Observation 202028: Cleistocybe vernalis Ammirati, A.D. Parker & Matheny

Found in uniquely mushroomy zone along the Emigrant (most areas showed almost no fungal activity). Intact forest consisting of Incense cedar and dogwood and pine, moist soil conditions.


Cleistocybe cap
Cleistocybe gills
Cleistocybe stipe.
cap and gills
Cleistocybe vernalis spores
note prominent apiculus.
Cleistocybe basidia.JPG
KOH pale green on cap.
water mount; note oil drops.

Proposed Names

66% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: funnel-shaped dry cap, recurved margin, with darker scales; decurrent pale brownish gills; bright white spore drop; fibrillose stipe.
Used references: Matchmaker.
Based on microscopic features: spores inamyloid, with prominent apiculus, with 1-2 oils drops or drops lacking, 7-8.5 × 4-6 microns. four-spored basidia colorless, with granular material.
Based on chemical features: farinaceous odor. KOH pale green on cap.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
I hear you, Drew.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2015-03-30 10:29:49 CDT (-0400)

there was only one fruit body, but this was also true for almost every other collection that I made in the Sierra this past week. The one exception was Floccularia, which grew in clusters, contrary to its more normal one off fruitings!

I assume that you did the DNA on these with Matheny? Perhaps I can get Bruns to run this one.

Partial veils, for many different species, are notorious for disappearing over time.

Macro-morphology is infinitely variable; micro has always been more dependable, but even that is not perfect. DNA confirmation or denial would be useful here, esp. if it expands our knowledge of a rather unknown species.

By: Drew Parker (mycotrope)
2015-03-30 02:18:11 CDT (-0400)

I’m wishing this collection had been in better shape and not so deteriorated. It very well could be C. vernalis, but the species tends to become less distinctive as it gets older, and there are things about this specimen that don’t look quite right. In your favor are the KOH rxn; the micro; odor; and general stature. A couple of things that bother me include the lack of an annulus with patchy veil tissue below, a defining feature; and the stipe is atypically short, especially for its age. Neither of these things prove it’s not C. vernalis, but a younger, fresher fruitbody would more likely reveal the unique features of the species. Young fruitbodies have that unusual pinkish-grayish-brown color that is characteristic, but fades to a more common straw brown. A couple of other things to look for in C. vernalis are rather thick rhizomorphs at the base, and that often they come up in small clusters, sometimes even fused at the base.

I’ll try to post some more images of it in the next few days. It’s almost time to go out looking for it here in the northern interior.

Created: 2015-03-29 11:51:37 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2015-04-09 23:38:09 CDT (-0400)
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