When: 2008-11-06

Collection location: Sammamish, King Co., Washington, USA [Click for map]

Who: John Roper (madjack74)

No specimen available

Growing on ground in leaf litter.

Cap Diameter: 14mm , 11mm
Stipe Length: 60mm, 44mm
Stipe Width: 1.1mm, 1mm

White gills, white spore print. I think the gills are adnexed but it is so small it’s hard to tell.

Spores: 4 × 2 mu. Tiny!

Species Lists


Spores 4 × 2 µm. In Melzer’s.

Proposed Names

8% (3)
Used references: Aurora’s Mushrooms Demystified, p. 237. Perhaps M. rorida, or Slippery Mycena. Cap striate, fading to pale white or yellowish-white in age; stipe 3-5cm; under conifers. Without seeing the gills, this is just a guess, though.
78% (2)
Recognized by sight: Given the association with fir, the location (Pacific Northwest) and the appearance this seems really likely. They do grow out of the fallen cones, but as Doug mentioned they can be buried. Next time you see them try digging a bit – especially if there is a nice cluster about the size/outline of a fir cone.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Ohh habitat…
By: John Roper (madjack74)
2008-11-07 12:04:33 CST (-0600)

No pine trees, but lots of fir and douglas fir. The fir cones are just about everywhere. These mushrooms did not seem to be growing out of any cone however and thier fairly gregarious distribution (4 mushrooms all within 6 inches of each other but no mushroom closer then 2 inches) makes me think its probably not Strobilurus or Baeospora.

Thanks for you help
By: John Roper (madjack74)
2008-11-07 11:56:45 CST (-0600)

I have Metlzer’s (a friend is a microbiologist), but don’t always know when to use it as a factor. The spores are inamyloid. I gave a quick try at mounting a slide this morning but between my fat mounting and my cruddy microscope camera nothing is legible. I will try again tonight.

You don’t need to be a wizard to do basic microscopy.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2008-11-07 08:55:03 CST (-0600)

John, it’s easy. True “sectioning” can be tricky, but you rarely need to be that precise. Just pick a very small part of the gill edge with tweezers or a razor and prepare a slide. What more is there to ponder about? 10,000 times down the same road you’ll get even tougher sections with ease.

Don’t worry so much…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2008-11-07 06:40:42 CST (-0600)

Yeah, this does look more like Strobilurus, there also is Baeospora along with the suggested Mycena and Marasmius.

For the little guys don’t sweat the sectioning, just grab a whole gill with fine tweezers and lay it face down on the slide. With this you can see the cheilocystidia on the edge of the gill just fine, and with some experience you can tell if there are pleurocystidia on the gill face in most cases.

The real problem is that splitting these genera with the microscopy are the reactions with iodine, and to really see these reaction you need Metlzer’s, which isn’t easily available. It would be interesting to be able to come up with a common answer for people who might be interested in this. The answer for most people to dev. a relationship with a local mycology department at a university, and then borrow some from there.

The spores for all these will be clear, smooth and subglobose to ellipsiod, so that won’t tell you enough. If they are amyloid then that would give you Mycena. The cystidia on the edge of the gill will give you more info.

Was you also need here, is what was the ‘shroom growing on? As a Strobilurus or a Baeospora it should be on a pine cone, this at least does seem to be under pine… so if it isn’t that, then it might not be those. Although if the cone is really, really decayed, then it can look like the ’shroom is growing from the dirt.

And worse than that, it might be something else! (Collybia?) So, play around, and see if you can get more info next time!

Which bit of microscopy?
By: John Roper (madjack74)
2008-11-06 20:46:30 CST (-0600)

Would you just need spore microscopy? My pileus sectioning is still very bad. If you need basidia and cystidia I can normally get that after about 100 section attempts but on a mushroom this small I don’t think I can manage it. I will add a lamellae shot next time I find a sample.

By: else
2008-11-06 18:09:56 CST (-0600)

looks much more like a Strobilurus, but without data on microscopy, substrate and the lamellae, it is just a guessing game.