Name: Camarophyllus (Fr.) P. Kumm. sensu Singer
Most Confident Observations:
Copyright © 2009 Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
Copyright © 2010 Michael W (Michael Wallace)
Copyright © 2009 Nathan Wilson (nathan)
Copyright © 2009 Douglas Smith (douglas)
Version: 10
Previous Version

First person to use this name on MO: Nathan Wilson
Editors: Alan Rockefeller, Joshua Birkebak, Erlon Bailey


Rank: Genus

Status: Deprecated

Name: Camarophyllus

ICN Identifier: missing

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Author: (Fr.) P. Kumm. sensu Singer

Citation: Führ. Pilzk. (Zwickau): 26, 117 (1871)

Preferred Synonyms:Cuphophyllus (Donk) Bon

Misspellings: Cupophyllus


Domain: Eukarya

Kingdom: Fungi

Phylum: Basidiomycota

Class: Agaricomycetes

Order: Agaricales

Family: Hygrophoraceae

Genus: Cuphophyllus
  (= Camarophyllus)

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Notes on Taxonomy: [Edit]

According to Singer type species is: Camarophyllus pratensis(Fr.) P. Kumm., Führ. Pilzk. (Zwickau): 117 (1871)
However, the ICBN states:

“22.6 When the epithet in the name of a subdivision of a genus is identical with or derived from the epithet in one of the originally included species names, the type of the higher-ranking name is the same as that of the species name, unless the original author of the higher-ranking name designated another type.”

This implies that Agaricus camarophyllus (now Hygrophorus camarophyllus) should be the type for the subgenus Camarophyllus which is very likely what Kummer had in mind when he created the genus Camarophyllus in what essentially amounts to a German key (back in the day when that was enough to create a genus). Assuming that’s the right interpretation, then Cuphophyllus is a better name for Camarophyllus pratensis and it’s allies.

According to the Index Fungorum Camarophyllus is a synonym for Hygrophorus.

However, D.J. Lodge provided the following comment:
Camarophyllus has a lamellar trama of highly interwoven, generally uninflated, glassy-walled hyphae, whereas Hygrocybe has a regular or subregular arrangement of hyphae in the lamellar trama, composed of inflated hyphae with thinner walls. Camarophyllus comes out at the base of the family, Hygrocybe in the upper, distal branches, and Hygrophorus, (with divergent lamellar trama and apparently strict ectomycorrhizal associations) between them in the middle. Unless you want to go back to the Hesler & A.H. Smith system of calling everything in the family as one genus, Hygrophorus, then you have to recognize Camarophyllus as a separate genus from Hygrocybe. See the molecular phylogenetic tree in Matheny et al. 2006.”

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Add Comment
By: Joshua Birkebak (Shua)
2013-11-04 05:48:01 CST (+0800)

See Lodge et al. 2013. Molecular phylogeny, morphology, pigment chemistry and ecology in Hygrophoraceae (Agaricales). Fungal Diversity. 10.1007/s13225-013-0259-0

Re: Index Fungorum and MycoBank
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2012-03-15 22:40:00 CST (+0800)

Regarding expressing an opinion, the Index Fungorum page on the genus Camarophyllus ( as of March 15, 2012) has a Species Fungorum link to Hygrophorus. My understanding is that Species Fungorum is separated out exactly because it is an opinion (as opposed to a nomenclatural act). What frustrates me no end is that they don’t provide arguments for those opinions.

Similarly MycoBank says on it’s Camarophyllus page (

“MycoBank’s opinion: this name is a synonym of Hygrophorus Fr. 1836 (MB17810)”

They also don’t give any explicitly reasoning for this opinion, but they do say:

“Type taxon: unknown”

This is why I’m guessing that they have an issue with Singer declaring the type to be C. pratensis. However, I don’t see anything in the Code that prevents this since all of these taxa were published prior to the requirement for a type. Regarding Singer’s authority for stating the type, I believe this would be based on priority (at least that’s what Singer claims), but I haven’t studied the Code enough to know for sure.

IndexFungorum and MycoBank
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-03-15 16:27:44 CST (+0800)

can express an opinion, but in this case I think they haven’t actually done that yet.
As long as the genus Hygrocybe isn’t officially split, Camarophyllus still is a part of Hygrocybe, consequently a synonym, just like a variety of a species is synonymous with the main species.

I still wonder how a randomly chosen species can be claimed as the type. What I see as the natural choice is Kummer’s virgineus.
It can’t be possible that it is because Singer is considered to be a bigger authority than others.. It must have to do with some technicality.

I read somewhere that they had removed the rule that the type species had to be the first one mentioned (the motivation was that it turned out to be too “mechanical”), but I haven’t understood what replaced that rule.
Is it only that a type species explicitly has to be declared now?

Tracked down Singer 1951
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2012-03-15 10:55:55 CST (+0800)

And again I don’t find it terribly compelling, but it might just be compelling enough. Singer simply declares:

Type species: C. pratensis (Pers. ex Fr.) Karst.

with a reference of Bidr. Finl. Nat. Folk 32 : xvii. 1879. This title is available in the BHL. The description of Camarophyllus is available at:

and the species of Camarophyllus start here:

However, it is not clear why Singer takes C. pratensis as the type. Unfortunately, I can’t read Dutch (or German for that matter), so I don’t know if those descriptions match and I see nothing that suggests that C. pratensis is considered special in this work. Singer presumably agrees that the type is unclear based on his discussion in the 4th edition of Agaricales in Modern Taxonomy.

