Observation 14889: Stropharia (Fr.) Quél.

When: 2008-09-15

Collection location: Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave W (Dave W)

Specimen available

Found at the edge of an open field about 20 feet from a stand of hemlock trees. Ring on stalk. Fuzzy mycellium at stalk base. At forst I thought these may have been Amanitas, so I sent the dried specimens to Dr. Tulloss. He says that they are likely not Amanitas, and that they may be saprobic. Here are a few additional comments posted by Dr. Tulloss regarding his examination of these mushrooms.
“The trama of gills is not bilateral. The context of the stipe is not acrophysalidic. Also, the stipe bases have cottony mass of hyphae connected to the substrate. I think they are saprobic. I could find no mature spores on the gills except spores that seem to have come from another mushroom. The immature gills appeared to have short, stubby basidia, and were developing long narrow pleurocystidia with large (single) spikes at their tips. Otherwise, the p-cystidia were narrowly clavata.”

Species Lists


Copyright © 2008 Dave in NE PA
Copyright © 2008 Dave in NE PA
Copyright © 2008 Dave in NE PA
Copyright © 2008 Dave in NE PA
Striations on upper stalk.
Copyright © 2008 Dave in NE PA
Fuzz on stalk base.

Proposed Names

9% (4)
Recognized by sight
33% (4)
Recognized by sight
1% (8)
Recognized by sight: I’ve collected a similar Agrocybe in the spring: http://mushroomobserver.org/91346?q=14AJ3
-42% (4)
Recognized by sight: Mostly sterile fbs. Cystidia, “cog-wheel” partial veil, morphology and size of few brown spores found
54% (1)
Recognized by sight
29% (1)
Used references: See comments.
Based on microscopic features: See comments.

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Compare the pleurocystidium…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2018-01-08 21:06:09 CST (+0800)

in the photo posted by Richard (see Comments) to the cheilocystidia seen in the picture of Stropharia melanosperma at MushroomExpert http://www.mushroomexpert.com/stropharia_melanosperma.html. Kuo says for S. melanosperma the pleurocystidia are similar to the cheilocystidia.

Large brown spores seen in Richard’s photos look like Stropharia spores.

Habitat for this observation was a grassy edge of a farm field near wet ground, similar to the habitat cited by Jimmie obs 305397 . Habitat matches reported habitat for S. melanosperma.

It’s been awhile, but I still remember the day when I found these. There was a substantial drought underway, and these were the only mushrooms I found that day. I put them into a paper bag that likely had been used in the past, so the potential for contamination by spores dropped by some other mushroom cannot be ruled out. But, there were no other mushrooms placed into this bag on that day.

By: Jimmie Veitch (jimmiev)
2018-01-08 11:13:21 CST (+0800)

Maybe this recent observation of a NON-sterile, slender, grass Stropharia will sway some of the incredulous voters here – observation 305397

good to have this one back in our faces again!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-05-12 00:51:21 CST (+0800)

just looked at Christine’s white gilled Agrocybe … altho somewhat similar to this one, there are important differences:

The cystidia are completely different. Her Agrocybe cap has a clearly striate margin. Only the young fb had white gills; by the time it was developed as much as this one, those gills were brown.

The PVs are very similar tho, and also similar to some of the parasol fungi, except for those attached gills.

I really think DNA is the only way we will even get close here.

I think I still have this material.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2017-05-11 23:21:33 CST (+0800)

But it’s in pretty lousy shape.

No Gymnopus with pv that I’m aware of. Nor for any of the other former Collybias. What remains in genus Collybia are a few species of small mushrooms that grow on the remains of other fungi. I think we can rule out the collybyoid species.

Despite the pale gills, perhaps Agrocybe…? Maybe these got seriously stunted in maturation? There was a pronounced drought underway when I found these.

Leucoagaricus…? Or some other lepiotoid species? Can’t be ruled out… I suppose… except for the attached gills.

Hey Dave
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-05-11 23:03:32 CST (+0800)

who has the specimen now? looks like DNA is our last and best resort, for an fb that never really produced spores. I would be very curious to see what this turns out to be. Brown spores found are an anomaly, IMO, and it’s certainly not an amanita, despite that little PV and those white gills, let alone the micro results.

But with all of that contamination, mold, etc etc, might be tough to get a “clean” sample.

So, what the heck IS it? Do any Collybias/Gymnopus, etc. have PVs?

That is what it looks like to me, in its macro.

