Hebeloma is mushroom genus that we often fail to notice. After all, they are drab, not large, generally reported as not “edible” or as positively toxic, and difficult to identify to species. But they’re an important, common, ectomycorrhizal genus with worldwide distribution (every continent except Antarctica).
Professional mycologists, with significant help from citizen scientists, have now taken a giant step toward decoding and organizing this genus. The results are collated on a new, open access website, Hebeloma.org.
The website provides a direct public view into a database of 10,000 worldwide Hebeloma collections, including 3,000 from North America. It includes full species descriptions, information on every published Hebeloma name, tools for species comparisons, species parameters, species geography and habitats, and an AI machine learning based species identifier. Most importantly it is all, even the species identifier, automatically updated as new information becomes available.
Have a look at Hebeloma.org. And keep your eyes open for these mushrooms. We have dozens of Hebeloma in Oregon, including at least two that were first described from here. (H. parcivelum, H. pungens). You might even discover a new one.