Name: Armillaria (Fr.) Staude
Most Confident Observations:
Copyright © 2013 Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
Copyright © 2012 Ken Stavropoulos (pennybun)
Copyright © 2011 Jean-Louis Excoffier (jle152)
Copyright © 2013 Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
Version: 4
Previous Version 

First person to use this name on MO: Nathan Wilson
Editors: I. G. Safonov


Rank: Genus

Status: Accepted

Name: Armillaria

Author: (Fr.) Staude

Citation: Schwämme Mitteldeutschl. 28: xxviii, 130 (1857)

Synonym(s):Armillaria subgenus Armillaria

Deprecated Synonyms: Armillariella

Misspellings: Armillarea

Notes on Taxonomy: [Edit]

The following is based largely on an email discussion with Scott Redhead who did some of the work involved in getting various taxa properly assigned among these genera. Most of the species in the historical concept of Armillaria were there because of a very broad concept that used to include things like Pleurotus dryinus among many others. Pretty much if it had light spores, lacked free gills and had an annulus it used to be a pretty good candidate for Armillaria.

Way back when, names were published without types. Armillaria was orignally published by Fries as Agaricus tribe Armillaria Fr. and later elevated to genus level. One question was when did it get elevated? Since that time types have become required for all names. When that happened, another question was on what previous information should the now required type be based? More formally what is the lectotype? Finally, assuming there is more than one distinct genus involved, what names should be applied to which species?

Historically what happened was EM Fries published the name at a subgeneric level. Staude elevated it in 1857, including Agaricus melleus, but not actually making the binomial combination Armillaria mellea. Kummer in 1871 again elevated the name, and he physically published the binomial combination, Armillaria mellea. For decades last century, after the type method was adopted, people were unaware of either Staude’s or Kummer’s publications. They thought Quélet was the first to raise Fries’ name Armillaria to generic status. There were debates on how to lectotypify genera, then who did it right. Then they discovered Kummer. Then they discovered Staude. Then they argued over validity. Much of this discussion was reviewed by Watling, R., G. A. Kile and N. M. Gregory. 1982. The genus Armillaria – Nomenclature, typification, the identity of Armillaria mellea and species differentiation. Trans. Brit. Mycol. Soc. 78: 271-285.

The (current) winner is Armillaria (Fr.:Fr.) Staude (1857), with Armillaria mellea (Vahl.: Fr.) Kummer (1871), the lectotype. In other words, Armillaria is the correct name for the Honey Mushrooms. Given this definition, it turns out that most of the other former Armillaria can no longer be considered part of Armillaria so where do they go? Some turned out to be Tricholoma species biologically and phylogenetically. One of those, Armillaria ponderosa, also had the wrong species name. Therefore, when Scott moved it to Tricholoma it had to take its proper name, T. magnivelare. Similarly, Armillaria albolanaripes could not remain in the genus Armillaria, but it was not a Tricholoma. It is, however, closely related to Floccularia straminea which had formerly been Armillaria straminea, but was now recognized as the type for the genus Floccularia. Hence, Armillaria albolanaripes became Floccularia albolanaripes.

Here’s a list of some of the name changes that were the result of this issue:

Armillaria albolanaripesFloccularia albolanaripes (transfered by Redhead in 1987)

Armillaria caligataTricholoma caligatum

Armillaria olidaTricholoma vernaticum (transfered by Shanks in 1996 because of a name conflict [a homonym in Tricholoma])

Armillaria ponderosaTricholoma magnivelare (transfered by Redhead in 1984 using the oldest legitimate epithet, which as it turned out was not ponderosa)

Armillaria stramineaFloccularia straminea

Armillariella melleaArmillaria mellea

Literature with relevant species:

Arora, D. 1986. Mushrooms Demystified, 2nd Edition. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California. 959 pp. Uses Armillaria albolanaripes, Armillaria caligata, Armillaria olida, Armillaria ponderosa, Armillaria straminea, Armillaria zelleri, Armillariella mellea and several other related species in the comments.

Bessette, A. E., A. R. Bessette, and D. W. Fischer. 1997. Mushroms of Northeastern North America. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, New York. 582 pp. Uses Armillaria mellea (Vahl : Fries) Kummer, Armillaria ostoyae (Romagnesi) Herink, Armillaria tabescens (Scopoli) Emel, Tricholoma magnivelare (Peck) Redhead, Tricholoma caligatum (Viviani) Ricken, and Tricholoma zelleri (Stuntz and Smith) Ovrebo and Tylutki.

Lincoff, G.H. 1981. The Audubon Society Field Guid to North American Mushrooms. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. Uses Armillaria albolanaripes Atk., Armillaria caligata (Viv.) Gil., Armillaria ponderosa (Pk.) Sacc., Armillaria straminea (Kromb.) Kum., Armillaria zelleri Stuntz & A.H.S, Armillariella mellea (Vahl ex Fr.) Kar., and Armillariella tabescens (Scop. ex Fr.) Sing. and several other related species in the comments.

Phillips, R. 1991. Mushrooms of North America. Little, Brown and Company, Bostan, MA. This text uses Armillaria fusca Mitchel & Smith, Armillaria caligata (Viv.) Gilbert, Armillaria ponderosa (Pk.) Sacc., Armillaria straminea (Krombh.) Kummer, Armillaria zelleri Stuntz & Smith, Armillariella mellea (Vahl ex Fr.) Karsten and Armillariella tabescens (Scop ex Fr.) Singer

Shanks, K.M. 1997. The Agaricales (Gilled Fungi) of California. 11. Tricholomataceae II. Mad River Press. Eureka, CA. This text uses Tricholoma focale (Fr.) Ricken (= Armillaria zelleri), Tricholoma caligatum (Viv.) Ricken, Tricholoma magnivelare (Peck) Redhead, and Tricholoma vernaticum Shanks.

Shaw, C.G., and Kile, G.A. 1991. Armillaria Root Disease. Forest Service United States Department of Agriculture. Washington, D.C. This text includes a detail discussion of the use of the name Armillaria and applies it to some 36 distinct species related to Armillaria mellea (Vahl:Fr.) Kummer.

Singer, R. 1986. The Agaricales in Modern Taxonomy, 4th Edition. Koeltz Scientific Books. Koenigstein, Germany. Discusses Singer’s perspective on Armillariella and Armillaria.

Watling, R., G. A. Kile and N. M. Gregory. 1982. The genus Armillaria – Nomenclature, typification, the identity of Armillaria mellea and species differentiation. Trans. Brit. Mycol. Soc. 78: 271-285.

Web references:

The CABI biosciences FunIndex (a href=“, Sept. 1, 2007) lists Armillaria (Fr.) Staude as the correct name for Armillariella (P. Karst.) P. Karst. and considers Floccularia Pouzar to be a valid genus which includes all the above mentioned species.

MykoWeb (, Sept. 1, 2007) lists Armillaria mellea (Vahl.: Fries) Quélet, Tricholoma magnivelare (Peck) Redhead and Floccularia albolanaripes (G.F. Atk.) Redhead.

Tom Volk’s Mycology Research (, Sept. 1, 2007) has a number of links that discuss the current state of Armillaria.

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Created: 2007-01-09 23:03:58 CST (-0600) by Nathan Wilson (nathan)
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