Observation 76099: Cortinarius subgenus Sericeocybe P.D. Orton
When: 2011-09-07
Who: dgold500
No herbarium specimen

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55% (1)
Recognized by sight: not alboviolaceus with those gorgeous gills. color in photo true?

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
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I had more time…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-09-19 23:52:48 CDT (-0400)


Finally, I had time to look — the two C. lucorum collections in GenBank are those of Matheny where he matched to the UNITE specimen UDB681 and UDB744. I have no reason to doubt him when he says that his material is one base pair off from the European. My nrITS is identical to that of Matheny – I have collection from Washington and Montana. The third C. lucorum collection JF907958 is from U. Berkeley, California and is indeed totally misidentified.

The main point is that there is a pretty good distribution of genetically very similar C. lucorum in the Northern Hemisphere. I am yet to see that species in California although that likely it exists. I’d bet $20 that this collection here is C. lucorum too, or in the vicinity.

Damon, send me the material if you have it. Damon, there is no value to look at “20 photos” of C. lucorum if the ids are from unknown or untrusted sources. The photos I showed and those on my website, as well as those from the Matheny and Ammirati publication are the only proven photos of something that is a genetic twin of C. lucorum. The photos that Irene has are surely it too. Do not look elsewhere as bad data is the norm in mushroom identification of difficult genera.


When I have more time…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-09-14 14:31:33 CDT (-0400)

Irene, when I have time I will send you my C. lucorum sequences. I have collections from Washington and Montana (obs. 76316), they match 100% the Matheny collections, and mine on mushroomhobby.com. I am busy right now, but in the Matheny paper they explain quite well what they matched against. I do recall that the sequences differed by very, very little, like a single bp. Make sure you clean them up. When I worked these collections the molecular data were very close. C. lucorum have also some pretty good spores to look at, which are quite diagnostic. Will get back on this tomorrow, or the day after when I’m back from Greece,

The MO observations 70053 and 29987 are nowhere near C. lucorum. Your obs Irene, 12621 is almost certainly C. lucorum and visually matches quite well to what I have seen. I have more photos of N. Am. C. lucorum.

Here of course we can go into a lengthy debate on molecular data matching of some regions, but I will tackle that on MushroomTalk some day, there is more to be said on that, based on new data. We can certainly state that the populations have some differences in color. Anyway, this New York collections reminds me of C. lucorum, but I can never be sure unless I see the spores at least.


just can’t stay silent..
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2011-09-14 13:43:32 CDT (-0400)

Here on MO we have 3 obses named lucorum.. In my opinion, they represent 3 different species. The BC collection is way off… the USA collection probably closer but it can’t possibly be the same (and I don’t beleive in the canadian one either..).
I do not beleive in such variability, so I have to ask Dimi – what sequences have you compared with?
There are 3 available at GenBank, one italian and two from Washington. The american ones are too different to be the same as the european when I check the sequences. I also added C. saturninus, the closest relative to lucorum that I know of, and it ends up between them.

Agree with Debbie…
By: damon brunette (damonbrunette)
2011-09-14 13:05:15 CDT (-0400)

Ive look at 20 online images of this, and none of them would appear my eyes as, ‘yes this is a variable’.

I have a specimen Ditimar if you are interested however.

Interesting how both Deb and Ditimar used phrases such as mushroomer worth their salt, and rely on people with experience in the group! I thought West Coast was laid back?! Maybe there is truth to varations in a species!

I still haven’t seen…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-09-14 12:47:12 CDT (-0400)

even a photo of C. lucorum (all western photos of which, and descriptions of, show a darker center) that resembles this eastern mushroom. And the KOH results from this mushroom also vary from the KOH reactions described for lucorum. Is it a relative, distant or otherwise? Well sure, why not? The SAME? Maybe not.

Indeed, we know that lucorum occurs in the west, but it still hasn’t been shown to occur in the east.

C. lucorum is variable indeed! Check out this purported photo from Canada:


All of the photos of lucorum show an obvious fibrillose edge to the cap…this example from the east does not.

Any mushroomer worth their salt realizes that there is morphological and color diversity even within a species. What is the absolute unifying factor though, that would make this lucorum and nothing else?

