When: 2008-11-14

Collection location: Larch Mountain, Multnomah Co., Oregon, USA [Click for map]

Who: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)

No specimen available

A fairly large Cortinarius, 2-toned brown on top, gills grayish, with distinctive violet cast to rim at the edge of gills on the underside; base is bulbous, yellowish, and fibrous.


Proposed Names

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Recognized by sight

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And more… to finish it off.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-11 09:35:11 PST (-0800)

Andreas, thank you for the info. I will join one of the next JEC events. I knew the place in Hungary and was not too overjoyed with expectations. Got to make a trip to the Cortinarius Holy Land (Sweden) first, possibly next Fall… We should make a European Cortinarius Gathering in Western North America — I suspect it would be very nice change of venue. And very educational (on all sides) too. There are some great places.

I will be giving a talk on Cortinarius at the Bay Area Mycological Society (BAMS) next Wed, 11/18. There i will cover in some length the History (or lack of) of Cortinarius Studies i n North America. The challenges, etc. Many things described by “road warrior” mycologists — “Oh, what a nice Cort, let’s write it up… “Known from a single collection, only from the vicinity of the type locale”, etc. And yet it could be a much broader concept — many of the things described from Northern Michigan likely apply to Canada and the entire Eastern NA. But they were described in a manner that only nuts like me have the tenacity to try to decipher…

In some groups I cannot see differences between the European and North American concept — take Myxaciums in the Vibratilis group. I see the same stuff. Most diffs. are in the Phlegmacia (probably because they are most visually rich too).


I fully agree
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-10 22:09:18 PST (-0800)

as well as to the importance of good descriptions (as in Atlas) as well as the fact that Cortinarius as a very VERY large genus – with many still undescribed species. And there are still many to come, that’s a fact too, but to sort them out should be done carefully and with repeated study of the same locations. That takes time – which some obviousely don’t have. I don’t mean explicitely the Atlas guys with that, there are others too.
Yes, I’m member of the JEC, but as I earn my living with giving course since 2004, I have not every year time to take part. Going to forays instead of giving courses is doubled expensive ;-) This year in Hungary was again a catastrophy regarding the findings. They had 5 (five!) species of Cortinarius in that week. I gave a Cortinarius course in the same time and we had appr. 60 (determined) species in 5 days. That is quite a good quantity, especially as we concentrated on the calcareous Quercus and Fagus forests. I have been in 1995 (I think) in Budapest at the JEC and it was the same. Very pity, because they have nice locations. I have been invited by Imre Rimoczi in 2007 and we had nice collections. I have been at the JEC forays 1991, 1995-2003 and 2006. In 2013 or 2014 I will organize a JEC foray in Thueringen (if they accept my application)

To Andreas
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-10 21:30:02 PST (-0800)

Andreas, thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts in some length. I understand that they might have gotten carried away in describing way too many little species (one look at their Hydrocybe is nauseating), but even without human intervention the Genus is large with a lot of collections that just don’t fit well into any existing description.

At least they documented what they meant. Our guys here in North America fathered species only on paper with almost useless descriptions — the worst was Murrill, but even the late Moser did a very shoddy job in iconographing his new names. It is a very frustrating job for me now to have to recover the concepts based on silly words and very limited diagrams, like a B&W drawing of a Cort (!!). I have many collections from the Pacific Northwest and working with that material is 100X harder than with the collections from Europe.

Are you a member of JEC? How did the Hungary event go?

C. zinziberatus
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-10 14:48:13 PST (-0800)

Hmm, the greenish veil colour is the same in both species, but apart from that they are quite different. C. zinziberatus is in the Leprocybe (or might be better placed in Telamonia perhaps?), whereas C. scaurus complex are Phlegmacium.
Do you have a foto from zinziberatus? The group is quite difficult and comprises also C. isabellinus and C. colymbadinus.

C. scaurus complex
By: walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
2009-11-10 14:38:30 PST (-0800)

At the Cain Foray in Ontario this year we found Cortinarius zinziberatus (great name!) which I had Identified as C. scaurus.

By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-10 13:42:28 PST (-0800)

>>As far as the Atlas, I don’t care if the names there match real species at all. I care that they have put the effort to iconograph all ranges of variability within a group(!!).<<

As long as you just want to put a name on your collection – o.k.. And also honorable that they want to show the variability of species. But with making dozends and dozends of new species, often without enough careful study (yes!)they not only contribute to the knowledge of Cortinarius, but on the other block the time of others, who are obliged to re-examine those heaps of types, to do the molecular work etc. – just to show that from the 10 species in that group are only 3 left thatb are good. Yes, there is a lot of fantastic work in the Atlas, but it is quite difficult to sort out what’s good and what not. I had discussions about that with André Bidaud, whom I know good, with Guillaume Eyssartier. And yes, they know their mediterranean species very well. But outsied their home terrain other might have more experience and they (Reumaux, not Bidaud and Eyssartier) refuse to discuss. And they are very obviousely against all that the scandinaviens do, what is very contra-productive. There have been forays where both groups were together, e.g. 1996 in the Black Forest or 1997 in Sweden, But again it was only Bidaud who had the kindness to discuss the differetn ways of species concept etc.
I won’t say, the Atlas is useless, by no means. I use it often, I like it and it helps me in many situations. But be careful with the easyness often collections can be determined. One month later the fruitbodies from the same mycelium may lead you to another species ….

