Observation 224061: Pholiota sect. Spumosae
When: 2014-12-23
(38.4813° -9.0927° 100m)

Notes: (See microscopy in english below)

HABITAT: Gregário a cespitoso. Crescia num cabeço constituído pinhal bem establecido de Pinus pinea e alguns P. pinaster. Terrestre, solo relativamente arenoso com abundante camada de matéria orgânica, vestígios de madeira ou carvão não confirmados.”

“CHAPÉU: 1,5cm a 6,5cm; convexo a convexo-plano mas algo irregular ou ondulado; castanho-fogo brilhante a côr de laranja escuro acetinado (seco). Textura pouco viscida a pegajosa quando molhada a glabra e acetinada quando seca. Maior parte do píleo com ornamentações fibrilosas inerentes de orientação radial com finas listas de diferentes tons de côr de laranja. Fina película não dificilmente separável sem danificar a trama. Margem ligeiramente mais clara quando jovens a concolor, algo íntegra a ligeiramente incurvada ou excedente, textura lisa sem ornamentações do restante píleo. "

“PÉ: <8cm X <0,8cm; central, muitas vezes curvado na base normalmente com micélio branco agarrado. Creme, beige a amarelo muito claro no ápice a ligeiramente mais escuro na base. Ornamentações escamulosas concolores a castanhas quando tocadas ou machadas pelos esporos. Zona anelar visível pela deposição dos esporos bem próximo do píleo onde ornamentações escamulosas estão ausentes. Fistuloso, com trama branca a esbranquiçada”

“VÉU: Véu parcial fugaz a ausente mas com zona anelar bem visível pela deposição dos esporos.”

“HIMENÓFORO Lâminas adnexas, emarginadas, próximas, creme-ocre com tons acinzentados quando jovens a castanhas com idade. "

ESPORADA: castanho-avelã a castanho.”

CHEIRO E SABOR: Cheiro +/- indiferente, fungico, não desagradável. Sabor do pé +/- suave, de ferro a rábano.”

REAGENTES: reacção KOH e amónia similarmente forte na trama e píleo com depressão/corrosão e coloração castanha a castanha escura. "

MICROSCOPY (english):

Microscopy was performed on 3 specimens of different maturation stages (young soon after the veil breaks; young adult and non-decaying older adult). The specimens were dried and observed with KOH 8% or/and Cotton Blue after re-hydrated in H2O.
Observations were made with an Olympus BX50 and a ColorView III camera (Soft Imaging Systems). All measurements were performed with Piximètre and Image J. A calibration slide was used for each observing session. All fine structures measurements were performed with an 100x objective.
For spore and cystidia measurements, values within brackets represent the minimum and maximum values found in the collection
It should be noted that the observations from the younger individual deviated moderately and consistently from the older individuals. Namely, decreased lengths of spores and cystidia and decreased number of observations of forked cystidia (most forked cystidia showed undeveloped “antlers”). If one would remove the measurements of this younger individual from the final results, the spore values would naturally increase, even if very slightly.

Oblong to elipsoidal, asymmetrical with lateral apiculus in side view, sometimes appearing slighly phaseoliform, but not distinctively so in my opinion. Thick-walled (~0,5um) with visible germ pore (>0,5um). Rusty brown in KOH8%.
(5.8) 6.3 – 7 (7.5) x (3.3) 3.8 – 4.4 (4.8) µm
Q = (1.4) 1.6 – 1.8 (2.1) ; N = 105 [28;22;55]
Me = 6.7 × 4.0 µm; Qe = 1.7

Slighly clavate (tappering downwards) with sinuose constriction at waist line. Tetrasporic, sterigmata 2.5-3.8 µm. Relatively thick-walled. Blue content visible with CB. Otherwise mostly hyaline to somewhat yellowish in KOH8%, bluish-hyaline granular content often observed.
(17.9) 20.6 – 22.4 (27.2) x (4.8) 5.4 – 6.0 (6.6) µm
Q = (2.9) 3.5 – 4.1 (3.9); N= 33 (16;10;7)
Me = 21.5 × 5.7 µm; Qe = 3.8

