14 November 2011

Clouded Funnel

These Clouded Funnel (Clitocybe nebularis) fruiting bodies were found in the forests on Mynydd Resolven this weekend. This medium to large sized toadstool often grows in large groups and clusters under deciduous broad-leaved trees and conifers, so it usually attracts attention. Clouded Funnel contains a number of interesting toxic purine derivatives such as nebularine, a compound which has been well-studied and is known to poison mammalian cells. The pharmacological effects of these toxins have attracted a lot of attention both as antibiotics and anti-tumour agents. Other species of Clitocybe contain significant amounts of a toxin called muscarine, notably Ivory Funnel (Clitocybe dealbata), which is a smaller, white species that occurs locally in grassland and on sand dunes. Muscarine poisoning is very unpleasant and potentially very serious for children and adults. A single cap of Ivory Funnel contains enough toxin to elicit toxicity symptoms in most people.

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