Observation 80095: Amanita sect. Vaginatae sensu Zhu L. Yang
When: 2011-07-05
Herbarium specimen reported

Notes: Here are a few pictures of an “Amanita alba” which turned out to be something else, apparently. It fruits steadily (for an Amanita) in several spots around Akademgorodok, i.e. I’ve seen it more than once in each of those particular spots. It’s a very generic-looking white Amanita sect. Vaginatae with two macroscopic features that are very confusing. First of all, it’s not always white. Normally the fruitbodies are white just as you’d expect from A. vaginata var. alba, but in dry weather grayer fruitbodies appear, ranging from white with grayer center to uniform warm pale gray. Secondly, the volva – it has rusty stains like A. fulva. At first I’d thought it was a particular fruitbody affected with some disease but then I saw the same orange discolorations in other specimens from other locations (all within a 3 km radius). Also, the volva appears to be rather fragile, never forming a nice cleenex-like sack – there are usually some fragments at the base of the stipe and sometimes (but not always) some stuck to the cap surface.

I’m attaching pictures of three finds of what I think is the same species – despite the dramatic difference in the range of striations on the cap. I’m inclined to think that it’s weather-related. The first two specimens were found in dry weather and the last one – in rainy weather.

Microscopically it’s also different from what I’ve identified as A. vaginata var. alba (a collection from Khanty-Mansiysk, 1000 km NW from here). I’ll post some microstructure shots and numerical data a bit later but there are some obvious qualitative differences.

Subhymenial layer elements are more inflated and round, and so are the inner elements of the lamella trama (fat, branching sausages with way fewer filamentous hyphae than in what I’ve identified as A. vaginata var. alba). The suprapellis is thicker and denser and the subpellis is less pronounced. There are also some thick, curved vascular hyphae in the pileipellis as well as the lamella tissue, especially near the edges of the lamellae where the vascular hyphae form knotty clusters.

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Created: 2011-10-20 12:01:52 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2011-10-20 12:13:31 CDT (-0400)
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