Public Description of Pluteus cervinus (Schaeff.) P. Kumm.

Title: Public Description (Default)
Name: Pluteus cervinus (Schaeff.) P. Kumm.
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 Draft For 2008/2009 Eol University Species Pages Initiative By Dan Anderson (Private)
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Description status: Unreviewed

Taxonomic Classification:

Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Basidiomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Pluteaceae
Genus: Pluteus


General Description:

Pluteus cervinus is characterized by pink spores, free gills, a white stipe, and a light brown pileus that can reach a diameter of 10 cm or more. Pluteus cervinus, although it may not be macroscopically beautiful, is quite marvelous under the microscope. It bears beautiful cystidia with apical horned projections. The spores are 5-8 × 4-6 um, elliptical and smooth.


Picture of an immature Pluteus cervinus
Photo courtesy of Dan Molter


Photo of a mature Pluteus cervinus
Photo courtesy of S.H.


Horned cystidia
Photo courtesy of Tom Volk

The common name of this species is the “Deer Mushroom”. It is only a coincidence that the deer mushroom resembles the color of the actual deer; the name comes from the horned cystidia that mimic a deer’s antlers.
this species is saprophytic .


Diagnostic Description:

Phylum Basidiomycota, class Hymenomycetes, order Agaricales, family Pluteaceae, genus Pluteus, species Pluteus cervinus. It is very easy to identify this species to order due to the true gills; however, identifying it to the family Pluteaceae may be more difficult. Pluteus cervinus has two morphological stages, an immature and a mature stage. The immature stage has densely packed white gills and a much more convex pileus. The mature stage reveals the pink spore color on the gills as they become more separated than the immature stage. The pileus is much less convex and can be slightly concave. The pink spore color and free gills need to be known to identify this mushroom to family Pluteaceae. This species has no annulus so it is placed in the genus Pluteus. To identify the species the microscopic characteristics are very important. Pluteus cervinus has many horned cystidia that are very easy to see with a microscope.


Distribution:

This species is very common in midwestern and eastern areas of North America. It can also be found in other parts of North America and Europe, as well as temperate Asia.


Habitat:

Pluteus cervinus is found in moist habitats growing on rotten hardwoods in forests. It usually fruits on well rotted wood.


Look Alikes:

Pluteus salicinus keys out very close to Pluteus cervinus with the exception that the stipe turns blue when bruised. Otherwise both species look very similar.


Photo of Pluteus salicinus with bruised stipe.
Photo courtesy of Dan Molter

Pluteus atromarginatus
with dark gill edges. otherwise similar cap color etc.

Pluteus magnus also similar but cap may be darker and more wrinkled, and it grows in clusters.

Pluteus pouzarianus differs from Pluteus cervinus by its lack of raphanoid smell, presence of clamps in the pileipellis, a two layered pileipellis of hyaline hyphae overlaying brown hyaphae, and growth on coniferous wood.

There are a number of other Pluteus species that can be distinguished microscopically.

According to Flora Agaricina Neerlandica:

Pluteus pouzarianus
spores: 6-8 × 4-5.5µm, ellipsoid to oblong, some oval
pleurocystidia: 70-90 × 13-22µm, 2-4 acute hooks at apex, narrowly fusiform

Pluteus cervinus
spores: 6.5-8.5 × 4.5-6.5µm, broadly ellipsoid to oblong
pleurocystidia: 55-90 × 12-21 µm, 2-6 acute hooks at apex, narrowly fusiform

Entoloma species also have pink spores, but their gills are attached to the stalk. In addition, they grow on the ground, unlike Pluteus species that cause a wood decay.


Uses:

While this mushroom is edible, the taste may not be very satisfying. However, some people really like it. De gustibus non est disputandum. There are no economically important uses for this species.


Notes:

“Common Name: Deer Mushroom / Fawn Mushroom”

It is only a coincidence that the deer mushroom resembles the color of the actual deer, the name comes from the horned cystidia that mimic a deer’s antlers.

sources:
Kuo, M. (2004, December). Pluteus cervinus: The deer mushroom. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/pluteus_cervinus.html

Volk, T. (1998). Tom Volk’s Fungus of the Month for June 1998. Retrieved from TomVolkfungi.net Web site: http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/june98.html

Dan Anderson, 12/12/2008, UW-La Crosse Mycology

The following was added by an anonymous donor:

Pluteus pouzarianus is a similar species that differs from Pluteus cervinus by its lack of raphanoid smell, presence of clamps in the pileipellis, a two layered pileipellis of hyaline hyphae overlaying brown hyaphae, and growth on coniferous wood.


Another name that gets thrown around is P. magnus. Mike Wood found the following two descriptions in the literature for Pluteus magnus:

Singer, R. (1956). Contributions Towards a Monograph of the Genus Pluteus. Transactions of the British Mycological Society 39, 145-232.
&
Banerjee, P. & Sundberg, W.J. (1995). The Genus Pluteus Section Pluteus (Pluteaceae, Agaricales) in the Midwestern United States. Mycotaxon 53, 189-246.

He has photocopies of these descriptions at:
http://www.mykoweb.com/temp/Pluteus_magnus_1.pdf
http://www.mykoweb.com/temp/Pluteus_magnus_2.pdf


A description of P. pouzarianus by Else Vellinga can be found in.

Bas, C., Kyper, Th. W., Noordeloos, M. E. & Vellinga, E. C. (1990). Flora Agaricina Neerlandica—Critical monographs on the families of agarics and boleti occuring in the Netherlands. Volume 2. Pluteaceae, Tricholomataceae. A. A. Balkema: Rotterdam, Netherlands. 137p.

and online at:

Google Books

MykoWeb has photos and comments on P. pouzarianus at:

http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF/species/Pluteus_pouzarianus.html

With this group a little microscopy goes a long way.


Description authors: Tom Volk, Johannes Harnisch, Dan Anderson (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editors: Nathan Wilson, Michael Wood, IntoTheFlames


Created: 2008-03-03 10:20:17 CST (-0500) by Nathan Wilson (nathan)
Last modified: 2012-01-16 09:47:01 CST (-0500) by IntoTheFlames
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