Dr Cundall produced a 26 page paper on this topic the whole of which we obviously cannot reproduce here. We can give you only a taste of the subject matter which we hope will whet your appetite for more. Those of us who have experienced what might not have seemed at the time the benefit of having learnt Latin and/or Greek probably think now that struggles with vocabulary, cases and tenses were well worthwhile when it comes to dealing with the language of the various sciences - however rusty we are! and whatever some modern educationists may say to the contrary. However help is at hand for those of you who are totally lost but would like to know more. Dr Cundall has very kindly allowed us to quote him and to edit his material as we think fit for the purposes of the Newsletter. He has also agreed that if anyone is interested in having the whole paper we might copy the original and send it to you. Papers on the subject have also been produced by Ted Blackwell of the Shropshire Group. There is an agreement between Group Leaders to share information and I am sure that Ted would be happy to let you have copies of these. For further details contact the editor, Rita Cook.

Dr Cundall writes as follows. "This incomplete list is not an original work by a classicist or a professional mycologist. Thanks to helpful librarians it is a compilation of translations of names from some of the older books or found in dictionaries. Sometimes I have drawn a blank. Occasionally it is difficult to understand why the name was given to the fungus.

In some cases I have ventured a suggestion, but such interpretations may be mistaken. I trust this list will be useful to mycologists who are interested".

Some suffixes are noteworthy because they occur frequently e.g.

-aceus, -ides, -oides, -opsis, -otus = resembling (Coprinus micaceus = the ink-cap with crystals on its cap resembling mica);

-alis, -aris = pertaining to (Agrocybe arvalis = the field-head mushroom which grows in - i.e. pertaining to - pasture);

-ascens, -escens, -icens = becoming (Hygrocybe nigrescens = the moist-headed fungus which becomes black);

-aticus, -estris = refers to place (Agaricus silvaticus = the country fungus which grows in the woods/under trees);

-bilis = ability, capacity (Galerina mutabilis the fungus with the cap which has the ability to change colour);

-cola = inhabiting, (as aticus/estris above);

-ceps, -cybe, -pilea = head or cap (Cordyceps = fungus with a club-shaped head, Clitocybe = fungus with a flattened head, Conopilea = fungus with a conical head);

-cellus, -cillus, -ellus, -illus, -iscus, -ium, -ulus, -ullus = diminutives, a small fungus (Strobilurus tenacellus);

-folia, -phyllus = gills (Russula densifolia = the Russula with very crowded gills);

-formis = the shape of (Calvatia utriformis = the bald-headed fungus in the shape of a bag);

-gena = arising from (Hymenoscyphus fructigena = the fungus with the hymenium like a wine-cup

which arises from a fruit (in this case an acorn));

-myces/mycetes/mycotina = fungus, suffixes generally found at the end of names of classes or orders of fungi;

-olens = smelling of/pertaining to smell (Russula amoenolens and Cortinarius amoenolens = fungi with a delightful - fruity) smell);

-oma = margin, fringe (Hypholoma species = one of the several groups of fungi which initially have a veil or cortina traces of which can later be seen on the margin of the cap/gills forming a fringe and sometimes on the stipe, at least when young);

-osus, -ulentus = abundant (Boletus pulverulentus = the clod-shaped fungus full of/with abundant dust (spores?));

-otis, -otus = ear (Pholiota myosotis = the Pholiota which looks like a mouse ear);

-pes, -pus = foot (Clitocybe clavipes = the sloping-headed fungus with the club foot);

-phila = loving (Psathyrella ammophila = the small fragile fungus which grows with/loves marram grass (in dunes));

-trichum, -thrix = hair (Hypholoma polytrichi = the fungus with a webbed margin which grows among hair-like mosses)

Some Names:

abiegna, abietinus, abietus - pertaining to fir
acerbum - bitter
acerrimus - very sharp
acicula - like a small pin
acris - sharp
acuminatus, acutus - sharp
adiposa - fat
adspersum - scattered
adustus - scorched, swarthy
aeruginosa - verdigris, copper rust
Agaricus - of the country
Agrocybe - field cap, head
alnetorum, alnicola, alniphilus - inhabiting alder
Amanita - probably pert.to Mt. Amanus in Cilicia
ammophila - marram grass (=sand) loving
amoenolens - pleasant smelling
Aphyllophorales - without gills
apiculatus - with a little point
appendiculatus - with a small appendage
applanatum -flattened
Armillaria - pert. to a bracelet
asterospora - with star-shaped spores
ater, atra, atro - black
atramentarius - inky
aurata, aurea, aureola - golden
aurivella - like a golden fleece
azonites - not zoned
betularum, betuletorum, betulinus - pert. to birch
bi - two, bicolor - two coloured, biennis - two
years, bisporus - with two-spored basidia
Boletus - a clod
bryophila - moss loving
butyracea - buttery
Calocera - beautiful horn
Calocybe - beautiful haed
Calvatia - bald
Camarophyllus - with vaulted gills
candicans, candidus - shining white
caninus - pert. to a dog
capillaris - hair-like
capnoides - smoky
caput-Medusae - with a head with snake-like hair
carnea - fleshy
ceracea, cerea - waxy
cerussata - painted with white lead
cervinus - pert. to a deer
chlorophana - with a pale green apppearance
chrys - pert. to gold e.g. chrysenteron - gold
chrysodon - golden-toothed
chrysomphalina - gold navel
chrysophaeus - gold dusky
chrysorrheus - gold flowing
cibarius - food/edible
cimicarius - smelling of bugs
cinerea - ashen
cingulatum - girdled
cirrhatus - curled
citrina - lemon yellow
claroflava - bright yellow
Clavaria - pert. to a club
claviceps - nail head clavipes - with a club foot
Clitocybe/Clitopilus - with a sloping head
Collybia - like a small coin
comatus - long-haired

Want to know more? Contact us.

Copyright Note

The North West Fungus Group thank Dr R.D.Cundall of the Mid-Yorkshire Fungus Group for granting permission to republish parts of his article in our newsletter and on-line.

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