Honey Fungus - Armillaria mellea

Alternative names
Bootlace Fungus

5 to 15 cm in diameter; colour ranging from honey-yellow to red-brown, with a darker area near the centre. The cap flesh is white and firm. Initially deeply convex, the caps flatten and often develop wavy, striated margins. Fine scales cover the young caps, most noticeably towards the centre, but not always remaining evident as the caps reach maturity. When young, the stems are white, turning yellow or yellowish-brown and finely woolly as the fruitbody matures. The fungus lives between the bark and sapwood, usually of deciduous trees, and can be seen as black strands on dead fallen trunks where the bark has come away.  Such strands are known as “bootlaces” - see photograph.

Identification difficulty

On or up against broad-leaf and conifer trees; also occurring on stumps and roots, and occasionally on fallen branches.

When to see it

July to November

Life History

Parasitic and a threat to trees.

UK Status

Common and widespread in Britain.

VC55 Status

Very common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map