Observation 181748: Lycoperdon echinatum Pers.

When: 2014-09-20

Collection location: Lower Trenta Valley, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia [Click for map]

46.3518° 13.6739° 1025m

Who: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)

Specimen available

Code: Bot_839/2014_DSC4335

Habitat: old mountain Fagus sylvatica forest with some Picea abies, south inclined mountain slope, calcareous ground, warm and relatively dry place, in shade, under a Fagus sylvatica tree, partly protected from direct rain by tree canopies, average precipitations ~ 3.000 mm/year, average temperature 5-7 deg C, elevation 1.025 m (3.350 feet), alpine phytogeographical region.

Substratum: forest ground, organic debris on soil, mostly Fagus sylvatica leaves and Picea abies needles.

Place: Lower Trenta valley, Lemovlje flats, near mountain trail to Mt. Bavški Grintavec, above the settlement Lemovlje, East Julian Alps, Posočje, Slovenia EC

Comments: Growing solitary, fruit body diameter 4.8 cm (spines included), stem-like base height 1.8 cm, diameter about 1.5 cm; spines up to 3 mm long, partly solitary and partly two to four fused at the top; SP and mature gleba brown-gray with slight purple-lilac tint, oac638 (but darker).

Nikon D700/Nikkor Micro 105mm/f2.8 and Canon G11, 6.1-30mm/f2.8-4.5

Species Lists



Proposed Names

85% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Like a miniature hedgehog!
Used references: (1) Leg.: Jernej Trnkoczy
(2) R.M. Daehncke, 1200 Pilze in Farbfotos, AT Verlag (2009), p 1087.
(3) R. Lueder, Grundkurs Pilzbestimmung, Quelle & Meyer (2008), p 326.
(4) R. Phillips, Mushrooms, Macmillan (2006), p 328.
(5) S. Buczacki, Collins Fungi Guide, Collins (2012), p 430.
(6) J. Breitenbach, F. Kraenzlin, Eds., Fungi of Switzerland, Vol.2. Verlag Mykologia (1986), p 390.
(7) G.J. Krieglsteiner (Hrsg.), Die Grosspilze Baden-Württembergs, Band 2., Ulmer (2000), p 142.
Based on microscopic features: Spores coarsely warty. Dimensions: 4,4 [4,9 ; 5] 5,5 × 4,3 [4,7 ; 4,9] 5,3 μ, Q = 1 [1,0] 1,1; N = 37; C = 95%, Me = 4,9 × 4,8 μ; Qe = 1. Olympus CH20, NEA 100x/1.25, magnification 1.000 x, oil. AmScope MA500 digital camera.
50% (1)
Recognized by sight: I just collected Lycoperdon pulcherrimum two weeks ago and your collection could be the same species. Purple is a color that is usually found with this species.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Hm, hard to answer.
By: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)
2014-10-13 12:03:29 CDT (-0400)

Probably one should go to see original descriptions of both. Unfortunately, I have no access to the reference ’Lycoperdon americanum, Demoulin, Espèces nouvelles ou méconnues du genre Lycoperdon (Gasteromycetes), Lejeunia, n.s. 62: 2 (1972)), see Index fungorum and MycoBank. Try to get it.

Good luck

Lycoperdon echinatum
By: John Steinke (John Steinke)
2014-10-10 07:28:36 CDT (-0400)

Well presented and well defended. I have read everything I could find on this and it all points to L. echinatum. Now the problem, the collections that I made seem to be like yours and we are not suppose to have L. echinatum in the USA. How do you tell the difference between L. echinatum and L. americanum.

Thanks for bringing more pieces to the puzzle.


probably not L. pulcherrimum
By: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)
2014-10-07 11:12:32 CDT (-0400)

Hi John,

Thanks for your proposal. However, I would hardly agree with it. These are my arguments:

L. pulcherrimum is neither listed in Slovenian checklist of fungi nor exsists in Boletus Informaticus data base at Slovenian Forestry Institute, while L. echinatum has been described in over 50 UTM squares. So, to find L. pulcherrimum in my country would be the first find, which seems quite improbable. I also cannot find its description in my English (GB) and German books. The only description I found is in Aurora, Mushrooms Demystified, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley (1979), which is USA based. Seems this is an US speies (?).

Aurora’s description speaks of long (4-6 mm), slender and white (and remainig white) spines and chambered sterile base, which could hardly fit to my find. Also, he states spore diameter to be 4-4.5 microns, while average spores diameter I measured was almost 5 microns.

Slight violet tint of mature gleba of Lycoperdon echinatum is mentioned for example in Buczacki, Collins Fungi Guide, Collins, (2012). Therefore it seems to be a questionable distinguishing trait between L. perlatum and L. pulcherrimum.

Based on this I would rather stay with L. echinatum. Do you have some additional arguments in favor of L. pulcherrimum?

Warmest regards and thanks for your interest.

Thanks Debbie!
By: amadej trnkoczy (amadej)
2014-10-07 10:58:03 CDT (-0400)


good candidate for …
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2014-10-06 11:25:23 CDT (-0400)

best pet mushroom! ;)

nice documentation, Amadej.

Created: 2014-10-06 07:19:37 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2014-10-06 07:42:35 CDT (-0400)
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