprises from our funga, flora, and fauna friends,

1) Kuo, M. (2014, November). Xeromphalina campanella. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/xeromphalina_campanella.html
3) https://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/aug2006.html
4) https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/56251-Xeromphalina-campanella
5) https://mushroomobserver.org/observer/map_observations?q=1mu5c