A genus of fungi in which the fruit bodies, which typically occur in clusters, are mushroom-shaped but very variable in colour (ochre to brown) and appearance; the spores are white. It includes A. mellea (honey fungus or honey tuft), a destructive parasite of trees, shrubs, and other plants. A. mellea can spread from one host plant to another by means of thick, black rhizomorphs (‘boot-laces’ or ‘shoe-straps’). It can also live saprotrophically, e.g. on dead tree-stumps, and forms a symbiotic mycorrhizal association with certain orchids.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.