Small Mushrooms on Wood (and litter)

Found on small pieces of fallen wood, twigs, and fallen leaves, as well as larger logs. There are 2 groups of genera, those with a well-developed, central stalk, and those with a short, lateral stalk, or no stalk at all, and attached to the substrate at the side of the cap. Those without a central stalk include Campanella, Anthracophyllum, Schizophyllum (typically on large pieces of wood, often in exposed situations), and Panellus, all with white spores, as well as the brown-spored Crepidotus. Those with a central stipe with white spores include the very delicate Mycena and Marasmiellus, while Marasmius and Crinipellis have tougher, almost leathery fruiting bodies.
Dark spored species with a central stipe include Galerina, Coprinus, Psilocybe and Stropharia. These last three genera are often found on wood-chip mulches.
The forest-dwelling Tympanella also has dark spores, but is distinguished from all others because its cap never fully opens, and the partly enclosed gills are distorted.


NameImageDescriptionNZFungi Entry


Spore print white. Small fruiting bodies, often in large groups, attached laterally to wood or twigs. Flesh leathery and gills often fold-like and poorly defined.
There are 3 species reported for New Zealand, all indigenous, one also known from Australia.
Saprobic, found on dead twigs and small branches.
Some Marasmiellus species have the same combination of small, leathery...


The "ink-cap" mushrooms, characterised by the gills and cap collapsing into an black, inky mass as they mature. Flesh thin and delicate. Most species are small, the caps often more or less oval in shape, but the tall cylindric Coprinus comatus (shaggy mane) is up to 25 cm high. The small species are often found in large clumps, either on soil or dead wood. They can appear and be gone again ...


Shelf-like fruiting bodies, usually found on large pieces of fallen wood. If a stalk is present, it is short and at one side of the cap. Spore print dull brown to cinnamon brown. Saprobic.
There have been 4 species reported from New Zealand, but many more are present.
Other genera with small, shelf-like fruiting bodies and brown spores include Pyrrhoglossum (2 species in New Zeal...


Crinipellis are saprobic species found in forests on litter in the forest floor. With white spore print and tough flesh.
C. procera is common on throughout the country, characterised by its very long, slender, tough stalk, and small, pale brown, slightly shaggy cap.
There are 3 other indigenous species reported for New Zealand, but are all less common. Crinipellis sca...


The pores on the undersides of the caps suggest a relationship with the boletes, but Favolaschia is in fact related to the mushroom Mycena. Fruiting bodies are small, but often found in large numbers.
There are 3 native species, F. pustulosa on fallen wood, and F. cyatheae and F. austrocyatheae on dead tree fern fronds. The tree fern-inhabiting species have...


Small brown mushrooms on wood with cinnamon-brown spore print. The common Galerina patagonica has a distinctive small point in the centre of the cap, develops in groups on large pieces of fallen wood, and has a well-developed ring on the stalk.
There are several species in New Zealand, with only Galerina patagonica (widespread in the Southern Hemisphere) common.


Spore print white. Small brown or whitish mushrooms characterised by having tough, leathery fruiting bodies, some species with long, very narrow, almost hair-like stalks. The stalks are often dark.
There are more than 25 species of Marasmius reported for New Zealand. In addition, there are several more species in Marasmius-like genera such as Micromphale (with a garlic o...


Small, delicate fungi with bonnet caps, the shape of a bell or an upturned bucket. Mycenas come in a wide variety of colours, most are white, brown, cream or yellow, but they also come in bright red, olive, bright blue and sea green. The caps are generally quite small, from as little as 2 mms wide to a big as a two dollar coin. The stems are usually quite long, very fine, central and can gr...


Fleshy mushrooms on wood; cap glutinous or sticky, typically with dark scales emebbed in slime; gills covered with a veil when young, often the remains of the veil form a ring on the central stalk, often scaly below the ring. Spore print cinnamon brown. Often growing in clumps, usually on standing dead wood. The species are variable in size, the large P. aurivella up to 10 cm across, while ...


Fleshy fungi attached to the substrate directly from the side of the cap, or through a short stalk at one side of the cap, cap smooth, spore print white.
All saprobic.
Three species have been reported for New Zealand, P.longinqua and P. roseola are pinkish and P. subgrisea is dull greyish. <...


Spore print purple-brown to black. Small to medium-sized mushrooms, the cap dull brownish or yellowish typically slightly tacky when fresh. Gills attached, stalk central, no ring (at least in the New Zealand species). Saprobic, on soil, on dung, on wood in native forests, in urban areas on wood chip mulches.
There are at least 8 species in New Zealand, at least 2 of which are indigenous.


Small, tough and leathery fruiting bodies attached laterally directly to the substrate. Characterised by the unusual gills appearaing split or grooved along their length. Spore print white.
A single species in New Zealand, the cosmopolitan Schizophyllum commune.
Common throughout the country, often in exposed situations and on large pieces of fallen wood, for example wind-blown t...


Spore print purple-brown to black. Small to medium-sized mushrooms, the cap often brightly coloured and typically slightly tacky when fresh. Gills attached, stalk central, with a ring. Saprobic, on soil ilawns as well as small pieces of wood, in wood chip mulches, etc.
There are at least 4 species in New Zealand, all exotic, found on lawns, in parks and gardens.
Distinguished from ...