> A solitary specimen (just like the name suggests) growing in grass and pine needle duff in pine-oak woods on the edge of a dirt road.
> Despite being reported as common in the coastal planes, this is the first time I’ve seen this species
> Macroscopic features, such as the shape and texture of the bulb (smooth and carrot-like), the texture of the universal veil on the cap, a couple of forking gills (see pic), pink discoloration of a gill blade (see pic), and brown staining of the stipe on handling (see pic), all suggest A. subsolitaria even before spore measurements were taken.
> The odor initially appeared to be pleasant to my nose affected by seasonal allergies
> The bulb was wrapped in a wet paper towel, and the cap was allowed to expand overnight to drop spores.
> Final size measurements (8/29/14): cap diameter = 10.7 cm; stipe length (apex to tip of the bulb) = 13 cm; overall height = 14.5 cm.
> Unfortunately, the basidiome was taken over by a white fluffy mold, so only two large fragments of the cap could be salvaged for the herbarium.

Amyloid in Melzer’s;
[20/1/1]: L x W = (10.5-) 10.7-13.5 (-14.2) x 4.7-5.6 μm;
L’ x W’ = 12.2 × 5.0 μm;
Q = (2.14-) 2.25-2.64 (-2.9); Q’ = 2.45; all cylindric.

These measurements are in good agreement with the data posted on


Photographed 30 min after picking
The partially expanded cap; photographed 30 min after picking
The partially expanded cap; photographed 30 min after picking
The partial veil is 1-ply and very flimsy
Two forking gills were found
Brown staining on the stipe due to handling
A pink gill blade and white mold are visible
The expanded cap
Mounted in Melzer’s and viewed at x1000; 1 div = 0.465 μm
Mounted in Melzer’s and viewed at x1000; 1 div = 0.465 μm

Proposed Names

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Based on microscopic features: Spore measurements in good agreement with published data

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Add Comment
Hello, Rod
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-12-19 15:58:03 PST (-0800)

Thank you for the detailed comment. The middle paragraph describes the possible scenarios presented by the non-matching and very different LSU sequences of the two purported subsolitaria collection. This is an all-familiar situation stemming from the lack of molecular data associated with the type and the resultant inability to unambiguously anchor morphological species epithets with modern collections.
I read Murrill’s fairly brief descriptions of both subsolitaria (originally as Venenarius subsolitarius) and solitariiformis (formerly also in Venenarius) in his Mycologia publication from 1941. Looks like the species concepts for these two mushrooms have evolved relative to what it’s now, which is not all that surprising. However, IMO based on Murrill’s descriptions, this observation (175574) doesn’t match either taxon in some important regards. For example, Murrill’s mushrooms were odorless and had evanescent and friable partial veils, leaving no ring, whereas this collection had a membranous PV and an odor at the time of discovery.
I wholeheartedly agree, Rod, that sequencing a number of suspected subsolitaria collections will tell us how many species we have and which collections are conspecific and which are not. However, the ambiguity will remain with regard to which of these is subolitaria sensu Murrill. Hence, it would be beneficial to investigate the possibility of sequencing of the types from FL from the late 1930’s. Murrill reports 5 collections of subsolitaria, including the type, and 2 collections of solitariiformis, including the type.

My first impression of this critter was that the gill color (looks yellow-cream in the…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-12-19 05:22:54 PST (-0800)

…close-up) and the forking gills strongly suggested subsolitaria; however the lack of a distinct “shoulder” on the bulb was an opposing character.

At the present, while I have a very large number of subsolitaria collections in the herbarium, we have only DNA from the voucher for the present observation and Ben’s sequence from one of my older collections.

It seems that we cannot get coherent ITS reads, probably for the well known reasons experienced before in uncooperative amanitas. Hence, we are reliant on nrLSU and, possibly rpb2 or some gene we’ve not used very much in the NJ collaboration. Plenty of possibilities.

When we have two very different gene sequences resulting from Sanger sequencing, we have to have a method of resolution. my idea is to see if the bundle of subsolitaria that I have personally gathered, described, smelled, etc. break-up under molecular scrutiny or not. I have to take into consideration that the unusual stipe/bulb combination in your material is just a variation in habit and not a characteristic of a new species. Maybe the material Ben sequenced is the odd-ball; and all the other material I have will have the same nrLSU sequence as your material has. Maybe there are more than two species involved, and they will be revealed by molecular research.

So, thinking about it will not solve my problem. Thinking about it should result in some plans to set up an experiment that might point to a resolution of the problem. Probably, we should set up a reasonable size for a sampling of suspected subsolitaria collected over a relatively wide geographical range. Then,…

ATTACK! Ask our Lithuanian molecular Santa Claus to sequence the samples, hunker down and get ready to do a little work after presents are in our little computerized stockings. :)

Very best,


By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-12-18 19:57:20 PST (-0800)

The mysterious and serious overtones in your comments are tantalizing. Sounds like you stumbled upon something that is a real head-scratcher and is in need of a serious investigation. I wish you could lift the shroud of secrecy a little bit. :-)
Well, the clunky, ancient lepidellas finally strike back – surely, they think the elegant and refined grisettes have usurped your attention for too long. :-)

I am concerned there is too much here that is unknown. A lot to get a grip on.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-12-18 19:28:51 PST (-0800)

More data is needed. So I don’t even want to guess what the present state means or implies.


By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-12-18 18:20:10 PST (-0800)

Do I hear “sp-64”? :-)

The sequence BLASTs generally in to part of section Lepidella.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-12-18 18:12:52 PST (-0800)

So there is a good chance that we got a sequence form the specimen in question. The problem is just too big for me to think about tonight.



Very interesing, Rod
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-12-18 18:04:48 PST (-0800)

I didn’t mean to create these headaches for you during the holiday season. :-| <== (my icon for a straight face) :-)
If you read my notes, I saved only a portion of this collection because of a mold taking over during my “fb expansion experiment”. I presume the sequence you got back is a good read, not a mix of two mushrooms and not a trace of the mold.

Well, an nrLSU sequence from this collection has created quite a puzzle for me.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-12-18 17:48:32 PST (-0800)

It is very, very different from the sequence that Ben Wolfe extracted from a specimen of what I would think would be the same species. I think I’ll have to set up sequencing for a large number of putative subsolitaria in our herbarium and see what happens.

Another question arises.


Thanks Igor,
By: groundhog
2014-10-14 09:20:00 PDT (-0700)

This material has been received and accessioned to Rod’s herbarium. We have scheduled it for DNA sequencing.