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isn’t bicolor mostly a pine species?
This is exactly the type of discussion I am hoping to foster with this site. In my view looking at the field image provided, I would agree with Darvin and say it’s L. bicolor, but I also understand Doug’s frustration with the distinction. I would never have thought purple and orange would be a problem to distinguish between, but I’ve noticed before that these Laccaria somehow make it hard. Obviously the microscopic features could be used, but as far as field id goes, I tend to only apply L. a-o to specimens that are completely purple when young and fresh. In older specimens I find it gets harder to make a reliable distinction. I will certainly be keeping my eye out for these going forward and sticking a few under the scope for confirmation.
In addition to the reference of Mueller, the following books have color photos and descriptions of Laccaria bicolor.
p 80 – Bessette, Alan E., Orson K. Miller, Arleen R. Bessette and Hope H. Miller. 1995. Mushrooms of North America in Color: A Field Guide Companion to Seldom-Illustrated Fungi. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, NY. 172p.
p 203 – Breitenbach J. and F. Kranzlin, editors. 1991. Fungi of Switzerland Vol. 3. Mykologia, Luzern. 361p.
p 183 – Dahncke, Rose Marie. 2001. 1200 Pilze in Farbfotos. AT Verlag/AZ Fachverlage, Aarau, Swis. 1178p.
p 129 – Dahncke, R. M. and S. M. Dahncke. 1984. 700 Pilze in Farbfotos. AT Verlag, Aarau, Swis. 686p.
p 60 – Imazeki, Rokuya, Yoshio Otani and Tsuguo Hongo. 1988. Fungi of Japan. Yama-Kei Publishers Co., Tokyo, Japan. 623p.
p 156 – Jordan, Michael. 1995. The Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe: Identifies 1,000 species with color photographs. David and Charles Book, UK. 384p.
p 181 – Keizer, G. J. 1996. Encyclopaedia of Fungi. Rebo Productions, Lissa, Netherlands. 286p.
p 83 – Lamaison, Jean Louis. 1999. The Great Encyclopedia of Mushrooms. Konemann Verlagsgesellschaft, Cologne. 240p.
p 53 – Phillips, R. 1981. Mushrooms and Other Fungi of Great Britain and Europe. Pan Books, Cavaye Place, London. 288p.
p 58 – Phillips, R. 1991. Mushrooms of North America. Little, Brown and Co., Boston. 319p.
p 181 – Roody, William. 2003. Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians. The University of Kentucky Press, Lexington, KT. 520p.
But I find that Laccaria is hygrophanous. So, I can find one with a purple pileus in the field, and by the time I get it home it is light brown if it dried out. So, maybe I should say it is a-o in the field, and bicolor at home?
I have also found the same with the mycelium on the base, it can be bright purple in the field, and by the time I get it home, it is either white or greyish, the purple seems to go away.
So, this doesn’t seem to be a convincing difference to me… I guess I can just randomly assign the one I find to a-o or bicolor, and then I can get another species on my species list. Or, I think I will just assign a-o to these until I think I can see a clear difference.
According to the key in Mueller’s Systemaitcs of Laccaria, the key separates them with the couplet:
4. Pileus and stipe bright violaceous or purple when young and fresh; cheilocystidia large (up to 92×12um), clavate, abundant… 5 (and eventually L. amethysteo-occidentalis)
4. Pileus and stipe orange-brown, pinkish flesh color, wine color, avellaneous, or buff color; cheilocystidia smaller, filamentous, common to absent… 7 (and eventually L. bicolor)
Can you or someone explain how to tell the difference between bicolor and amythysteo-occidentalis? I find lots (I mean lots ) of a-o each year, but I’ve never understood how to tell if I have bicolor.