We all develop a keen sense in the groups with which we are most familiar, and yet, can still kibbitz outside of those groups, using the extensive available
online literature, and even, sometimes, the help of other, educated mycologists. A trained eye can perceive and understand new data.

Heck, we all even sometimes make mistakes, even within our own areas of expertise! But that’s just human fallibility, not the fault of the mushroom.

If you have more diverse photos of lucorum from eastern North America, please post them here! I’d like to see them. What you have on Mushroomhobby is the typical form with the darker center, and all have the fibrillose cap edge.

By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-09-14 11:55:34 CDT (-0400)

C. lucorum I a variable species, so much so that it was described from the PNW only after the molecular data became available and I discovered that several of my collections are it too after we sequenced them. Since then having seen it in several states I have developed a keener sense for it – I do not like to put name on things if not sure, which is most of the time, but there are several features of this rather above mid-size Telamonia that would make me bet a good chunk of cash that it is exactly C. lucorum. The blue color is very unstable in Cortinarius, but the particular type of blue is very distinct. Of course, arguing ids on material that doesn’t exist is not the most attractive option to me, but I thought that I can shed some light on that species. I created an observation of 3 molecularly identified C. lucorum. When dealing with corts, as well as many other mushrooms one should rely more on the people with experience in the particular group as they never appear exactly in this or other way. This species is not very common in the books, or well treated with all of its varieties.



here’s a detailed description for Cortinarius lucorum from the PNW
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-09-14 11:19:00 CDT (-0400)


but I don’t believe this is it. close perhaps, but no cigar.

Dimitar and Debbie..
By: damon brunette (damonbrunette)
2011-09-14 10:13:43 CDT (-0400)

Didnt see C lucorum in Fungi of Switz and didnt see anything for mykokey… I did look at your Mushroom hobby and saw that the gill color to this mushroom was much more toward the brown side than this OB.
This was a vivid purple underneath, and cap was silvery to brown and VERY buff.

The smell was not offputting and mushroomy. Taste was mild. KOH on cap was brown. flesh stipe and gills no color change. Overnight, the gills have significantly shifted to darker brown.

There are many streams in the vincinity, and the ground has been saturated for weeks.

Reminds me of C. lucorum
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-09-14 03:39:28 CDT (-0400)

Very interesting collection. This actually reminds of something that we call Cortinarius lucorum in Western North America and it is very close to the real C. lucorum from Europe.


I am glad to see collections from the Eastern states.

I see oaks, but where there Cottonwood as well? Was there a stream/river in the near proximity?

By: damon brunette (damonbrunette)
2011-09-12 21:16:51 CDT (-0400)

I can bring some S and P if that will help.

And I have a good serving of caustic koh flakes anytime you need some

duly noted
By: dgold500
2011-09-12 19:23:03 CDT (-0400)

Thank you so much for your tips. I read that KOH is hard to purchase because one of the ingredients is a controlled substance. (?) I can perhaps ask some people in my mushroom club, COMA, where I can aquire some.
I did note that the odor was moderate, not faint, and not unpleasant, but I don’t remember the details. I will see if I can go back and find another sample to sniff. If I am feeling brave I will taste it. I haven’t gotten comfortable with that aspect of IDing yet, but I know it is important so I will make an effort.

if you can, collect some and dry it….
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-09-12 11:18:20 CDT (-0400)

got KOH? it is very useful to test one’s fresh corts for color changes: do a drop on the cap, then slice in half lengthwise, do a drop on cap context and then stipe context. With corts, the more details you can gather, esp. when the mushroom is young, the better! Gill color will change dramatically over time and with spore-drop.

Recording the taste and odor is also important for those IDs.

By: dgold500
2011-09-12 09:54:12 CDT (-0400)

Also, the younger button caps were lilac/grey with a light brown center. I should have included a view of those in the photograph.

Maybe this could be Cortinarius purpurascens?

By: dgold500
2011-09-12 08:05:53 CDT (-0400)

Yes Debbie, the gills were that color. I didn’t adjust the photo at all. I am surprised that my camera reproduced the color so well!
There were a lot of them and they may still be there although they were getting eaten ups pretty well by slugs. I could possibly collect another specimen to examine if there are any other features I should look for that were not captured in the photograph.

Created: 2011-09-11 20:39:43 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2012-06-07 02:02:09 CDT (-0400)
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