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Leucocoprinus birnbaumii (plantpot dapperling)

The aptly named 'plantpot dapperling' mushroom often provides a surprise when its brilliant yellow fruiting bodies spring suddenly but fleetingly from plant pots in the dead of winter.
Plantpot dapperling in natural habitat

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii in its natural habitat. Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photo: Bryn Dentinger)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii (Corda) Singer

Common name: 

plantpot dapperling (from British Mycological Society’s List of Recommended English Names for Fungi in the UK), yellow flowerpot mushroom, yellow houseplant mushroom, yellow parasol.

Conservation status: 

Widespread and common.


Rich soils in tropical and subtropical regions; also common in plant pots and greenhouses in temperate regions.

Key Uses: 

As an accidental ornamental in garden displays.

Known hazards: 

Poisonous, causing gastrointestinal irritation.


Genus: Leucocoprinus

About this species

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii is an attractive, brightly coloured tropical mushroom that grows in rich soils. First described by the Czech mycologist August Corda in 1839, it is perhaps best known for its spontaneous appearance in indoor plant pots and greenhouses throughout the world. In fact, L. birnbaumii was first discovered growing on and between pineapple plants in a German earl’s garden. Its name ‘birnbaumii’ refers to Birnbaum, the earl’s Garden Inspector.

Because it recycles dead organic material, this mushroom does no harm to its horticultural neighbours, and its burst of brilliance can thus be appreciated guilt-free!


Numerous. See the Species Fungorum for a complete list.


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