So as far as I can tell the only reason that C. pratensis is considered the type is because Singer said it was in 1951, 80 years after the genus was originally published. However, looking at Article 37 of the Code, I learned that a type is only required for publications on or after Jan. 1, 1958. Furthermore, a Latin diagnosis is only required for taxa published after Jan. 1, 1935.

Given that Irene is correct in stating that the description given by Kummer is sufficient, then I conclude that Camarophyllus is a valid genus based on Kummer 1871 and C. pratensis is the type as declared by Singer.

I am curious what argument Index Fungorum and MycoBank would give for claiming that it is synonymous with Hygrophorus. I’m guessing that they dispute the legitimacy of Singer declaring the type in 1951, but I don’t understand on what basis they would make that claim.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-03-15 03:39:36 CST (+0800)

could Hesler & Smith propose pratensis as type species for Camarophyllopsis, if the genus was introduced 1958 by Herink, with schulzeri as the only recombined species..? Hesler & Smith must have misunderstood something here.

Anyway, about Kummer’s Camarophyllus – I have seen much simpler diagnoses or pictures than his, been accepted publications for genera and species names.
It is, however, presented in a key to different genera, so all described characters aren’t found at the same place, but this is the last part that leads to Camarophyllus:
“Der ganze Pilz steif und starr-spröde, etwas wässerig. Der Hut stumpf genabelt, selten trichtenförmig. Stiel ziemlich gleich dick. Lamellen steif, sehr breit und vor allem sehr weitläufig.”
It’s illustrated in fig 39. Not a good one, but it’s there, presumably depicting virgineus..

This should also be read in comparison with how he describes Hygrocybe:
“Der Hut in feuchten Luft schleimig oder klebrig. Der ganze Pilz wässerig-saftig, feucht gallertig-zitterig und saftschimmernd. Fast nus dottergelbe oder scharlachroth angelaufende Arten (fig. 36).”

When I write “stupid nomenclature rules” I actually mean that I haven’t been able to keep up with the repeated changing of rules – and that I don’t understand much of what they really mean by them.

By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2012-03-14 22:27:36 CST (+0800)

So according to the Vienna Code ( Article 32 which I believe is what Adolf referenced, it is required that a valid publication “(d) be accompanied by a description or diagnosis or by a reference to a previously and effectively published description or diagnosis (except as provided in Art. 42.3, 44.1, and H.9)”. The exception essentially amount to allowing illustrations instead of textual descriptions. However, the Kummer book does not provide a description of Camarophyllus nor an illustration as far as I can tell (there are some illustrations at the end of the book, but it isn’t clear to me if any of them are intended to be Camarophyllus) nor a clear reference to a previous work.

Hooray discussion!
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2012-03-14 22:03:11 CST (+0800)

Here’s what Singer says in The Agaricales in Modern Taxonomy, 4th edition, 1986:

“There is no indication in the Code of nomenclature which would force us to choose the type species according to tautomony [NJW: like in Zoology where Gorilla gorilla implies the type] of the genus and a specific epithet once used in the genus. Since selection of a type species is not achieved by designating a first species (Earle, Murrill), the first selections which must be followed are Konrad’s (1934) and Singer’s (1951), the latter for Camarophyllus Kummer. Hesler & Smith (1963) base their section Camarophyllopsis on Camarophyllus ‘’(Fr.)’’ Kummer, again with the type species: C. pratensis. If A. camarophyllus A. & S. were acceptable as type species, the name of the genus now based on C. pratensis would be Aeruginospora Höhnel.”

I haven’t had a chance to hunt down Konrad 1934 or Singer 1951 and I suspect those will be tricky since they are after 1923 when copyright laws changed. Sigh.

I need to read the Code to see what Adolf is getting at in observation 85108, but what I saw in Kummer sure wouldn’t pass muster for a modern publication.

I don’t know the current rules
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-03-11 21:34:31 CST (+0800)

but since Camarophyllus virgineus is the first mentioned species named Camarophyllus, that ought to be the type species.
Kummer’s combination of the names is considered legitimate, so why wouldn’t it be valid? Any other proposal would be an arbitrary choice.

Herbert, is it possible for you to copy and post Singer’s motivation for the proposal of pratensis here?

Validity of the publishing?
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2012-03-11 05:56:18 CST (+0800)

P. Kumm., Führ. Pilzk. (Zwickau): 117 (1871) is available from the Biodiversity Heritage Library at If anything this indicates that Camarophyllus virgineus is the type, but it’s a not really a formal publication in my view. There is no Latin description (the entire text is German) and there is no clear indication of the type.

This raises the same question in my opinion for Hygrocybe. Interestingly, MycoBank indicates that there is no type for Camarophyllus, but references this same work for the type for Hygrocybe (pg. 110). I wish my German was better, but I don’t see any clear type indicators for these genera.

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