Observation 154483: Elaphomyces granulatus group

When: 2013-12-07

Collection location: Buckeye Trail, Monterey Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Mark Brunschwiler (Mark Brunschwiler)

No specimen available

Under big leaf maple,live oak, bay laurel, found on path with chew marks on it, Peridium thick, with a blackish brown spore mass, almost slightly tinged purple to my eyes, very odiferous, garlicky hard to pin the odor down.Seems like it would fall under the Elaphomyces granulatus group under Arora’s description but the odor is throwing me for a loop.

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Proposed Names

30% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Mushrooms Demystified
28% (1)
Used references: Arora, Mushrooms Demystified.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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White lines in peridium
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2013-12-11 15:05:04 CST (-0500)

are not spore pockets. Look closely at the peridium of the specimen on the right. The pockets of black spores seem to be within the peridium.

The difference between Elamophomyces granulatus group and E. muricatus group: E. muricatus has embedded spore pockets within the peridium, E. granulatus does not. For clearer photos of the two, search for E. muricatus and E. granulatus below the 2012 Wrapup and Request for Support at the top of the page.

Elaphomyces granulatus group
By: Mark Brunschwiler (Mark Brunschwiler)
2013-12-10 21:41:17 CST (-0500)

Thanks Daniel for your comment on my collection. I too noticed the white “lines” within the Peridium I did not know these were spore pockets,I thought at one time they may have extended into the interior or the mushroom. Thanks for looking and confirming the aroma from this fungi.The spore mass is powdery and the odor is still very strong. Mark Brunschwiler

I think this may be Elaphomyces muricatus group, Mark.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2013-12-10 14:01:19 CST (-0500)

These two large groupings of Elaphomyces vary in one regard: whether they have spore pockets within the peridium (outer shell). The cut specimen on the right seems to have these embedded spore pockets in the peridium. Otherwise they are all very similar.

You note a “very odiferous, garlicky hard to pine the odor down.” This is also descriptive of E. muricatus, as well as E. granulatus. The odor attracts small mammals to dig and eat a portion of the fungus. The spore mass (gleba) is usually dry and powdery.

These can be found in huge quantities. Dr. Alexander H. Smith once said these were the most widespread truffle in the Northern Hemisphere. They can be found to a foot deep or more, forming extensive rhizomorphic matt communities, sometimes on steep slopes, which help to stabilize slopes. Sporocarps are often found with extensive tenacious exterior rhizomorphs.

Created: 2013-12-08 23:02:51 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2013-12-10 14:04:01 CST (-0500)
Viewed: 41 times, last viewed: 2018-11-22 05:09:30 CST (-0500)
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