Ringless Honey Mushroom
Honey-colored, with a dry, scaly cap, lacking a ring on the stalk. Grows in clusters on wood. September–November. Cap convex, then flattened, the margin uplifted with age; yellow-brown to honey brown, with reddish brown cottony scales; texture dry, scaly. Gills narrow to broad; spacing distant; whitish, staining pinkish to brownish; attachment slightly descending. Stalk thick, tapering toward base; off-white to brownish; texture fibrous; growing in clusters with stalks fused at bases. Spore print white. Spores magnified are elliptical, smooth, colorless.
Lookalikes: The honey mushroom (Armillaria mellea) has a sticky cap and a ring. The poisonous jack-o'-lantern (Omphalotus illudens) is orange with a smooth cap. The big laughing gym (Gymnopilus junonius) is orange, bitter, with orange-brown spores and a ring. The deadly galerina (Galerina marginata) is smaller, has a smooth cap, a stalk ring, and brown spores.