Velvet Shank

Flammulina velutipes

  1. Wildlife
  2. Fungi
  3. Velvet Shank

About

With its lovely glossy golden orange caps, this mushroom is quite commonly seen on stumps of decaying hard wood growing in clusters.  Also know as the winter mushroom as it is one of the few mushrooms that can be seen during the winter months through to early spring.  The latin name Flammulina refers to the bright orange flame- like colour of the cap.  Edible.

How to identify

Grows in clusters. The fleshy yellow-orange caps up to 10 cm across, are convex at first then become flatter, more irregular and quite undulating. The cap has a faintly striated margin. The surface of the cap is smooth and quite slimy when wet. Gills are white to pale yellow. The stem is rich reddish-to almost dark brown and quite velvety at the base.

Where to find it

Clustered on dead and dying wood of deciduous trees such as elm, ash, beech or oak.

Habitats

When to find it

  • November
  • December
  • January
  • February

How can people help

Fungi are an important part of our woodland ecology, helping to recycle nutrients from dead or decaying organic matter. Many animals depend on them, too. The Wildlife Trusts look after many woodland reserves, managing them for the benefit of the wildlife present, often leaving standing and fallen dead wood which supports fungi. You can help by having log piles and dead wood in your own garden to encourage fungi. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden

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Species information

Common name
Velvet Shank
Latin name
Flammulina velutipes
Category
Fungi
Statistics
The caps are between 4-12cm across. Stem is up to 10cm long.
Conservation status
Common