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When: 2013-09-29

Collection location: Nescopeck State Park, Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

No specimen available

Base of two trees, one dead and one live.

Taste fairly mild, not bitter. Odor slight, pleasant.

I’m leaning toward Pholiota for now. Reminds me of P. alnicola/malicola.


Proposed Names

29% (1)
Recognized by sight: Waiting for spores
-9% (2)
Recognized by sight
61% (2)
Recognized by sight
29% (1)
Recognized by sight: Seems to me that the alnicola/malicola lumping is an unsettled issue.
29% (1)
Recognized by sight
Used references: According to Champignons du Quebec. Index Fungorum lists Pholiota as the current genus.

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Thanks Byrain.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-10-04 13:27:29 CDT (-0400)

Just loaded the report and did a quick read. The authors appear to lack commitment to the separation of alnicola and malicola as species names, which may account for the current lumping (as I understand it) under the single name alnicola. Interestingly, the other species name that appears to match the macro traits of the collection under consideration, P. abieticola, is characterized partly according to its unusual long thin caulocystidia. Could that thing in the photo be a caulosystidium? The report gives habitat info regarding only one collection of P. abieticola, North Caroloina on wood of a fir tree. There are no fir trees in the area where my collection was made.

Actually, I run across these “alnicola” types occasionally.

If anyone is interested in studying material from this collection, I do have a few dried mushrooms available.

North American Species of Pholiota
By: Byrain
2013-10-04 12:42:47 CDT (-0400)

There is a pdf available to grab at mykoweb, here

Thanks Rocky.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-10-04 12:25:41 CDT (-0400)

When I get a chnce I’ll check out the UM website and track down the Pholiota sect. Flammula page.

I just looked at the micro shots I took when I mounted stipe material. The newly added photo probably just shows a hypha; but I don’t yet have a good grasp of these things.

By: Rocky Houghtby
2013-10-02 16:28:01 CDT (-0400)

There are seven species described from that section in Alex Smith’s Pholiota monograph, which is hosted for free at the University of Michigan website.

The specimens have been sitting out…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-10-02 14:57:37 CDT (-0400)

and have probably dried out. I wondered about this possibly affecting the ability to detect caulocystidia.

Sounds like there’s a lot to be learned about Pholiota sect. Flammula. Any idea on how many species names are currently applied to NA material? For if there are currently only a few names to chose from, then I’m not convinced that speculating upon the possible existence of additional species names is a reason to not use the ones currently available.

By: Rocky Houghtby
2013-10-02 09:29:22 CDT (-0400)

Are epically difficult to find, as I understand. The species in this section present with ridiculously similar macromorphology and spore lengths. The lack of bitterness and the sub-clavate, swollen stipes may be enough to rule out P. alnicola, but they might not. Molecular study of the group may even reveal some yet to be discovered synonymy too. I think that micro characters of Pholiota, particularly from outer layer cell structures, are intensely variable. Viscidity in this and many Pholiota species groups seems to depend heavily on weather conditions at the time of collection. The caulocystidia in your collection may well have collapsed as a result of sub-gelatinous hyphae drying out.

Tried a few mounts…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-10-02 09:06:35 CDT (-0400)

of material from a stipe, including the method recommended on Mushroom Observer, but I did not find anything on that looked like a cystidium.

Actually, IMO the question is whether or not alnicola and malicola are separate species. The three names that seem to potentially apply here are those two along with flavida. Spore size appears to rule out flavida.

Caulocystidia are a new territory for me.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-10-01 21:09:15 CDT (-0400)

But I’ve got a few minutes to spare, and the mushrooms are still here. So I’ll see what I can find by mounting some material scraped off a stipe.

By: Rocky Houghtby
2013-10-01 20:14:15 CDT (-0400)

Are you able to measure the caulocystidia?

Did some checking on the names…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-10-01 20:02:47 CDT (-0400)

alnicola, malicola, and flavida. Kuo reports that P. alnicola tastes bitter. However, I have been under the impression that alnicola and malicola have been synonymized. I nibbled a bit of several different caps and perceived no bitterness.

After adjusting for the spore measurment as seen in the photo (add about 17%) these spores appear to have lengths ranging from 8 to 11 mu, the reported range for malicola. So, if alnicola and malicola are considered to be differnent species, then malicola may be a better fit for these.

Spore print rusty…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-09-30 08:40:04 CDT (-0400)

which I believe eliminates Hypholoma as a possibility. I hope to post a spore photo later this evening. But form what I glanced at this morning, it looks like the spores do not show the “mango” shape associated with at least some Gymnopilus types.