Observation 131807: Elaphomyces muricatus Fr.
When: 2013-04-14
Herbarium specimen reported

Notes: I don’t know what is this stuff, even if it is fungi, but I thought it was when a saw the first with brown powder in. Found on a oak and cedar mixed wood.

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By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2013-04-15 12:58:52 CDT (-0400)

The marbling of the peridium (rind) are from spore pockets in the peridium.

Thus an animal which eats the exterior but not the interior is likely to get spores as well. Boars are noted for this. In Europe, boars near Chernobyl received substantial amounts of radioactive cesium after eating Elaphomyces.

By: Elsa (pinknailsgirl)
2013-04-15 10:42:52 CDT (-0400)

If the best is NATS Field Guide to Selected North American Truffles and Truffle-like Fungi, by Matt Trappe, Frank Evans and James Trappe, so the M. Trappe photos are elucidative: “Elaphomyces granulatus has a tough outer rind that is not marbled in cross-section like that of Elaphomyces muricatus”


These have a marbled cross-section, and a thicker peridium.

Soil pH not a factor.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2013-04-15 07:04:51 CDT (-0400)

Both Elaphomyces are found in very acidic soils in Oregon and Washington.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2013-04-15 07:00:27 CDT (-0400)

Description wrong as well. I remember when he came to my parents’ farm to photograph in the 1990’s, along with Andrew Weil. (1993?) Wang Yun was there also. We found an abundance of hypogeous fungi, but not much variety.

Rogers’ description doesn’t seem to include any information about spore groupings in the peridium.

The peridium containing spores is key to these two species.

Usually (but not always) granulatus has a relatively thin peridium within embedded spores. Granulatus has a thicker peridium with embedded spores.

Description in Smith, Smith and Weber more accurate. Also, Alexander Smith mostly lumped the Elaphomyces into two species. Spores in the peridium were a key point in distiguishing them.

Alexander H. Smith claimed Elaphomces was the most abundant truffle in the Northern Hemisphere.

Frequently found in beds including both mature and immature specimens. Sporocarps are found year-round. I remember finding a bed of sporocarps under oak and scattered Douglas-fir in clay. At the time I couldn’t distinguish between the 2 species either. Dr. Trappe gave a talk detailing differences.

Both species have warted sporocarps. Both are found in beds with fibrous mycelium wrapped around the sporocarps. A description which does not include the peridium details is suspect.

A better source for information is NATS Field Guide to Selected North American Truffles and Truffle-like Fungi, by Matt Trappe, Frank Evans and James Trappe.

Rogers photos also misrepresent other hypogeous fungi. Cystangium vesiculosa is one.

By: Elsa (pinknailsgirl)
2013-04-14 15:06:53 CDT (-0400)

Elaphomyces muricatus (RogersMushrooms): http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/...

Elaphomyces granulatus (RogersMushrooms): http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/...

He doesn’t describe both the same way, is it wrong?

Elaphomyces confirmed. Muricatus questioned.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2013-04-14 14:51:41 CDT (-0400)

Had a conversation with Mike Castellano, who is doing a revision on the Elaphomyces. North America will have to wait until Europe and Central America are finished. (They are.)

Don’t want to speak out of turn, but Mike says American Elaphomyces are much more plentiful than just E. muricatus and E. granulatus. Brown spored Elaphomyces constitute at least 3 species, and probably more.

NATS Field Guide lumps Elaphomyces into 2 varieties: granulatus which does not contain spores within the peridium; and muricatus which does.

Several years ago I found a sp. nov. Elaphomyces, which I look forward to having named. Spores are a jumble of green and red, like a color-blindness test. Only one collection so far.

The inside is the same.
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2013-04-14 12:46:29 CDT (-0400)

Exterior warts are a bit more prominent in muricatus too but it is often invisible to the naked eye.

Look what the cat dragged in ;)


It is not the newest but very useful for people both with or without microscope.
At least I think so. I have not much experience in most of these mushrooms.

Tell me something
By: Elsa (pinknailsgirl)
2013-04-14 12:36:13 CDT (-0400)

I read that too, but… the photos I saw of the two…seem to me different, are the inside equal? Google images don’t show that.

If it is acidic,
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2013-04-14 12:23:01 CDT (-0400)

then this is more likely to be Elaphomyces granulatus or asperulus. E. muricatus grows in calcareous soil.
They also differ in the strength of the wall of the ascocarp. And in the size of the spores and their ornamentation.

I don’t know
By: Elsa (pinknailsgirl)
2013-04-14 12:10:05 CDT (-0400)

the pH of the soil, since this is a place with a different ecosystem, but probably acidic, once here on North that is the most seen.

Elaphomyces for sure.
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2013-04-14 11:55:24 CDT (-0400)

This is where Elaphocordyceps-species are to be found. Look out for these!
Is the soil calcareous or acidic?

By: Elsa (pinknailsgirl)
2013-04-14 11:40:26 CDT (-0400)

how lucky I was in finding these two, one younger and one older to compare.

Good find
By: Richard Sullivan (enchplant)
2013-04-14 10:07:14 CDT (-0400)

Good detective work! I was ready to dismiss it as a gall, but something about the outer rind looked like a truffle.

I think I found it
By: Elsa (pinknailsgirl)
2013-04-13 22:32:15 CDT (-0400)
No, it is
By: Elsa (pinknailsgirl)
2013-04-13 22:03:28 CDT (-0400)

completely round, perfect, the outside wall is rigid in the younger specimen and cracks on the older. In the younger the center is cotton like with some brown things that on microscope (a toy one) have round spores/seeds, in the older the brown powder are spores/seeds. So it could be a fruit, but it is weird, because I saw only oaks and cedars there, and they were on the ground. Besides, they don’t even have a peduncle, so I don´t know how can it be attached to a branch.

Looks like a gall.
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2013-04-13 21:18:19 CDT (-0400)

Created: 2013-04-13 19:56:15 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2013-06-19 13:16:03 CDT (-0400)
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