When: 2011-09-28

Collection location: Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico, USA [Click for map]

Who: BlueCanoe

No specimen available

Found in mature Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) / spruce (Picea sp.) / aspen (Populus tremuloides) forest at approximately 8,800 feet (2,680 m) in elevation. In grass and forbs adjacent to an old logging road/skid trail.

For observations of other species in this same location, see observation 78221 and observation 78224.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight
61% (2)
Recognized by sight: As per Rod Tulloss in comments below: appears to lack a bulb, etc…

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Another thought that is a negative for populiphila
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-11-10 07:24:38 CDT (-0400)

Amanita populiphila is original white or whitish (not yellowish) and has a strong tendency to stain orangish or rusty with very little assistance from any obvious source.

I am very interested to learn more about the present species when you get a chance. There is the field note form and the notes on taking field notes in the workshop booklets that Cristina and I have used in the last two workshops we’ve done.

For some reason MO blocks me from sending email…otherwise, I’d send a copy of the workshop booklet. If you email me, I’ll have your address and, then, can send the booklet. I’ve heard that unofficial copies are circulating, but they may not be the most recent one.

I tried to make it out to Valles Caldera this past summer, but other travel and various family matters nixed the idea. Maybe I could make it out there in 2012…absolutely no certainty on that matter, however.


side note:
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-11-08 22:46:09 CDT (-0400)

Bob Chapman was his name. we reconnected at the OMS foray this year. grade-a dude. verifiably bonkers for fungus with some truly remarkable photographs to show for it. i hope to scour what’s left of this habitat with him next fall.

By: BlueCanoe
2011-11-08 16:24:48 CDT (-0400)

As best I can recall, these were closest to a mature Douglas-fir, with aspens “generally in the neighborhood”, as you say.

Knowing now that this observation doesn’t fit neatly into a well-known species makes me wish that I had documented them more thoroughly. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to take photos of fungi, and only had a minute or two of downtime to pull out the camera and snap a quick portrait. At this point I am accepting that sect. Vaginatae may be as close to an ID as this gets.

the gestalt of your amanita…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-11-08 16:14:37 CDT (-0400)

does not remind me of populiphila: too squat, striations too short, too many warts, impossible to tell just what is going on with the volva.

the populiphila that I have seen has more of a gracile grisette aspect; if these are vaginatae, they seem to be more of the unusual type with friable volvas that often shows warts like protecta in CA and ceciliae in Europe and CO. I would sure like to have seen more of all three specimens to make any kind of real determination.

were these with aspen directly, or were aspen just generally in the neighborhood?
no hardwood duff present in photo.

By: BlueCanoe
2011-11-08 14:44:17 CDT (-0400)

Photograph consistent with Amanita populiphila (sect. Vaginatae), although a definitive ID is probably not possible without herbarium specimens and microscopy.

Tulloss RE. 2011. Amanita populiphila. in Tulloss RE, Yang ZL, eds. Amanitaceae studies. accessed November 8, 2011.

Morels / Amanita ID
By: BlueCanoe
2011-10-09 13:38:59 CDT (-0400)

I’m not from the SW, so I don’t know where to find morels there, but Michael Kuo shows New Mexico as a location of DNA-identified “classic black” morels here, so at least they exist. I would guess they associate with conifers, including recently fire-killed trees, as they do in the rest of the western U.S. I have no idea on timing or abundance — probably highly dependent on snow pack and resulting spring soil moisture.

Based on the plant communities present in the Valles Caldera / Jemez Mountains / northern New Mexico, I would guess that the mycoflora might share more in common with Colorado and the southern Rockies than Mexico’s Sierra Madres. Could something like Amanita multisquamosa be a possibility for this observation?

well, maybe not spring…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-10-09 12:51:16 CDT (-0400)

no rain, no mushrooms.

I believe that the SE AZ monsoon season is mid-late summer, and winter, but their winter at elevation (pine habitat) has snow. when (and where) do you SouthWesterners hunt morels, if ever?

glad to hear that a good bit of the Chiricahuas was only partially burned. Forests do recover from fire over time, but not soon enough for that eagerly anticipated NAMA foray this past September!

I know just who you are talking about Myxomop (Maggie’s friend from the SW), I met him at the OMS morel foray this year, but I can’t remember his name, either! I was really looking forward to hunting the Chiricahuas with him this past September…oh well.

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-10-08 23:31:52 CDT (-0400)

not a total loss then. 58% of the burn area either “unchanged” or only slightly so, 32% thoroughly torched. Makes me wonder how much habitat lies outside that perimeter. And who knows, with a little burn mixed in, already rich hunting grounds could get even richer. Sure makes me want to take a look this spring.

Fire severity
By: BlueCanoe
2011-10-08 23:11:16 CDT (-0400)

Not to discount any personal feelings of loss regarding the Chiricahuas and the Horseshoe Two Fire here, but the preliminary mapping estimates that 20% of the fire area was unchanged and 38% experienced a low soil burn severity (meaning “Canopy trees with green needles although stems scorched; surface litter, mosses, and herbs charred or consumed; soil organic layer largely intact and charring limited to a few mm depth”). There has definitely been a loss of habitat in terms of acreage, but there should be many trees (and MR fungi) that survive the fire. Fire, especially in the hot, drought-susceptible, and lightning-prone Southwest, happens, and the ecosystems there are fire adapted. In the short term an event like this is terrible, a huge change for us people. In the long term, I do not think this is going to be an ecological catastrophe, assuming the ecosystem is allowed to recover.