Gills are way too pale for S. rugosoannulata…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2017-05-11 12:27:03 CST (+0800)

even for a very young specimen, which this does not appear to be. Also, habitat doesn’t seem probable for this species. I have seen S. rugosoannulata in grassy areas in spring, but not in September when this was found. Collection area was damp low-lying edge of a field.

This is a real head-scratcher. I have checked the area a few times since 2008 (in September) but haven’t seen anything in this spot. My original mention of these possibly being an anomaly induced by extreme weather does sorta lend credence to seemingly far-fetched proposals.

By: Dave W (Dave W)
2016-06-05 10:00:08 CST (+0800)

in the broad sense (sensu lato) as opposed to “Agaricales” as representative of a very long list of names that may apply to some unidentified mushroom…

what is the purpose of making this distinction?

2016-06-05 05:48:14 CST (+0800)

Agaricales sensu lato AS BEEN CREATED BY MYXOMOP.
SEE HIS COMMENT ON. http://mushroomobserver.org/name/show_name/31029?q=2mGEk
Agaricales sensu lato 3781 OBS = 252 pages
Agaricales Underw. 1 OBS = LESS THAN 1 pages

There larger cap did show signs of a mold…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-02-27 02:26:00 CST (+0800)

that had developed on the dehydrated specimen.

If the brown spores are the result of contamination, then would it be reasonable to expect that these brown spores are fairly randomly distributed on the material? For instance, wouldn’t one expect to find the same type of spores on the surfaces of the caps? As for the sparseness of the brown spores, I can only suggest that these mushrooms may be examples of anomalies dues to extreme weather conditions. I do remember that the weather had been very dry and hot. There were few other mushrooms to be seen at the time.

Although I do not mix collections while carrying in the field, it may have been that I put these mushrooms into a bag which I had previously used to carry some other mushrooms.

I didn’t examine the gills very closely on the fresh material. The dried gills appear to be sinuate. But gills on dried material sometimes pull away from the stipe; or the attachment may shrink.

By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-27 01:56:21 CST (+0800)


gill edge:

brown spores =
By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-27 01:39:06 CST (+0800)

15.5 × 9.0

white spores =
By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-27 01:26:20 CST (+0800)

8.6 × 7.7
7.6 – 9.8 × 7.0 – 8.7
avg Q = 1.12

although…i think these spores are indeed mold spores…

By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-27 00:43:45 CST (+0800)

i just looked at the “other” specimen.
no sign of brown spores…
i’ll measure these in a bit.

@Alan: ill look at the pileipellis in a minute.
i believe the first cystidia pictured is pleurocystidia and the next two are cheilocystidia.

@Gerhard: i’ll get that to that Gymn later on today.

did these have free gills?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-02-27 00:43:26 CST (+0800)
well, obviously the entire collection was contaminated by “alien” spores…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-02-27 00:40:21 CST (+0800)

where are the rest of those brown spores on this fruit body? why just a few perfectly mature brown spores yet no immature brown spores found, by either microscopist?

I think that the brown spores are a red herring.

But it’s interesting that when…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-02-27 00:18:01 CST (+0800)

Dr. Tulloss first scoped this material in 2008, he found brown spore(s) and proposed that these spores were not produced by these mushrooms. However, it seems to me that because Richard has found (presumably) the same type of spore (looks like 3 different examples), this would support the hypothesis that the spores are actually produced by these mushrooms. I’m thinking now of the Agrocybe post found in the link posted by wintersbefore.

well, there’s a whole nuther micro world on that fruit body…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-02-26 23:47:37 CST (+0800)

not all of it part of that particular mushroom.

your ??? is a conidium from some sort of contaminating mold, I’d assume.

the brown spore is random…how those spores do get around. ;)

that leaves us with the cystidia as our only real clue.

By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2013-02-26 21:36:53 CST (+0800)

What kind of cystidia are those? What is the spore size range? What kind of pileipellis does it have?

Nice job Richard!
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-02-26 20:40:21 CST (+0800)

Although it still appears there is no basis for a solid ID proposal. Thanks for making the effort to create and post these beautiful micro-pics.

Dr. Tulloss had mentioned the brown spores, and he was also of the opinion they came from another mushroom. But it’s very interesting that more of these have been found.

I still have some of the dried material. Also, I remember the exact location where I found these. I’m not getting my hopes up that this saprobe will fruit again… 5 years after this obs. But I’ll check.

