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Observation 102719: Cookeina speciosa group

When: 2012-07-25

Collection location: Parque Nacional Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico [Click for map]

Who: Minh Nhân (Iván Rodríguez)

No specimen available

Identified with an American field guide, yet this is a Mexican mushroom, meaning that it could be off. The description matches this find quite well however, and hopefully it is common enough to key out in an American book.

Species Lists


Cluster of stalked orange peel fungus; very commonly found in this way, rarely (but I found one) solitary.
Note distinct stalk and pale underside.
Bright orange fertile surface.
Older specimen?
Appearance after one day of air-drying (left to dry on its own after being picked). Note discoloration and folding-in of margin.

Proposed Names

-37% (3)
Used references: Mushrooms Demystified
63% (3)
Used references: Iturriaga & Pfister, Mycotaxon 95: 137-180 – freely accessible via

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Minh Nhân (Iván Rodríguez)
2012-07-27 03:20:04 CEST (+0200)

I would of never guessed there could be so much variation in just one species. Thank you Danny, that is very valuable information that I’ll keep in mind if I happen upon more Cookeina species. And yes, the two specimens on the top-left of that image match the ones I’ve found like no other, thanks for getting rid of the doubt.

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2012-07-27 03:13:10 CEST (+0200)

another thing worth noting; color is not the most reliable indicator in Cookeina species:

Many things to consider!
By: Minh Nhân (Iván Rodríguez)
2012-07-27 01:47:31 CEST (+0200)

That’s what I was fearing as well Danny, and it looks like it was indeed not worth of trouble of keying out in Arora’s book.

Judging from the images on MO for C. speciosa, it looks somewhat different. The cap seems paler, sometimes not even orange but red, and there is a see-through quality to them — on none of the ones I stumbled on did I immediately consider such a profound characteristic. But all in all, now that I did some serious research on both species, your suggestion is indeed the better candidate, and seeing as you and Danny both have more experience in the field, I’m more confident with that suggestion. Thank you both!

characters for your mushroom
By: else
2012-07-25 22:22:30 CEST (+0200)

that set it apart from Sowerbyella are the narrow stipe, the hairs on the edge of the cup, the color, and the absence of the mealy-ness so characteristic for Sowerbyella rhenana (look for picture of it!)

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2012-07-25 22:16:14 CEST (+0200)

your key is not designed for anything outside North America. Mushrooms Demystified is not equipped to treat Mexican fungi. Look around at other observations of Cookeina and you’ll find it’s a most cosmopolitan member of tropical mycota the world over.

Thanks for the input.
By: Minh Nhân (Iván Rodríguez)
2012-07-25 20:18:29 CEST (+0200)

Could you mention why you believe that it’s Cookeina speciosa? What are the defining features of that fungus versus the one I’ve keyed out?