Pileus (mycology)

The pileus is the technical name for the cap, or cap-like part, of a basidiocarp or ascocarp (fungal fruiting body) that supports a spore-bearing surface, the hymenium.[1] The hymenium (hymenophore) may consist of lamellae, tubes, or teeth, on the underside of the pileus. A pileus is characteristic of agarics, boletes, some polypores, tooth fungi, and some ascomycetes.


Pilei can be formed in various shapes, and the shapes can change over the course of the developmental cycle of a fungus. The most familiar pileus shape is hemispherical or convex. Convex pilei often continue to expand as they mature until they become flat. Many well-known species have a convex pileus, including the button mushroom, various Amanita species and boletes.

Some, such as the parasol mushroom, have distinct bosses or umbos and are described as umbonate. An umbo is a knobby protrusion at the center of the cap. Some fungi, such as chanterelles have a funnel- or trumpet-shaped appearance. In these cases the pileus is termed infundibuliform.

See also


  1. ^ Moore-Landecker, E: "Fundamentals of the Fungi", page 560. Prentice Hall, 1972.


  • Arora, D: "Mushrooms Demystified", Ten Speed Press, 1986.



Wikipedia has an article on:


Latin pilleus (a felt cap).


pileus (plural pilei)

  1. The cap of a mushroom.
  2. The bell of a jellyfish.
  3. (meteorology) A small thin cloud attached to a cumulus cloud. A cap cloud.
  4. A conical felt hat worn in ancient Rome and Greece.
  5. The top of the head of a bird, from the bill to the nape.






pīleus m (genitive pīleī); second declension

  1. Alternative spelling of pilleus


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative pīleus pīleī
genitive pīleī pīleōrum
dative pīleō pīleīs
accusative pīleum pīleōs
ablative pīleō pīleīs
vocative pīlee pīleī


Definitions by https://www.wiktionary.org/
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