By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-10 13:22:38 PST (-0800)

>>She once found 54 different species of Cortinarius fruiting at the same time under an isolated Douglas-fir in an Oregon sand dune<<

That’s true?? 54 species of Cortinarius under ONE single tree, in the dunes??
Is this published somewhere?

Helen V. Smith?
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-11-10 06:07:20 PST (-0800)

The last person to take some of the Cortinarius seriously in Oregon was Helen V. Smith, the wife of Alexander H. Smith and mother of Nancy Smith-Weber. She once found 54 different species of Cortinarius fruiting at the same time under an isolated Douglas-fir in an Oregon sand dune, suggesting there were far more ectomycorrhizal species in Oregon than previously thought.

Most of us here do not (or cannot) take the Cortinarii as seriously. I’ve rarely found a key that works for more than one area of the state, and usually not convincingly then. As confused and convoluted as the Rhizopogons are. Alexander Smith once said he was introduced as having the largest identified Rhizopogon collection in the world. He supposedly then said he also may have the largest un-identified collection of Rhizopogons in the world!

I’m not sure where Helen’s original research is housed. You may find more of our Cortinarius in her work. She spent a good portion of her life trying to sort them out.

We have work to do…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-10 02:16:56 PST (-0800)

I have all FnD works (of course) and I am intimately familiar with this one too. Moser (2002) is not at all convincing about his macro-morphology. We will continue to investigate on this end. I see Western USA Scauri material that goes beyond the “boundaries” of current knowledge.

I will continue to investigate aggressively Western American, European and even Eastern American Cortinarius (going to New Orleans for NAMA, hopefully the hurricane will make the Corts show up)…

At one time I made tests with I:KI in a 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/3 + Chloral Hydrate ratios and saw no differences — there is a lot of voodoo mycology in place as far as chemistry is concerned that doesn’t take in account environmental factors. We discussed that on MushroomTalk an year or so ago.

As far as the Atlas, I don’t care if the names there match real species at all. I care that they have put the effort to iconograph all ranges of variability within a group(!!). At the same time there were things that I collected in Bulgaria 3 weeks ago that couldn’t possibly be identified without the help of the French and Italian sources.

Collected some crazy Corts along the Oregon Sand Dune areas today. Almost certainly un/under-described…

red reaction with Lugol
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-09 14:19:07 PST (-0800)

Here is a cut through C. purpurascens with a Lugol reaction: http://mushroomobserver.org/27968.
In Germany the colour is called “wine- to purple-red”. I think wine-red is spot on in this case.
I think it is important to use Lugols solution and not Melzers!

Atlas des Cortinaries
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-09 14:10:38 PST (-0800)

I have also the Atlas and also the vol. 18. I use it quite regularily, but it has to be treated with much caution, because there are much to many species in their concept. Often the taxa are good to reach with the keys, but next year from the same place you end up at another species. They often didn’t take enough variability into account. This is my opinion ….

more Scauri :-))
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-09 10:00:04 PST (-0800)

Hi, the literature I was doing my species concept was the one by MOSER: MOSER, M. (2001) – Rare, debated and new taxa of the genus Cortinarius (Agaricales). Fungi non delineati XV. Alassio. Your citation is new to me, I will organize that immediately. Later this evening I will upload another Scauri from Sphagnum and a species from the Glaucopodes (C. luhmannii) which was formerly mostly determined as C. herpeticus var. fageticola

One more thing..
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-09 06:57:49 PST (-0800)

The study I was referring to is:

“The species complex Cortinarius scaurus – C. herpeticus based on morphological and molecular data.” – Micologia e Vegetazione Mediterranea 17(1): 3–17. (2002)

I have not been able to detect bitterness in the Scauri though (some sources claim so, I think).. (Except infractus, which some see in Scauri too). Have you tasted them?

Also, the iodine reaction I see is burgundy (supported by Moser’s observations too). Brandrud has it purplish, I think, but I can’t see it that way.

The yellow-green veil remnants on the bulb are very critical for diagnostics in that group.

The latest Atlas Des Cortinaires (Vol. XVIII) has a large treatment of Scauri, which I actually like quite much.

By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-09 06:39:31 PST (-0800)

we had a very good year for Cortinarius scaurus too. I found no other species of that scauri-group this year, but in locations were I usually find a handful fruitbodies this year were dozens or even hundreds.

Yep, Scauri…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-09 06:27:04 PST (-0800)

The hygrophanous cap is most distinct. This has been a great season for Scauri so far on the West Coast. I saw some amazing collections, preserved — we do have herpeticus for sure, will post photos on my site soon. We do have a scaurus/sphagnophilus one, long stemmed, brown. We certainly have C. montanus, a squat looking one, very pretty gill colors.


The Europeans have started to use that name too now. Moser did some studies with early molecular work in 2002 and they determine that the collections match the European molecularly, but this is an area that has come into question again, based on pers. comm. with cognoscenti.

Amongst the streaked caps, there other things too. C. purpurascens comes around, very pretty. C. occidentalis too.

We have one more Scauri that comes up that is very strange. We’re starting now to get a handle of these. Got academic support too. Will discuss more on MushroomTalk in a broader sense when get back. More collecting today.

seems to be a member oft the section Scauri
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-09 05:56:21 PST (-0800)

something around C. scaurus or C. herpeticus. Isn’t there a C. montanus in America?