Lamellar edge heavily populated by narrowly fusiform to conical or slightly lageniforme leptocystidia, forming a sterile band. Hyaline to lightly yellowish in KOH8%. Often thick-walled (<1.5 µm)
(23.1) 28.4 – 44.3 (65.6) x (5.2) 6.7 – 15.1 (28.6) µm
Q = (1.4) 2.9 – 4.1 (6.6) ; N = 42 (9;33;0)
Me = 33.5 × 10.5 µm ; Qe = 3.6

Either homogeneously yellow in KOH8% or bluish in CB, sometimes appears to reveal chryso content, but not true chrysocystidia in my opinion. Lageniforme, larger and more elongated than cheilocystidia. Very often forked, sometimes with triple branches! Smaller and less branched in young individuals.
(32.9) 45.1 – 56.6 (63.3) x (7.9) 10.6 – 13.1 (15.5) µm
Q = (2.4) 3.8 – 5; N = 39 (6;3;30)
Me = 50.9 – 11.7 µm ; Qe = 4.5

Composed by parallel to subparallel 3-10 µm hyphae of yellowish content. Subhymenium gelatinous/hyaline.

An ixocutis composed of loosely arranged 1.5-3 µm thick hyphae, with slight yellowish incrustations. An epicutis composed of tightly arranged 7-8 µm thick hyphae, with strong yellow-rusty brown incrustations. Trama composed by <10 µm thick hyaline hyphae, without significant incrustations.

Caulocystidia hardly found or not found at all. Seldom terminal cells observed but not cystidia-like. One or two cystidia-like cells found, but I can’t exclude tissue contamination (either natural occurring or by sample preparation). Hyphae < 8 µm thick, hyaline to slightly yellowish.

Clamp connections present in all tissues

Species Lists


triple branched-pleurocystidium in KOH8% (Z-stacked)
Spores in KOH8%
Cheiloleptocystidia in KOH8%
Common lageniformed pleuroleptocystidia in KOH8%
Abundant and prominent yellow pleurocystidia in KOH8% from lageniforme to forked.
Pleurocystidia of different shape and stains in KOH8%+CB
Pleurocystidia of different shape and stains in KOH8%+CB
Pleurocystidia of different shape and stains in KOH8%+CB. 100x
Tetrasporic basidia and its content in KOH8% and CB.
Infant, young and old. KOH8% and CB.
Pleurocystidia often very prominent
Possible caulocystidia
close examination of the surrounding area failed to find any charcoal, ashes or signs of fire.
Pleurocystidium in CB.
Pleurocystidia of different shape and stains in KOH8%+CB. 40x
pleurocystidium in CB.
more forked pleurocystidia in CB.
Often lageniformed pleurocystidia, staining either golden yellow or remaining hialine in KOH 8%
triple branched-pleurocystidium in KOH8%
forked pleurocystidium in KOH8%. Often observed
Laminae edge with abundant cheilocystidia (KOH8%), forming a sterile band.
Basidia in KOH8%.
pileipellis cutis incrustations in KOH8% (100x objective)
Pileipellis in KOH8% (20x objective)
Pileipellis in KOH8% (40x objective)
Pleurocystidia in young specimen (KOH8%).
cystidia-like cell found in stipe rubbing (KOH8%).

