Observation 120768: Volvopluteus gloiocephalus (DC.) Vizzini, Contu & Justo

When: 2012-12-04

Collection location: San Francisco, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: TaxoNerd (Taxo)

No specimen available

Possible Volvariella speciosa

Pileus –
cap 4cm when button or young, 5cm (and likely larger, though I did not collect some of the larger specimens, the same (or at least a similar species) looked to be up to 8 or 9cm); campanulate to convex, becoming planar or slightly umbonate, slightly incurved at the margin on younger specimens; smooth, viscid, and shiny; greyish-silver, darker in the center, lighter towards the margin.

Stipe –
stalk 5 – 6.5cm (likely up to 10cm, based on older, more mature specimens in the same patch); central to pileus; smooth, with fine white fibrils; white to off-white, brownish-yellow; tapering upward, and somewhat enlarged or bulbous below; fleshy and dense; sac-like volva at base, no annulus.

Lamellae -
gills free from stalk, with short gills (lamellulae), between each pair of broad gills, extending from the cap margin to roughly ¼ to ¾ the distance to the stipe; white to off-white, brownish-yellow, becoming pinkish with maturity; close to very close, especially when young.

Spores -
spore print pink

Habitat –
in mulched, landscaped garden and nearby grasses, likely manure or other, similar fertilizer or compost used; collected December 3, 2012, following nearly a week of very heavy rain, and normal temperatures for the season; Central area of San Francisco, CA.

Comments -
a button of this, or at least a very similar species, was taken to the Mycological Society of San Francisco’s annual Fungus Fair, and identified by one of the mycologists (Alan Rockafeller) at the Identification Booth as Volvariella speciosa.

These things are prolific! But they look similar to death caps when young, and supposedly they are best when young. I believe this species must be the one that a handful of immigrants from Asia think they are eating, when they poison themselves with Amanita phalloides.

Proposed Names

91% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Silver-gray cap, in grass, egg-like appearance when young, sac-like volva at base of stem, no ring on stalk
Used references: Mykoweb,
Lincoff (1981),
ID table at Fungus Fair (Alan Rockafeller)

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Created: 2012-12-22 05:08:12 CST (-0600)
Last modified: 2013-07-22 15:25:33 CDT (-0500)
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