When: 2012-05-12

Collection location: Dutch Mountain, Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

No specimen available

In the past, I have found the dark non striate cap version growing within inches of the lighter striate type. So I tend to lump these types under the name “vernum.” Last summer, at the NEMF foray I listened to Tim Baroni’s synopsis of the Entoloma collections, and he made a few comments about making diverse collections of springtime Entolomas in the Adirondaks. So I wonder about the lumping under the name “vernum.”

These were found in a somewhat swampy grassy area under larch trees. The Dutch Mountain area is very cold; low temp was in the 20sF just a couple days ago.


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Wow! Between the lumpers…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2014-05-23 16:06:25 PDT (-0700)

and the splitters, it’s difficult to choose a direction.

Subgenus Nolanea seems sensible for the time being.

Aside from one observation which I did not collect (function of being a frustrated morel hunter), I haven’t yet seen any other of these types this spring.

I agree with Linus
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2014-05-22 17:50:38 PDT (-0700)

Keep it. I would lean away from E. vernum because it looks non-striate. For what it is worth, I visited the Mid-Atlantic Schools Mycology Conference (MASMC 2014)at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. earlier this year. During a foray Rytas Vilgalys of Duke University suggested that Entoloma vernum and entoloma strictius are really the same thing. (At least that is what I heard him to say in our quick exchange) He said they don’t have enough features to separate them. Do you here that team? Giddy up!

Save them.
By: Linas Kudzma (baravykas)
2014-05-22 12:32:56 PDT (-0700)

As with all good Entoloma collections of yours, save them if practical. I’m still working on DNA from last summer’s collections, but I will do it.

Clearly there’s more to it than just E. vernum for all Spring Entolomas!


Thanks Andreas.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2012-05-19 06:13:45 PDT (-0700)

If nothing else, the discussion has convinced me that preserving documented collections of early season Entolomas is a worthwhile activity.

I did not detect a fishy smell for this observation.

E. hirtipes: fishy smell and bigger spores
By: Andreas (AK_CCM)
2012-05-19 03:06:33 PDT (-0700)

Some weeks ago a few hobby mycologists (Matthias Dondl, Wolfgang Prüfert, Karl Wehr, Gerhard Wölfel, myself) and the well-known pinkgill specialist Machiel E. Noordeloos have founded an Entoloma workgroup within the sponsorship of the German Mycological Society.

I sent all members the link to this observation and Gerhard Wölfel answered me, that E. hirtipes has a bigger spore size (10-14 × 8-9,5 µm), cheilo cystidia and no caulo cystidia. Also the fruitbodies smells farinaceous with a fishy component but E. vernum has no specific smell. Also the species have different habitats. E. vernum is growing on sandy, sour soils under Pinus, but E. hirtipes likes better soils. He knows E. hirtipes only from broadleaf forests in spring not from conifer forests.

Hope this helps you

Based upon having viewed spores
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2012-05-16 15:02:33 PDT (-0700)

of known varieties, I’ve come to the conclusion that multiplying the viewable measurement scale by about 1.2 gives close to the correct spore measurment. So the ones seen here look to be within the desired range for vernum.

I really should take the time to look at more micro characters. I guess my “method” is to wait until I encounter situations where these types of things are critical for ID. So now I have the idea to look at these types of entolomas more carefully.

When I know that someone will be interested in examining collections I make, I preserve the specimens. Looks like these entolomas are sufficiently interesting that someone may eventually like to look at some.

Thanks for the suggestions, Irene.

It’s a good idea
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-05-16 00:09:25 PDT (-0700)

to make further documentations. Save collections too, and look for more micro characters, like incrusted pigments, cystidia, 2- or 4-spored basidia, size of the spores (should be 9-12 × 7-9 in vernum). I don’t know how to read the scale in your photo.. At least, those spores can rule out conferendum.

If you don’t want to keep them for yourself, save collections of Entoloma sp. for a herbarium along with notes on habitat, smell and other observations. A good idea is to label them with the MO obs number. Maybe someone will deal with them someday.

Thanks for the thoughful response Irene.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2012-05-15 16:29:37 PDT (-0700)

Yes, I am aware of difficulties surrounding species ID for the spring Nolanea types of Entolomas. The North American manuals tend to lump these types together under the name “vernum.” I wonder if this another situation where the best that may be expected is to use a name such as “vernum group?” But like you write, maybe there are a few ways to point toward a particular species name, in some instances.

In the past, I have found some of these types growing on my own property. If I see any, then I’ll try to document the growth cycle.

As far as I can tell, spores for this collection are pretty much identical to what Kuo includes under the heading “vernum.” (Just posted photo.)

The genus Entoloma
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-05-14 00:36:20 PDT (-0700)

is terribly difficult. Many species are poorly known and quite a few are certainly still unknown.
The basic problem, with the Nolanea types in particular, is that they are rather non-descript, and micro differences are subtle (with a few exceptions).

If someone tries to ID them with the help of limited field guides or comparing with pictures on the web, he/she is likely to fail.

E. vernum and hirtipes are a couple of well known names that appear in many field guides, and we often make the mistake assuming that what we have found is a species that is mentioned there. I think that is one of the reasons why so many pictures on the web look so different, with a large part misidentified.

The single species do have quite distinct macro characters, and aren’t that extremely variable. The large variation lies within the different stages from young and moist to old and dry. So, what it takes to ID a Nolanea, is a good eye for details, lots of experience, and good keys and descriptions that cover all known species..

The stems on these were
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2012-05-13 17:37:51 PDT (-0700)

fragile/brittle, and long in relation to the cap diameter.

I have a nice spore drop, and I’ll look at the spores under the scope as soon as I get my scope back… in the shop for service.

It has seemed to me (and confirmed by Kuo’s comments on Mushroom Expert) that the name E. vernum has been used to refer to several different species. But when I look at online depictions of E. hirtipes, I see similar variation in color, cap striation, and stature.

First of all
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-05-13 07:28:54 PDT (-0700)

there are probably several different species named vernum on the web, the same with hirtipes.
The hirtipes I know, has an orangish brown cap and a brittle stem with about the same colour (smells like cucumber).
E. vernum is more greyish brown, usually rather dark, with a shorter grey stem, white towards the base.

E. conferendum is another early and long-stemmed species, with a brownish gray and more striate cap than hirtipes and vernum, and has a good microcharacter, cruciform spores. You should check what the spores look like. Several varieties have been described, though.

Looking at online photos labeled E. hirtipes,
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2012-05-13 06:19:30 PDT (-0700)

I see the same variation in color and marginal cap striation that I associate with the E. vernum. Are there macro characteristics that point toward hirtipes?