Observation 46605: Hymenogaster sublilacinus A.H. Sm.

When: 2010-06-04

Collection location: Pinecrest, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

Specimen available

Found under mixed conifers, about 5000 ft.

7/20/2010 – adding some micro-details.

The first micro-shot is of spores taken from the gleba, at 1000x mounted in KOH. The spores are brown, ellipsoid, warted, with a beak at the apiculus. The rough size of the spores are 9.5 × 6.5 um. Along with the spore a number of basidia were also obs.

So, with this Mike obtained the id from the paper “Notes of the species of Hymernogaster” A. H. Smith, Mycologia 58, p100-124 (1966). Actually the id from the paper was for Hymenogaster brunescense, but this has been synonymized with Hymenogaster sublilacinus from a more recent study.

With spores like this, this is closely related to Cortinarius, and perhaps should be put into that genus.

Proposed Names

61% (4)
Recognized by sight
88% (5)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
Based on microscopic features

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
See Fogel
By: Michael Wood (mykoweb)
2010-07-20 20:00:21 CEST (+0200)

The the discussion in:

Fogel, R. (1985). Studies on Hymenogaster (Basidiomycetes): a re-evaluation of the subgenus Dendrogaster. Mycologia 77: 72-82.

He lists H. brunnescens, H. diabolus, H. subcaerulesu, H. subochraceus, & H. subolivaceous as synonyms of H. sublilacinus.

Also, if you look at the trees in

Peintner, U., Bougher, N.L., Castellano, M.A., Moncalvo, J.-M. , Moser, M., Trappe, J.M. & Vilgalys, R. (2001). Multiple Origins of Sequestrate Fungi Related to Cortinarius (Cortinariaceae). American Journal of Botany 88(12): 2168-2179.


Peintner, U., Moncalvo, J.-M. & Vilgalys, R. (2004). Toward a better understanding of the infrageneric relationships in Cortinarius (Agaricales, Basidiomycota). Mycologia 96(5): 1042-1058.

you will see this probably belong in Cortinarius.

Well from Smith…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-07-20 19:49:00 CEST (+0200)

Looking at the Smith paper on Hymenogaster, I see one species with a spore size 13-16 × 8-10 um, another at 11-13 × 6.5-8 um, and the rest 8-11 × 5-8 um or so, in the section Dendrogaster, which is 10 species in the section. So the spore size seems to fit fine for a number of species.

Actually looking at the paper in more detail here, I was just going on the notes from Mike. The key and descriptions better match Hymenogaster subochraceus. With the yellow colors, and the lack of odor, and the spore size is just right.

Mike mentions that “Fogel had synonymized some similar species (Like H. brunnescens)”, so I was going with the fact that the obs. matches H. brunnescens well.

Anyway, maybe Hymenogaster subochraceus is better, but this also seems to be one of those only seen once Smith special species…

As the spores have truncate-cupped base (aka “beak”)
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2010-07-20 18:11:19 CEST (+0200)

I am withdrawing Zelleromyces, as Z. doesn’t have that. Hymenogaster is related to Hebeloma. I personally have survived consumption of H. parksii, back when H. parksii was what is now considered H. subalpinus. It didn’t make me sick or nauseous or destroy my liver. But I would not willingly eat it again.

Hymenogaster have changed since 1966, so will have to get out my keys. The spores for this observation seem extremely small, even for Hymenogaster.

a good year for truffles…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-07-20 17:44:03 CEST (+0200)

or at least truffle hunters!

I assume that your spore shot is unstained?

looks like a secotioid Cort. species to me.

matches to the Smith description of sublilacinus in having a slight sterile base, a dingy ochraceous peridium when handled, gleba color and having warted brown, ellipsioid, apiculate spores.

doesn’t match to lilacinus in odor (admittedly a subjective quality) which Smith calls mild or sweetly fragrant; spore size (Smith shows spores 11-13 × 6.5-8), doesn’t show a rudimentary columella or a hollowed central gleba (both not always present, tho).

sucks to be making a species determination from only one fruit body.

also, the type collection came from under Engelmann Spruce in McCall, ID…how specific are the tree associations for this species?

Smith’s description from Mycologia here:


Added spore photos…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-07-20 14:02:06 CEST (+0200)

I’ve added some spore photos to the obs. here. I hope these seem to match well the previous descriptions of the spores, so they aren’t so nebulis.

Not questionable
By: Michael Wood (mykoweb)
2010-06-19 02:28:44 CEST (+0200)

This is a Hymenogaster. It has BROWN spores, as I stated before. Zelleromyces spores are hyaline with amyloid ornamentation.

The type species of Hymenogaster is Hymenogaster bullardii.

Most of the dozen or so species of Hymenogaster I have collected are no longer in Hymenogaster or should be put in a different genus. I suspect the same fate may await this Hymenogaster.

See observation 47106

Highly questionable.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2010-06-16 08:57:18 CEST (+0200)

Have not seen any microscopic data, other than spore description, which to me is nebulis.

Have collected thousands of sporocarps of Hymenogaster. I believe the type was H. parksii. I’m not sure that species is still considered a Hymenogaster.

I haven’t seen a Hymenogaster with red gleba. I’ve never heard of one described.

The elevation in CA would translate to 6,000-7,000 feet elevation in my area. There are few areas with trees at that elevation near me, so it’s possible it is a species restricted to CA. It might well be a species novum.

Posting the spores would be a fast way to prove the difference: Hymenogaster spores should have a beak at the base; Zelleromyces should have nearly globose spores with spiny reticulation. But the spores of at least one Zelleromyces are described as “broadly ellipsoid,” so spore shape does not preclude Zelleromyces.

The major identification feature of Zelleromyces is often overlooked: it should have latex, especially near the peridium. In wet weather, this feature is often overlooked, since the latex can be colorless.

By: Michael Wood (mykoweb)
2010-06-14 02:29:13 CEST (+0200)

This is definitely a Hymenogaster, in the traditional sense, which includes truffeloid fungi related to Cortinarious, Hebeloma and others. It has brown ornamented spores.

The type of the genus Hymenogaster (which I can’t remember right now) is related to Hebeloma, not Cortinarius, so this may not be a true Hymenogaster in the modern sense.

The part of the collection I dried is in the pile at my scope to work on…when I get a chance to work it through the Dodge & Zeller monograph.

Oops, sorry ….
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2010-06-12 23:13:05 CEST (+0200)

Yeah, sorry there is more info here. I found three in a cluster there, I sliced up one and dried it for myself, I gave the other two to Mike Wood, and he was going to look them over better himself. I was waiting to hear back from Mike on more details to add to this, but I posted the obs. with all the others from the mountains. I should add more info here…

These did not have any strong odors, really just mushroomy. They were quite rubbery, much like a Rhizopogon, and most people thought these were Rhizopogon when first seen (and bounced off the table). But cutting them open, the spore color seemed wrong.

So, we rushed it downstairs and put some spores under the scope. The spores are ellipsoid and warted, much like a Cortinarius spore. Which is how we got to Hymenogaster.

Mike was going to go through Zeller’s key of Hymenogaster, when he got back home. Which was only probably today, so we might get more word back soon enough.

I’ll put it under the scope when I get back home, and post photos of the spores, but that won’t be until end of next week.

Created: 2010-06-11 07:27:09 CEST (+0200)
Last modified: 2015-10-26 01:24:15 CET (+0100)
Viewed: 533 times, last viewed: 2017-12-03 22:21:28 CET (+0100)
Show Log