Notes: I’ve known that there are several Paxillus species passing under the too-generic name of “Paxillus involutus” but this one is rather curious. The fungi in the picture are tiny – the largest one is maybe 35 mm in diameter. There were 5 or 6 of them there and they looked healthy enough for me to think that this is a more or less normal size for this taxon.
I’ve looked at it through the microscope and apparently it has rather unusual cystidia (more or less the same on gill edges and surfaces). They’re profoundly mucronate and the only species in Funga Nordica with mucronate cystidia is an obscure and large species P. validus, but it has other specified hosts (Tilia, Populus, …, not Birch).
They grew on soil stuck on the roots of an uprooted birch (Betula pendula) tree.
We also have a huge, thick-stemmed, rather uniformly colored species which grows under birch early in the season, I’ll post it as soon as I find it this year.
I’ll be very grateful if anyone could recommend something to read on Paxillus (or, in a perfect scenario, a Paxillus expert I could show our Paxillus varieties to).
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… my Amanitas will have to wait tonight now that I’ve got some Paxillus reading to do :)
I also noticed that microstructures are practically ignored in most of the descriptions I’ve seen. Imho the coluor&texture features are a bit unreliable, I sometimes see substantial variation of within one mycelium depending on weather and lighting, I mean felty – smooth, pale – dark, etc. I haven’t tried checking the spore print colour and I didn’t know about the importance of rhizomorphs (according to the Boletales website, they are important).
The keys I have seen are focusing more on spore and gill colours, and don’t describe the cystidia very carefully, so they may be variable in the Paxillus involutus complex. But that character is certainly worth more investigations.
A Paxillus key here:
contains the same 5 species you find in Funga Nordica.
3 more species are known from Europe according to the Boletales site:
Still not complete, but a promising initiative!
Let’s see if Else notices this observation, she has done some work with Paxillus.
Created: 2011-04-02 00:32:35 MST (-0700)
Last modified: 2011-04-02 00:41:32 MST (-0700)
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