Proposed Names

27% (1)
Recognized by sight: It looked like P. highlandensis, just maybe a bit more “reddish-warmish” than I usually find (maybe because it was very dry weather). But then I failed to find clear evidence of burnt soil (although the burnt material could have been decomposed and very vestigial). Because of that, the first tries using Noordeloos and Holec keys, I was lead to P. mixta, which after reading it’s descriptions, didn’t completely satisfy me.
Used references: Pholiota Monograph (Smith & Hesler, 1968); Strophariaceae (Noordeloos, 2011); The Genus Pholiota in Central and Western Europe (Holec 2001)
Based on microscopic features: The microscopic features seem, in different ways, intermediary between P. highlandensis (very little to absent caulocystidia) and P. brunnescens (abundant pleurocystidia with plenty of forked ones)
27% (1)
Recognized by sight: bigger size, thicker stem and microscopy (except caulocystidia), make me suspect P. brunnescens. Although P. brunnescens seems that it could be synonymized with P. highlandensis (Holec et al. 2014)
Used references: Pholiota chocenensis—a new European species of section
Spumosae (Basidiomycota, Strophariaceae).
(Holec et al. 2014)
Based on microscopic features: relatively abundant forked pleurocystidia
-27% (1)
Recognized by sight
27% (1)
Recognized by sight: Following the keys and assuming there is no burnt material. However, I didn’t see a tappering stipe nor a so extensively white/light margin (maturation?). Also, the spores look definitely more oblong-elipsoidal than the ovoid spores in Holec’s work.
55% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: based on the observation that these spores are not distinctively phaseoliform in side view. Which is, accordingly to Jan Holec, a diagnosing character of section Spumosae versus the phaseoliform spores in side view in section Lubricae.
27% (1)
Recognized by sight: based on the observation that these spores might be slightly phaseoliform. From my limited experience and analysis of Dr. Holec drawings (The genus Pholiota in central and western Europe 2001), I couldn’t decide if these spores are “slightly but distinctively phaseoliform in side view” or not. The difference seems to be little and requiring experience, being the main focus on the consistency of these spores being bean shaped in side view.

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Claude Kaufholtz-Couture (Claude Kaufholtz-Couture)
2016-12-09 07:55:04 CST (-0500)

For a better appreciation of basidiospores (color and wall), I suggest an observation in water glycerine 20% or NaCl iso 0.9%; Especially, no potassium (KOH) that is too corrosive!

Simple suggestion
By: Claude Kaufholtz-Couture (Claude Kaufholtz-Couture)
2016-12-09 05:26:41 CST (-0500)

In order to fully appreciate the suprapellis inlay, use 10% glycerine water or 0.9% NaCl iso. The 8% KOH is too corrosive and can significantly alter your observation.

Thanks for the comment Rocky
By: Vasco Fachada (v_polecat)
2016-11-22 09:27:11 CST (-0500)

I have a bunch of images (including from the pileipellis) I made some time ago, but they are for now trapped in a broken PC :P I will update this post as soon as I get those. However if I remember right, I believe it was an ixocutis with hyphal yellow incrustations in KOH8%. This one’s been challenging, more news soon!


By: Rocky Houghtby
2016-11-22 09:05:58 CST (-0500)

Of the pileipellis is extremely helpful in delimitation of Pholiota species in general. You should try to identify the pellis type, and note any differentiated terminal cells.
Subgenus Flammuloides tends to be a pain to study, as many of the groupings contained within are artificial, and many of the delimitating characteristics seem to be of questionable taxonomic relevance.

By: Davide Puddu (Davide Puddu)
2015-12-29 14:57:14 CST (-0500)

i don’t see that much veil in the young specimens. macroscopically i’d say P.highlandensis too

appreciate the feedback
By: Vasco Fachada (v_polecat)
2015-12-29 11:51:34 CST (-0500)

Thank you for your words, Danny. I’ve been dedicating some time to Pholiota and I keep finding intriguing things. I will contact the users you suggested!

A beautiful, comprehensive, exemplary observation.
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2015-12-20 17:11:51 CST (-0500)

In response to your private message, I would weigh in if I could, but my books are still in boxes and I don’t have much to offer off the top of my head. Perhaps Noah or Christian have some comments.

more collections
By: Vasco Fachada (v_polecat)
2015-12-15 13:58:39 CST (-0500)

I have other collections of what I always confidently IDed as P. highlandensis. At some point I will compare them under the micro.

Created: 2015-11-29 08:58:59 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2016-12-09 04:12:23 CST (-0500)
Viewed: 290 times, last viewed: 2016-12-09 08:47:38 CST (-0500)
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