By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2013-02-26 20:17:06 CST (+0800)

do you know a Pluteus that looks like this macroscopically? With ring too?!
Me not.
Did you scope my Gymnopilus from Czech by now?

i think…
By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-26 12:38:40 CST (+0800)

the only reliable trait we have going for us is the cystidia.
that, looks like a Pluteus species to me.

brown spores…
By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-26 12:27:32 CST (+0800)

If it weren’t for the micro
By: Rocky Houghtby
2013-02-26 12:25:36 CST (+0800)

And the fact that it was found in PA, I would propose Ripartitella. Cool obs.

i just found…
By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-26 12:24:52 CST (+0800)

the brown spores.
imo, it is very unlikely that these are from this mushroom.
i’ll post pictures.

By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-26 11:51:07 CST (+0800)

By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-26 11:50:33 CST (+0800)

By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-26 11:48:55 CST (+0800)

thanks Noah!!
By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-26 11:47:06 CST (+0800)
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2013-02-26 11:44:57 CST (+0800)

It has to be online already, and then you copy and paste the image location here and put ! on either side of the link.

light spored…
By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-26 11:32:06 CST (+0800)

if someone can tell me how to leave an image as a comment i will do so.
if not, i will have to create another obs. to post microscopy.
it is very interesting.

These were collected during an abnormally…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-02-18 10:24:37 CST (+0800)

hot and dry period of weather. Perhaps the mushrooms did not develop normally. Weather-related anomalies are difficult to take into account, but not all that uncommon. The comments made by Dr. Tulloss about these mushrooms include a reference to the “immature gills.”

Having said all of this, I still also find it difficult to think of these white-gilled mushrooms as agrocybes.

I still have the dried material from this collection.

This is
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2013-02-18 04:37:41 CST (+0800)

what I am thinking too. It could be that the gills stay white but then it would mean the fruitbody is sterile and it has no spores at all. I can’t believe this has brown spores.

obs 91346
By: Byrain
2013-02-18 04:18:17 CST (+0800)

Has white gills only before the cap opens up, this obs still has white gills when the cap is fully expanded. I would think an Agrocybe would have some brown spores visible on the gills at this point.

I just noticed the link posted by wintersbefore.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-02-18 00:50:43 CST (+0800)

Christine’s obs looks strikingly similar to this! And, it appears to answer my question about whether an agrocybe can have such pure white gills.

Yes, I just found the collection…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-02-17 23:41:09 CST (+0800)

including some additional comments from Rod, “spores brown, thick walled, no germ pore, but may not be from this specimen.” I remember the day when I made this collection. It was during very dry weather and my wife and were taking a leisurely walk around the perimeter of a field. I think these two mushrooms were the only ones collected during that walk. But it’s possible that I may have placed them onto a table in our house where there were some other mushrooms.

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2013-02-17 12:37:15 CST (+0800)

this fruit body was contaminated with brown spores from elsewhere.

Here’s the quote from Rod, shown below:

“I could find no mature spores on the gills except spores that seem to have come from another mushroom.”

I have reason to believe these mushrooms…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-02-17 12:00:56 CST (+0800)

have brown spores. This was suggested to me by Rod Tulloss. Really doesn’t look like it though!

Maybe bloodworm can find something.

I would rather call that
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2013-02-17 07:00:08 CST (+0800)

Lepiota in the broadest sense including all the similar related genera.

Okay Richard.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-02-17 04:36:22 CST (+0800)

I’ll look for the collection.

Under the original notes, you will find a few quoted comments from Rod Tulloss regarding some micro-characters. I had sent him this collection, thinking it may have represented an amanita. Rod very considerately mailed the collection back to me after he examined the material and realized they weren’t amanitas.

By: Richard Kneal (bloodworm)
2013-02-17 03:53:27 CST (+0800)

these are really interesting…
the gills look awfully white for Agrocybe, imo.
if you need someone to scope them, i’ll give them a shot…
that is, if no one (with more experience) else wants to look at them.

I’m wondering if “Agrocybe” makes sense…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2013-02-17 03:26:13 CST (+0800)

for a mushroom with gills as light as these appear to be.

I think I still have these stashed away in my house someplace, if anyone is interested.

Gill attachment
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2008-12-07 03:18:23 CST (+0800)

When I found these shrooms, I thought they were Amanitas, and did not examine the gill attachment very closely; they looked to be free. Looking that the dried specimens under a magnifier, it appears the gills are sinuate, with a thin line of attachment running from the tapered gill and continuing as a decurrent tooth which eventually forms one of the lines on the upper stalk. Also, looking at the comments that Rod had written, he said the spores were brown (I did not obtain a print).

looks like a collybia with a veil. free gills?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2008-12-04 10:26:28 CST (+0800)