Observation 21695: Cortinarius (Pers.) Gray
When: 2009-05-31
Herbarium specimen reported

Notes: Which Cortinarius could this be?

Spores roughened, elliptical, inequilateral, 5.5 – 6 × 9.5 – 10.5.

Proposed Names

85% (5)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
-27% (2)
Recognized by sight: see comments below

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-06-21 19:51:49 CDT (-0400)

Okay, just a random guess. I am very unfamiliar with this group, so thanks again!

Look some more.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-06-21 16:43:51 CDT (-0400)

If you take a look at the cap you’ll notice that your specimen is a Phlegmacium and does not look anything like that other observation. Also, the spores of the Telamonia around C. ahsii are quite different. Of course, at a certain level, all browned out Corts look alike.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-06-21 06:01:13 CDT (-0400)

Dimitar, thank you for your insight!

I just noticed Ron Pastorino’s observation of C. ashii here:

The way that the margin of the cap flares up and creates folds in on itself, as well as the unusually decurrent gills, and the thick stipe are all very similar of these two observations!

The pileus of this differs from Ron’s observation in having a more cream or yellowish, speckled appearance, as opposed to the fibrous or streaked appearance in Ron’s photos. Though I think the discrepancies may be accounted for by more advanced age of this mushroom.

This is a Phlegmacium…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-06-18 13:07:51 CDT (-0400)

Erin thank you for taking lively interest in Cortinarius, but please
be prepared for some struggle at first. I hope you keep up with it
though as we need such people in the West.

As far as this collection is concerned, it is clearly not
C. subalpinus Moser nom. prov. even without looking at the
spores. C. subalpinus is a typical Leprocybe with broadly ellipsoid to
subglobose spores.

What Alan has collected is a very, very aged fruitbody of a
Phlegmacium at the stage beyond recognition (notice how the sinuated
gills have stretched to become decurrent). Any of those montane,
vernal fruiting Phlegmacia of Western North America are of great
interest to me. We have a cluster of species (according to Ammirati
who has done some molecular work on them already) and they all come
close to Smith’s concept of C. subolivascens (realizing fully well
that the name is not well applied in this case).


They can easily be distinguished in the field by the bitter taste,
which is somewhat latent at times. The spores tend to be very
papillate, which I don’t quite see in Alan’s photo. Posting photos on
spores is very, very important with Cortinarius in general.

Collecting fresh fruitbodies is a challenge because by the time they
crack the thick duff that has been pressed by tons of snow for months,
they’re too old already. A step away from becoming hypogeous…

During my Cortinarius Lecture in the Fall I will get deeper on people
distinguishing the Cortinarius Subgenera and basic groups with ease in
the field. That’s the most important first step.


P.S. I didn’t intend to write such a long message, but somehow did it again…

Created: 2009-06-04 22:14:47 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-06-07 02:02:09 CDT (-0400)
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