Observation 118265: Hygrophorus sordidus Peck
When: 2012-11-18
No herbarium specimen
0 Sequences

Proposed Names

17% (2)
Used references: IDed by J.N. Burghardt of the NJ Mycological Association
14% (2)
Recognized by sight

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Sordidus / subsordidus
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2012-11-29 19:23:15 CST (-0600)

I’ve just read the descriptions of H. sordidus and H. subsordidus in Hesler & Smith.

The former is reported from oak-hickory woods in DofC, MA, MD, NY, NC, MI, and IL, July through November. It’s conceivable that this mushroom might fruit under hardwoods around this time of year in the southern part of the reported range, but certainly not in any other mentioned state around our latitudes — it’s just too late and too cold. The hardwoods have long dropped their leaves, rendering them inactive till next spring. Based on this fact, we can safely rule out H. sordidus from our consideration for this observation.

Now, H. subsordidus is reported as growing in oak-pine woods in FL, AL and TX in Nov-Dec. Thus it’s possible that this mushroom could be mychorrizal with conifers, which at least hypothetically can place it here in the NJ Pine Barrens. It’s also not impossible that its actual range may extend northward through the eastern coastal states, where similar oak-pine forests are common. Lack of vouchered collections doesn’t rule out future sightings. On the other hand, since this fungus allegedly prefers a late fall fruiting in the deep south, I do admit that it’s rather difficult to picture it flourishing around this time in the coastal plains of NJ or even NC. Difficult, but not impossible…

I do agree with you, Walter, that if their distribution limits and growing seasons do overlap, microscopy would be the techinique of choice to definitively tell these apart.

The Coastal Plain
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2012-11-29 15:32:48 CST (-0600)

does have species that are usually found farther south. Both species do associate with oaks and H. subsordidus is found under oaks and in oak pine woods. They are very close with H. subsordidus having narrower gills and narrower spores. Both are expected this time of year. If their ranges overlap, it would be difficult to make an identification unless you had both species in hand at the same time. DNA or at least microscopy is needed here.

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2012-11-29 14:46:51 CST (-0600)

As per MushroomExpert.com, H. sordidus is associated with hardwoods, and one wouldn’t expect to find it so late in the season even in the Pine Barrens.

According to the Burghardts, they have been repeatedly finding the pictured mushroom in FPP since the survey/project started in 2009, and frequently in the same location. In November 2009, they took this mushroom to the NAMA meeting in Lousiana, where it was visually IDed by experts as H. subsordidus.

The coastal plains are known to have occasionally produced out-of-range species one would only expect to find in other parts of the country, and I am sure that the frequency of such discoveries will increase in the future. On the other hand, it is also home to species one wouldn’t normally find outside of this eco-zone.

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2012-11-28 22:27:09 CST (-0600)

Thanks for a clarification — I wasn’t sure about its limits of distribution. By the way, the mushrooms look “viscid” because I rinsed them off before taking pics — too much debris and sand. They were totally dry before the bath… It’s not in any of the field guides in my possession, and I don’t have the Bessette waxycap monograph. Any idea what these may be?

Hygrophorus subsordidus
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2012-11-28 21:45:38 CST (-0600)

Has a stipe that is not viscid and usually tapers downward. It is a species of the SE U.S. Alabama-Texas-Florida

Created: 2012-11-28 21:16:21 CST (-0600)
Last modified: 2014-03-16 10:30:16 CDT (-0500)
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