Observation 118492: Lyophyllum P. Karst.
When: 2012-11-30
No herbarium specimen
0 Sequences

On a snowy day, I found this.

Odor: Very fragrant; a bit fruity & spicy. Does not smell like anything I’ve smelled of the Russuales.
Taste: Like odor, but slightly soapy, perhaps. Nevertheless, very good (raw taste & spit).

Reminds me of a blewit, but at least compared to the species I’ve foundt, hsi is smaller, different odor, & diff. taste, plus no trace of purple and basal bulb is different.

Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight
-18% (3)
Recognized by sight: If you look closely in the enlarged 2nd photo, you should see glandules (should have said sphaerocysts) embedded in the cap. Normally these produce a clear or colored latex. But this specimen (you say found on a snowy day) may be quite old, and may even have been frozen. I’m a little concerned about the “basal bulb” and would like more information regarding it.
-29% (3)
Recognized by sight: The photos of the stem are dark and the resolution is too low to see a fuzzy base, but my first impression was “Paxillus” like.
-20% (3)
Recognized by sight: I think it promising this is a blewit that has been through frost cycles, however some aspects I’ve mentioned of this exceptionally fragrant blewit(?) make me uncertain if it is indeed a blewit (at least of the Lepista nuda type).
-33% (4)
Recognized by sight
60% (3)
Based on microscopic features: Round spores 4-6 micrones
30% (2)
Recognized by sight
57% (1)
Based on microscopic features: Spore size and shape matches

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Not in this case
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2012-12-13 12:34:54 PST (-0800)

Sam, I usually post photos of spores if they are good and interesting, but not in this case. This is a very immature specimen that probably froze to dead and had relatively few mature spores. I had to chase them singulalry through the slide. But I saw at least 20, but none of them too photogenic.

By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2012-12-13 10:55:05 PST (-0800)

ATM, I’m not presently in a good situation for scoping. However, if anyone needs my 1/2, I can see if it is in a condition to send.

Either way, I’m looking fwd. to anything further Dimitar says about it if he has more to add in the future.

Dimtar, will you be posting pics of the spores you scoped of this specimen?

Thank you Irene.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2012-12-13 09:24:24 PST (-0800)

Thank you Irene — in a previous mycological life I used to stare at a lot of Lepista spores to know what they look like. I just uploaded some Lepista spores to MT — they are quite different — minutely warted and hyaline, well ellipsoid, far different than smooth and round in your specimen.

Sam has the other half of the specimen, he can scope it or take it someone to scope it.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-12-13 07:18:04 PST (-0800)

should have warted spores, I think Dimi would have noticed if they were.
Another option is Tricholoma that has some species with more or less globose spores, but I have no idea what this could be. The specimen isn’t exactly in its prime..

Lepista or other?
By: Sam.Schaperow (Sam.Schaperow)
2012-12-13 06:25:54 PST (-0800)

I want to ask if you think the info. shows it could be a Lepista nuda. If you recall, that was my 1st guess, but that there were a couple characteristics that made me not fully confident in that ID (smell for instance, and taste, even though everything else looked like L. nuda, including the texture when considering what it had been through so extremely late in the season and amidst snow).

Looking at http://www.mushroomexpert.com/clitocybe_nuda.html, I see the spores would be “ellipsoid”, while http://www.mushroomexpert.com/lyophyllum_decastes.html is “round or nearly so”. Of course, there are other characteristics to differentiate the two’s spores, as well.

As for L. decastes, I see they are pictured there as cespitose, while what I found was growing singly. Mine also is fragrant, while these don’t seem listed that way (though maybe another source says otherwise).


Posted earlier to MushroomTalk@Yahoogroups.com
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2012-12-13 01:55:31 PST (-0800)

Hi Sam,

I received your specimen a few days ago, but being very busy, both professionally and mycologically, it took me longer than 15 minutes since reception to process it. That’s not the case usually…

In a nutshell, my guess was wrong. This is not anywhere near Russulaceae, so my suggestion of Lactarius did not hold well upon microscopy examination.

I need to give it one more look as the material is not in an ideal condition, but I saw round spores in the 4-6 micron range. Which to me suggest genus Lyophyllum… likely even L. decastes…

Frozen & Name
By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2012-12-02 10:25:14 PST (-0800)

I c, so if totally frozen, then unfrozen, repeatedly, I can imagine this could affect its physical characteristics. Anyway, I’m sending it off to CA for microscopic analysis. At the least it’ll confirm the genus.

