Collection location: A few km north of Xanthi, Greece [Click for map]
Don’t let the pine needles surrounding the mushrooms mislead you; they were actually growing closer to oaks than to the pine that shed those needles.
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for the explanation, I was wondering how much they can vary. I have been used to see them more brown and stout.
First of all, as regards the habitat, I must say that the pine needles all around the mushrooms are misleading. I should have mentioned that these mushrooms were found in an area where pines and oaks/hornbeams alternately occupy patches of the woodland or mix occasionally. The depicted mushrooms were at the border of two such patches, actually much closer to several oak trees than to the also nearby pine whose needles appear in the photo. Actually, in the first picture you can see a couple of oak leaves (top left and bottom right).
As for colour, this is within the acceptable limits for the species. Perhaps you are accustomed to seeing pictures of Hygrophorus persoonii with lighter and warmer brownish shades, but these are by no means the only colour forms of the species. If you google for pics of H. persoonii, you’ll find many photos of it with darker and somewhat colder colours. I don’t see anything wrong with the shape either. Again, maybe the photos you’ve seen present basidiomes which are stouter and with thicker stipes, but that’s only part of the picture.
Now, let’s look at the alternatives. Assuming that there are no doubts that the depicted mushrooms belong to section Olivaceoumbrini (glutinous or viscid caps and stipes, +/-olivaceous to copper-brown colours) and excluding those species which are clearly different, we are left with the following possibilities:
-Hybrophorus latitabundus: this differs by being stouter and having a stipe which is ventricose (or at least clearly thicker) and +/-rooting, with the darker shades of gluten being less dense and less contrasting chromatically with the background of the stipe.
-Hygrophorus olivaceoalbus: this grows (almost) exclusively with spruce (Picea), is rather slender and its usually curved near the base stipe has a distinct, abrupt bottleneck narrowing at the top.
-Hygrophorus fuscoalbus: this rather obscure and often synonymized with H. latitabundus species has an innately fibrillose cap which is +/-uniformly coloured dark gray.
Just in case anyone might think the mushrooms in my photos could be something close to H. camarophyllus or similar species, they should be reminded that those have dry caps and stipes.
For all of the above reasons I will abide by my identification for Hygrophorus persoonii. If, however, you think there is another possibility that I may not have thought of, please let me know and I’d be happy to discuss it.
Colour, shape and habitat don’t look right for persoonii.
Created: 2010-12-10 15:52:41 AEDT (+1100)
Last modified: 2011-02-08 23:34:41 AEDT (+1100)
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