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New Species of Blue Entoloma Mushroom (Skinny Blue Mushroom) found in SW China
source:Centre for Mountain Ecosystem Stuidies     author:JIANG Yi     2017-10-24

A new species of blue Entoloma mushroom was recently discovered by the research group of Prof. XU Jianchu from Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (KIB/CAS) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).


The new species was found in Mengsong village, Damenglong township, Jinghong County, in China’s southwestern Yunnan Province, and has been named Entoloma mengsongense.


Entoloma mengsongense. Photo by Samantha C. Karunarathna

The newly discovered mushroom belongs to the Entolomataceae family, which is comprised of around 1000 species. Like its relatives, it is completely blue from cap to stem apart from its pink gills.


The new mushroom is already drawing attention on the internet for an intriguing reason: last year, another mushroom from the same family played a part in a popular Chinese meme. A video clip of a young man complaining that he “feels bad, wants to cry” (nan shou xiang ku难受想哭) went viral because in the man’s heavy Guangxi accent, it sounded like he was repeating “skinny blue mushroom” (lan shou xianggu蓝瘦香菇). Chinese netizens quickly photoshopped the man’s face onto a real ‘skinny blue mushroom’ – Entoloma hochstetteri, found in New Zealand and India – and a meme was born.


Image: China Daily



Entoloma hochstetteri, photo by Phil Bendle



Entoloma hochstetteri, photo by Steve Axford



Entoloma virescens, photo by Ian Dodd

Entoloma mushrooms are often seen in habitats such as rainforests, woodlands, grasslands, and artic or alpine forests. As institutions such as KIB and ICRAF have made efforts to catalogue China’s fungal diversity, increasing numbers of Entoloma species have been discovered in Yunnan and other southern provinces.

The new research is published in the Turkish Journal of Botany entitled: “Etholoma mengsongense sp. nov. (Entolomataceae, Agaricales), a remarkable blue mushroom from Yunnan Province, China” (http://journals.tubitak.gov.tr/botany/issues/bot-17-41-5/bot-41-5-8-1611-13.pdf).
This study was financially supported by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, under the 12th five year National Key Technology Support Program (NKTSP) 2013BAB07B06 integration and comprehensive demonstration of key technologies on Green Phosphate Mountain Construction.

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Kunming Institute of Botany, CAS
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(Editor:Yang Mei)

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