The name: The reason for my comment on the name’s relation to the color “blue” starts with one of my books (“The Wild Table”), which says "Imagine Michael Caine in Alfie saying, ‘Blue hat’, and you hae the old-time English origin of the endearing name “blewit”. But, I realize one pair of authors could have possibly had the wrong info., so I did a search of some terms. First I looked into the town, which I see is spelled differently (Blewett*, Washington). Of course, spellings do change sometimes for various reasons.

I also looked into “blewit etymology” in google and found memidex, which displays sources that consider it named in relation to blue and probably in that relation. I saw nothing on WA. Also, I think the name started in relation to the European mushrooms called blewits.

This is what I found, but I can contact one of the authors from my book and ask for more information if we decide that makes the most sense.


Having grown blewitts
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-12-01 21:46:18 PST (-0800)

I can confirm it can be totally frozen, but still continue growing after thawing. I don’t know any other mushroom that can do that except Morchella. I have seen Morchella with 4-inch caps of snow (makes them easier to spot), and yet continue to mature after thawing.

BTW, blewitts are not named for blue, but rather for Blewitt, Washington.

By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2012-12-01 18:37:51 PST (-0800)

It is nice to get another opinion. I don’t think it is a T. atrotomentosa because I found no lower stipe fuzz (though the coloration can easily lead someone down the T. path), it was as clearly as I could see growing in the dirt, and the lamellae are not decurrent.

Oddities of Blewits
By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2012-12-01 17:52:37 PST (-0800)

Hi Daniel:

I know what you mean. Even the name implies it’ll be blue (or blue-like). Yet, in some areas the wood blewit and field blewit (latter mostly a Eur-Asian species) both can be tan. Check out the following (especially the tan pictures in the latter link), which may lead you to change your vote:

As for degrading in a freeze, blewits are tolerant of a freeze. But, when temperatures get cold enough (more than a light freeze), then warm up, then get very cold the next night, etc., I have very recently learned even they can be affected by those weather patterns.

I’d think to partially analogize it with how some plants can handle light freezes, but if you give them a good solid hard freeze long enough, they are affected (probably their growth, too).

Sam -
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-12-01 17:27:31 PST (-0800)

if you search for Lepista nuda here on MO, you will almost always find bluish to purplish gills. This obs. doesn’t have purplish gills. Lepista nuda is one of the very few fungi that, in my experience, doesn’t degrade in a freeze. This obs. has a cap which appears to be degrading visibly.

L.n. should also have a lighter brown (buff or tan) cap.

2 things
By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2012-12-01 14:31:59 PST (-0800)

1. I just posted new pics showing the fibrous texture w/in the stipe, plus another view of the lamellae.
2. Tuberale: I just noticed your comment on the basal bulb. I maybe should have just said “stipe’s base”, for the base pictured isn’t very bulbous. Beyond the issue of its shape, it lacked any other material (such as what’s often seen with blewits) beyond what’s pictured.

By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2012-12-01 14:03:38 PST (-0800)

Maybe I’ve been biased by fragile (stipe snaps cleanly, lamellae often break easily when bent, etc.) Lactarius species. But, don’t they all have sphaerocysts? If so, they should be at least semi-fragile, whether found in the West or East.

Interestingly, Dimitar has told me this certainly looks like a Lactarius, but he also said it would be fragile or snap easily (he’s a West Coast dude).

I should look into this further.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-12-01 13:43:44 PST (-0800)

Lactarius is not necessarily fragile. Few species I know are what I would consider fragile. But I don’t hunt in CT either.

Also, the gills looks to be changing color in a sort of splotchy way. Several Lactarius gills change color.

By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2012-12-01 11:26:30 PST (-0800)

in mixed woods on ground

By: Sam.Schaperow (SamSchaperow)
2012-12-01 11:08:29 PST (-0800)

Hi Tuberale:

What keeps me away from Lactarius is the lack of fragility (so likely no sphaerocysts), fibrous stipe (I should have examined and mentioned), the odor, & no latex. Of course, many of these factors keep me from Russulas.

Clitocybe is my best guess. TY for the suggestion so I could get this additional info. out there.

Created: 2012-12-01 09:08:59 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2012-12-13 13:40:34 PST (-0800)
Viewed: 206 times, last viewed: 2017-11-05 05:58:06 PST (-0800)
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