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Leratiomyces ceres (redlead roundhead)

Redlead roundhead is an attractive fungus easily recognised by its orange, slimy cap and dark gills. It can be found growing in large clusters on woodchip mulch.
Leratiomyces ceres

Leratiomyces ceres (Photo: Geoffrey Kibby)

Species information

Common name: 

redlead roundhead

Conservation status: 

An introduced species, which is becoming widespread in much of Europe and North America, and is not of conservation concern. Uncommon in Australia but not of noted conservation concern.


Occurs primarily on woodchip mulch, continuing to fruit for several years as the wood chips decay. More information below.

Known hazards: 

Not known.


Genus: Leratiomyces

About this species

Redlead roundhead is an alien species in Britain, and was first reported here in 1957, being recorded growing on sawdust in Somerset by Orton (1960). A subsequent collection from Surrey in November 1957 was described and illustrated by Reid. Since then it has spread widely and is now quite common in some areas, fruiting sometimes in abundance on woodchip mulch. It is occasionally also found away from woodchip in natural habitats.

It continues to be reported worldwide and is now known throughout much of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. However, its mode of dispersal and colonisation are, as for other woodchip fungi, little understood.

At the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in Surrey, investigation of mulch and soil using DNA analysis showed somewhat inconsistent results but in general found that the fungus is present in soil, which may then provide a reservoir for colonisation of the mulch.

Until 2008 this species was known as Stropharia aurantiaca, and reference materials produced up until that point refer to it under that name.


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