graveyard Cortinarius

Peter Heytler heytler at
Mon May 27 11:10:03 EST 1996

In article <15OEeDAOt6ixEwpt at>,
Dave Jefferies  <Dave at> wrote:
>In article <003768h.185.317E847E at>, ANDREA HOYT
><003768h at> writes
>>I was wondering if anyone could help me find a source which would give a 
>>little history on a _Cortinarius_ sp. which tends to be found in graveyards, 
>>as it only grows on dead human flesh.  
>Not a Cortinarius but in the Cortinariaceae is Hebeloma radicosum. This
>is apparently known in Japan as the 'corpse fungus' since it will grow
>on dead animals, such as humans. In particular it is associated with
>mole rat 'nests' I gather. ...
>       Dave Jefferies

Closely related is Hebeloma syriense, which has been given the common 
name of "Corpse Finder" in some recent mushroom books. It has been 
suggested to foresnic workers as a useful marker of shallow graves, and 
said to have detected human remains.  (And lots of dead animals and 
buried garbage, too!)  It's by no means specific for "human flesh", of 
course. In fact, it was shown to be stimulated by ammonia and volatile 
amines, which are produced in putrefaction.
--Peter Heytler

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