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Xeromphalina, either X. campanella or X. kaufmanii, http://www.mushroomexpert.com/xeromphalina_campanella.html    http://www.mushroomexpert.com/xeromphalina_kauffmanii.html     . The hundreds of caps may seem like one multi-capped entity, but it's actually a whole lot of individual mushrooms. A typical growth pattern for either species. 

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Hard to say, troutdicted. Sometimes I remember an entire Latin binonial as soon as I see an example. Sometimes I just remember the genus name... and maybe the first letter of the species name. This is generally enough info for me to narrow things down rather quickly by using online sources like Mushroom Expert and/or Champignons du Quebec, as well as my assortment of hard-copy filed guides. Sometimes I may need to poke around the literature for awhile just to settle upon a fairly confident ID proposal. Sometimes I check Index Fungorum to give myself the best chance of using the most current name (although IF is not always up to date, and like any such resource, there are likely a few mistakes on IF). Keeping up with the changing nomenclature presents quite a challenge. 

Over the winter I tend to forget names because I'm not seeing any examples where the names are applied. So every spring/summer/fall is like a review session out in the woods. I put a lot of time into attaching names onto my own photos, and I post a lot to Mushroom Observer, where other members often suggest alternatives to my ID proposals. For me, mushroom ID is mostly about knowing how to use available resources. Also, acceptance that I should occasionally adopt the use of a new name, alter my concept of some species, or allow myself to be corrected all contribute to expanding my knowledge of mushrooms. 

There is a nice pocket-sized book available (for northeastern NA), "Mushrooms of the Northeast" by Teresa Marrone and Walt Sturgeon. It's got a few of my photos in it. 

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