Full soil burn severity map available at InciWeb.org

The very last day
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-10-08 14:18:55 CDT (-0400)

I spent in Portland I said my farewells to Maggie Rogers. She herself was soon to leave to Wales for a month or so. The charismatic gentleman in whose care she’d be leaving her home was sitting in the kitchen with us; David… something. (I’ll get his name from her) It wasn’t five minutes before the usual roundtable conversation took off, as though a miniature mushroom legislature had just gone into session, each topic and tangent supplemented with one rare/beautiful/out of print/never-before-seen gem after another from Maggie’s cave of fungal wonders. I’ll never forget the one topic that elicited wider eyes and more feverous enthusiasm than any other for David: the mushrooms of the Chiricahuas. He spoke of the area as though it were a little-known Galapagos of mycological diversity right in the US Southwest’s backyard, most of it still undescribed. According to him, it had been drought stricken for long periods of time, and had consequently fallen out of favor (or sparked no initial interest whatsoever) with contemporary mycologists, but those in the know remembered full well just what a wet year in the Chiricahuas could bring. That drought, he said, had had a few years of reprieve in recent memory, making for a most extraordinary burst of mycoflora.

Needless to say, the Chiricahuas ascended to the top of my places-to-collect list practically on the spot. It saddens me greatly to hear that this habitat is gone, as I’m sure it will David, if he doesn’t already know.

Very sad…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-10-08 12:28:40 CDT (-0400)

Those were truly beautiful sites. It is a real loss, and it is a sorrow to me to hear about it. We don’t even know the extent of the endemism of the fungi in the “mountain island” ecosystems. There was evidence of endemism of other life forms in that region. I am not selling short the terrible impacts of the drying of the SW and the devastating fires.

I just can’t expend the energy needed to do justice to the losses at this moment.


speaking ot the SW…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2011-10-08 12:05:11 CDT (-0400)

I just spoke to someone with property at Portal, and the Chiricahuas were pretty well decimated this past summer. Rustlers Park, the high elevation pine forest, was burnt. The only places saved were the Research Station property and Cave Creek itself. It’ll be awhile before we get those MR species back…

A never-completed draft of an Amanitaceae checklist for AZ/NM …
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-10-08 08:23:29 CDT (-0400)

can be found on the old “Amanita Studies” site (soon to be abandoned) here:


Very best,


The temporary species “code names” beginning with “sp-AZ” and “sp-NM” on
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-10-08 08:18:34 CDT (-0400)

www.amanitaceae.org were all collected in Arizona and New Mexico respectively. Most of the “sp-AZ…” species are from the Chiricahua Mountain Mycoflora project that was initiated by John Menge, Florence Nishida, and others some time back. I have a lot of data on these taxa that is intended for publication, but have not made it onto the web. You could check out the list of such names on this page:


As you will see, all the “sp-” code names are in alphabetical order following the alphabetized list of non-code names.

Very best,


Location in the Valles
By: BlueCanoe
2011-10-07 23:03:46 CDT (-0400)

We found these amanitas near the edge of the coniferous forest, where it crept down off the steeper slopes onto the valley floor. North facing aspect, above average soil moisture and quality for the area. Southeast of Redondo Peak in the south-central area of the preserve.

This was the only photo I took, unfortunately. I am a novice when it comes to identifying Amanita sp., and I only suggested A. gemmata due to the cap color and whitish flecks of veil tissue. Not to mention that the U.S. Southwest is out of my “home range” and I don’t have a proper guide book for the region. Any help is appreciated!

The Las Conchas Fire burned the eastern and northeastern portions of the preserve. We didn’t walk through any of the burned forests, but from a distance it looked like the severity was highly variable, ranging from 100% tree mortality to light underburns of ponderosa pine stands where the trees were relatively unaffected and the grass has already grown back. Very interesting.

Fire perimeter map

Looks to me like the stipe on the back right …
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2011-10-07 21:45:39 CDT (-0400)

May not have a bulb. Also, I think vertical parallel lines on the stipe at maximum magnivication…probably the remnants of the lamella edge tissue left on the stipe…indicating that there was never a partial veil on the stem. There appears to be a broken (submembranous) sheath of volva around the same stem.

Could this be a species of sect. Vaginatae? I remember sect. Vaginatae as fairly predominant in the spruce-aspen elevations in the Chiricahua Mtns. when I was working there.

The true A. gemmata is a European taxon. The material from the Chiricahuas that had been called “gemmata” turned out to be A. xylinivolva (with range extending southward to Andean Colombia).

( http://www.amanitaceae.org/?Amanita+xylinivolva )

Do you have some other shots of this species?

I hear that most of the Valles Caldera N. P. survived the big fires this year, but that one part took a hit. Can you tell us where you were?

Rod Tulloss

Created: 2011-10-07 18:41:38 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2011-11-08 17:30:50 CDT (-0400)
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