When: 2008-11-28

Collection location: Fort Bragg, Mendocino Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)

Specimen available


Proposed Names

-12% (5)
Recognized by sight: lots of great material in the field.
23% (3)
Recognized by sight

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
thanks Danny.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-06-14 15:50:02 CDT (-0500)

missed this one!

Thanks to everybody…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-01-23 15:21:23 CST (-0600)

The spores certainly seem to preclude the possibility that this mushroom is A. breckonii.


And here is the full comment from MushroomTalk — “Breckon’s Blues”…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-01-23 13:40:23 CST (-0600)

California is blessed/cursed (depending on your point of view) with a
number of Gemmatoid Amanitas (i.e. close to A. gemmata) that have been
poorly studied and are essentially treated as a species complex.
Hidden in there is an Amanita called breckonii that has for some
reason offered a special lure to hunters to find it and name
it. Amanita breckonii is rare according to Arora, and a conservative
site like MykoWeb does not depict any collections. I have been on the
search for one, but so far have not seen it.

It is said to have some special features — the most distinctive of
which is the slightly rooting stipe. BTW, I haven’t seen good
diagnostic photos depicting this important characteristic. The other
key feature are the unusually narrow spores compared to the other
members of the Section. The one feature, which is cited frequently iss
the double ring on the lower stem, but it is due according to Tulloss
of the lower annulus being close to the volval edge, thus creating
that impression and since these can disappear quickly they’re not
always present.

What is missing and I have spoken about it in the past is a good
virtual lectotype of that species so that we know what we’re looking
at. So far I see a number of collections being listed here and there,
mainly on MushroomObserver, but none of them have passed even minimum
standard of identification.

I asked for collections to be sent to me to study and Debbie Viess
(kudos to her!) sent me one of her best shots at A. breckonii. I think
that it is depicted ont that photo here:


There are two important micro characteristics — the narrow spores and
the clamp at the base of the basidia. The Q Ratio (i.e. the fraction
of length/width) is quoted by Tulloss to be at minimum 1.5 and more
like 1.6/1.7 for A. breckonii, which makes the spores ellipsoid to
cylindric, while the typical A. gemmata collection has the Q Ratio of
~1.2. If 100+ years of Amanita research are to be taken seriously then
the Q Ratios are very important and should be studied with a larger
population of spores. In the exsiccata that Debbie sent me the spores
were the typical 1.26 ratio, which immediately precludes A. breckonii
as a correct id.

Lµ W? Q
9.00 7.50 1.20
10.40 7.80 1.33
9.30 7.80 1.19
9.30 7.30 1.27
10.50 7.80 1.35
10.00 8.30 1.20
9.30 7.50 1.24
9.30 7.40 1.26

10.50 8.30 1.35 MAX
9.00 7.30 1.19 MIN
9.64 7.68 1.26 AVG

Other features that are frequently cited as belonging to A. breckonii
are the wider, flatter, floccose patches on the cap, but those who
have seen Gemmatoid Amanitas in the field, as well as in the various
publications know that the variability of how the veil splits on the
cap is great.

Another characteristic that is being cited is the darker, more
orangish color of the supposed A. breckonii collections — that also I
find utterly unconvincing, as we know how variable in color these can
be. Just try to map the delineation between A. pantherina and
A. gemmata based on that here locally…

Digging through my archives, I see that Rod had examined other
collections from our area and found them not to match the Type
Collection from SFSU.

So, what I’m very curious for us, supposedly informed collectors, is
to take one good collection of A. breckonii that fits the concept in
all its aspects (micro too!!) and use it as a virtual lectotype by
photographing extensively all pertinent features. Anyway, I’m shutting
off the Breckon’s Blues for now and rather dance polka with the


P.S. Attached are what the typical spores of Debbie’s collection look
like — that’s not what we’re looking for A. breckonii. We need
somehting more elongated.

Yes, of course. The spores…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-01-23 13:39:01 CST (-0600)

Lµ W? Q
9.00 7.50 1.20
10.40 7.80 1.33
9.30 7.80 1.19
9.30 7.30 1.27
10.50 7.80 1.35
10.00 8.30 1.20
9.30 7.50 1.24
9.30 7.40 1.26

10.50 8.30 1.35 MAX
9.00 7.30 1.19 MIN
9.64 7.68 1.26 AVG

By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2009-01-23 10:20:48 CST (-0600)

If spore measurements have been made, could they be posted within the observation so that we can all see them?

Very best,


ID dissent noted (the spores didn’t match)
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-01-23 09:40:47 CST (-0600)

but it might be useful to have this sorted under breckonii for now, just to know what macro-forms are being confused with it. Any suggestions as a better way to do this, Nathan?