Collection location: Los Trancos Preserve, Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co., California, USA [Click for map]
Some unknown Nolanea. Not sure what it was when found, kinda Mycena-ish, but the cap was kinda silky radially, and dark. It was Mycena size though, with a 1 cm cap, and ~3 cm long, with very thin 2-3 mm stipe. This gills are mostly free, but hard to tell being so small. The spore print came in very light brown, I guess kinda pinkish.
The radial silky cap, the spore color, the conical cap shape with slight umbo, all point to Nolanea. But I don’t have anything that discribes a Nolenea this small.
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The photos here are all of the same mushrooms. I found three on the edge of a mossy hill, and I took a photo of the three in the woods on a leaf, and a few hours later on white paper at home, and that is what you see here. The contrast of the image will be different depending on the background, making things appear more white in the wild, so I take photos on white to get the true colors of the mushroom, where you can tell the difference between off-white, cream, light tan, and true white.
But these photos here are all of the same three mushrooms found.
I’m waiting to find these again, I didn’t find them this year, and then try to get more details and a real id on them…
Check out Helen M.E. Shalkwijk-Barendsen’s Mushrooms of Northwest North America, p. 106. Apparently a widely variable species, since your pictures look to me like two different mushrooms. Brown gills vs. whitish gills. Pink stem vs. dark brown stem.
To really get an id for Nolanea you need to go to Largent’s “Entolomatoid Fungi of the Western United States and Alaska”. The keys are good, but challenging since they require a fair amount of microscopic work. Even the distinctions between Nolanea, Leptonia and Entoloma are really based on microscopy. We’ve used it at the Santa Cruz fair and found it works well when you have the time and tools.