Mousepee Mushroom, Green Entoloma
Scientific name: Entoloma incanum
Has also been called: Leptonia euchlora, Leptonia incana
If you are the kind of nature explorer who gets a rush from sniffing mouse nests, you will find the odor of this rare species familiar, because it smells distinctly mousy. Another quirk is the strikingly bright blue-green color the mushroom quickly develops from bruising by merely handling. These features give away the identity of this flimsy little fungus that hardly catches anyone’s attention – until they smell or handle it.
I know you're wondering if this mousy-smelling mycological jewel of the forest edible. Probably not. The Entoloma genus is notorious for hosting many poisonous species that cause mild to severe stomach/intestinal discomforts. Sniff, but don’t eat.
IN A NUTSHELL: SMALL, YELLOW-GREEN MUSHROOM WITH SKINNY STEM. BRUISES BRIGHT BLUISH-GREEN. MOUSY ODOR. GROWS ON THE GROUND.
CAP: ½” to 1 ½” wide. With a depression at the center. Little lines developing at the edge, duplicating the gill pattern beneath. Yellow-green, fading with age. Bruises brilliant blue-green when squeezed or broken. Smells like mice.
GILLS: Attached to the stem, or running down it slightly. Whitish, becoming yellowish-green. Pink when old. Bruise bright blue-green.
SPORE PRINT: Pink.
STEM: 1” to 2” long, 1/16” to 3/16” thick. Hollow. Yellow-green, bruises bright blue-green.
GROWTH: Grows in groups and clusters on the ground in a wide range of forest types and environments. July to October.
EDIBILITY: Probably poisonous. Don’t experiment.
COPYCATS: None. No other mushroom combines a strong mousy smell and the immediate bright blue-green color change when handled.
TIP: Certain Entoloma species look appealing, but few are known to be safe to eat. One commonly collected edible species is the Aborted Entoloma, E. abortivum.