Gasterocarp 4-8 mm tall x 5-15 (20) mm broad; globose, subglobose to depressed globose; more or less flat at the very bottom with a tuft of thin branching mycelia threads, or a mycelia pad, incrusted with particles of soil, remaining sessile and without a cord-like rhizomorph; ostiole slowly developing through cracking or tearing at the apex, slit-like to stellate, or round to ovoid, with upturned edges, slightly raised, laceration with pubescent hairs on end, persistent. Exoperidium whitish at first (5A1), turning cream buff (5A3), to grey brown (5C2) at maturity; very thin, tomentose to minutely floccose, to furfuraceous and powdery, fragile ornamentation, wearing off easily, leaving a patch-like mottled pattern with age, fragmenting into flocculose scales, revealing the endoperidium, exoperidium mostly adherent to the endoperidium, and persistent. Endoperidium cream white at first (5A1), turning buff brown “clay color” (5C5), then turning dark brown (6F6) at maturity; internally villose with soft tiny hairs, externally glabrous, papery, dull, and persistent. Gleba cream white (4A3), grayish yellow (4B5), to brown buff “Isabella color” (5E6), dark brown (6F6) when mature; powdery, releasing spores until a thin,
flattened, empty casing remains attached to the soil. Subgleba remaining cream colored (4A2), composed of compact cellular cells, greatly reduced to absent. Diaphragm absent.
Basidiospores globose, subglobose, to broadly ellipsoidal; (3-) 4-6.5 X (-3.5) 4-6 µm [xmr = 5.1-5.5 X 5.0-5.3 µm, xmm = 5.1 ± 0.4 X 5.1 ± 0.16 µm, Q = 0.9-1.2, Qmr = 1.0, Qmm = 1.01 ± 0.0, n = 20, s = 4]; spores golden to rusty brown in wet mounts; roughened to finely verrucose with flattened warts under light microscopy, roughened irregular pyramidal to round or flattened verrucose warts, with fused tips under SEM; central oil drop present; spore thick-walled, up to 0.8 µm thick; pedicel short, 2-6 µm long, ends roughly broken; free-floating sterigma not present in wet mounts; spores mostly of equal size under light microscope. Eucapillitium Intermediate-type, 2.0-7.5 µm broad, walls up to 0.8 µm thick; eucapillitium threads golden yellow brown in KOH mounts, non-elastic and readily breaking; glabrous, frequent dichotomous branching, threads straight, with occasional knob-like projections; tips attenuate, often subundulate, and narrow; all or most eucapillitium radiating inwards from the endoperidium and subgleba. Pores rare, round and very small when present. Septa rare and found near the center of the gleba, or absent, with abundant false septa. Paracapillitium abundant, incrusted with cellular debris, thin, hyaline, septate. Exoperidium textura globulosa; composed of densely layered, thin-walled, swollen, globose sphaerocyst cells. Endoperidium textura intricata; composed of thin-walled, septate, tightly intertwined hyphal threads.
Habitat: Found terrestrial along the climax prairie, on south facing ridge tops with perennial grasses (Festuca and Agropyron), along the fescue-wheatgrass zone of the Sierra Nevada, in humus rich and sandy soil, around granite rock, beneath conifers, and along moist shorelines of alpine lakes. Also collected in riparian zones, in sparse grass with other herbs and moss of moist meadows, especially those near lakes and streams. Among the Geographic
Subdivisions of California, this species can be found in the southern parts of the Cascade Range, in the Sierra Nevada, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, and in the Desert Province.
Created: 2009-06-10 18:26:41 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2014-02-25 16:37:12 PST (-0800)
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