The fruit bodies of this group of species are mushrooms. The caps (up to 8 cm in diameter, but often only about half that) are usually some shade of grey-brown to olive-brown; flat or with a shallow curvature and often with a slight central bump; smooth; tacky to slimy in moist conditions. They may become wrinkled in dry conditions. The gills are white. The stems are very long in relation to cap diameter and may approach 20 cm in length and about a centimetre in diameter, white in the upper half and grey-brown lower down. Mostly the mushrooms are solitary but sometimes you will see small groups and while they almost always appear to be growing in soil, they arise from buried wood.
At one stage the name Oudemansiella radicata was applied to Australian specimens but (1) this was found to be inappropriate and (2) specimens named to that species were found to represent several macroscopically similar species. Australian specimens were shunted into the genus Xerula and then back to Oudemansiella. Given the macroscopic similarity of these Oudemansiella species, for the purposes of Canberra Nature Map I lump them all together as Oudemansiella 'radicata group'. At least two species of this group are known to occur in the ACT: Oudemansiella gigaspora and Oudemansiella variabilis.
If you dig carefully you may be able to follow the stem of one of these mushrooms down to the wood, often many centimetres below the soil surface. The below-ground part of the stem is superficially root-like, hence the species epithet radicata (derived from the Latin word for root) and the colloquial name of Rooting shank.
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Oudemansiella 'radicata group' has been recorded at: