Revised April 8, 2005; October 11, 2007 and March 27, 2013.
Copyright 1998-2013 by John W. Allen.


Gymnopilus spectabilis (Fries) Singer. Galvarino Southern Chile (araucania).
Photo: Courtesy of Sven Debuysscher.


Cap: Large, up to 180 mm broad, usually broadly convex, surface dry with small scales on the margin. Color Bright, usually some shade of orange ranging from buff yellow to tawny-yellow, becoming rusty with age. Taste very bitter.

Gills: Close to crowded. color pale yellow to orange-yellow, becoming rusty with age.

Stem: 8-10 mm long, 6-16 mm at the apex, clavate or tapered downward, colored at the cap. Partial veil remaining leaving a nearly membranous or fibrillose zone at the stalks apex.

Spores: 8-10.2 x (4,5-)6.6-7.3.

Sporeprint: Rusty brown to orange-brown in potassium hydroxide.

Habitat: Grows singularly but often caepitose, on stumps, logs, or on dead or living trees, sometimes terrestrial, growing from buried wood on both conifers and hardwood.

Distribution: This species is widely distributed in the United States, Europe and in some regions of Australia.

Season: It fruits from summer through the winter depending on the location and weather.

Dosage: large amounts of this bitter shroom are needed.

Comment: This sometimes common species name has now been changed to Gymnopilus junonius. This is the correct name for "Gymnopilus spectabilis," according to taxonomists and mycologists. This is a very bitter tasting mushroom and large quantities need to be consumed for the desired effects. This mushroom has been known of in Japan for many centuries as 'wa-rai-take' (laughing mushroom) and/or as 'O-wa-rai-take (big laughing mushroom).

The three above Photos: Courtesy of Todd Williams.

Galvarino southern Chile (araucania).
Photo: Courtesy of Sven Debuysscher

Photo: Courtesy of Shroomy Dan of the 'Shroomery' website collected in Ohio.

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