Observation 22414: Cortinarius marylandensis Ammirati & A.H. Sm.

When: 2009-06-20

Collection location: Kempsville, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA [Click for map]

Who: Josh (VaBluefoot)

Specimen available

specimens were found growing on rotting deciduous wood and leaf litter in a low lying watershed area. spore print color is a medium brown.

i have about a dozen dried specimen available for study upon request.

it’s not the clearest picture but maybe this spore print will help



Proposed Names

-49% (3)
Recognized by sight
57% (4)
Used references: Bessette, A., A. Bessette and D. Fischer 1997. Mushrooms of Northeastern North America. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, NY. 582p.
Weber, N. S. and A. H. Smith. 1985. A Field Guide to Southern Mushrooms. Univ. of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan. 280p.
48% (3)
Recognized by sight: Based on gill attachment being distinctly Tubarioid.

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
a fungal puzzle
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-06-23 18:48:40 EEST (+0300)

first off, congrats on posting such a widely debated mushroom! the debate will have to segue to the lab, tho, since the features shown in your photos are less than conclusive…thank you for the foresight of saving the material!

pro-Tubaria: your brown not rusty brown sporeprint.
growth on wood.

pro-Cort. marylandensis: color, location and general gestalt. even MR mushrooms can grow up through well-rotted wood.

gill attachment: your photo is not all that clear, and could be either genus.
C. marylandensis photo online shows an unusually slender cort, very similar to what you have shown; however, marylandensis is also described with a scurfy cap, which your photo does not show.

I look forward to seeing what is revealed under the scope!

Material, yes, of course…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-06-23 10:51:14 EEST (+0300)

>i have about a dozen dried specimen available for study upon request.

Oh, I missed that. Can I have only one cap? No more. I will check
spores and cystidia. That’s plenty. Please, save minimum half of the
material for further study as I think this is something more
interesting than a red Cort.

By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-06-23 10:05:39 EEST (+0300)

>>But then again, here we enter the zone which should teach people to
preserve material for final determination.<<

In the description it is said that there are a dozen specimens preserved …

test with alcohol
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-06-23 10:03:10 EEST (+0300)

to separate a Dermocybe from the rest of the fungi there is an easy way. Put some spiritus (the pure alcohol one uses to clean windows, don’t know the english term, sorry) on a white paper handkerchief, then press one half of a fruitbody into that spiritus and wait for a minute or so. This will extract the anthrachinon pigments into the white handkerchief and you will see the outline of the fruitbody in yellow, orange or red colour (depending on the species you have). If you then add ammonia vapor to that coloration on the handkerchief, it turns rose coloured. If all this happens, you know you have a Dermocybe species.

If it not happens, it may be a Telamonia of the cinnabarina group or the said Tubaria. In the Telamonias of the cinnabarina-anthracina group the spores change colour to purple in KOH. This is to see even macroscopically when you have a spore print. But I don’t know where this Cortinarius marylandensis belongs to …

Besides that, Tubaria has smooth spores whereas the should always be at least slightly verrucose in Cortinarius, no? And cheiloystidia are usually present in Tubaria and absent in Cortinarius. So a short look into the microscope should solve the problem anyway …

The gill attachment…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-06-23 09:22:33 EEST (+0300)

Darvin, you can throw all the books at me, but I have them already. I
will point you again to the gill attachment. Pay close attention to
it. This here is Tubarioid stuff.

Now, as far as descriptions go — yes, of course, I checked them too,
but my suggestion is not to lean too hard on their words as Cort guys
tend to take the gill attachment for granted (probably due to limited
variability in the Genus) and can be sloppy about describing it.
Brandrud et al. for example does not state notched gills in CFP when
discussing most of the Dermocybe there, but they clearly are. Even
Ammirati’s formal description of C. sierraensis, for example, does not
mention the notched gills at all, but they are prominently so and I
only mention this because I am familiar with the species and have
photographed it too. Check Bessette & Bessette and see all of the
pictures there — they do clearly show notched gills for the bloody
Dermocybes. There is a certain Cortinarioid look, which is absent

Of course, if we step away from the technicalities, the notion of a
lignicolous Cortinarius should seriously temper anybody’s enthusiasm
of going there, unless some very, very strong evidence is presented.

But then again, here we enter the zone which should teach people to
preserve material for final determination. We at least are open to
argue about things and not too afraid of being wrong in the open. That
makes us young, right :-) Anyway, I shall retire from this discussion
pending any new discovery and/or critical opinions.

Southeastern Dyer’s Dermocybe
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2009-06-23 08:24:00 EEST (+0300)

The broad umbo and the gill color pointed to Dermocybe. The hardwoods pointed toward Cortinarius marylandensis, which can have a slight decurrent tooth!
A few more photo references, and an excellent complete description in Ammirati.

Ammirati, Joseph F. and Alexander H. Smith. 1984. Cortinarius II: A Preliminary Treatment of Species in the Subgenus Dermocybe, Section Sanguinei, in North America, North of Mexico. McIlvainea 6(2): 54-64.
Bessette, Arleen R. and Alan E. Bessette. 2001. The Rainbow Beneath My Feet: A Mushroom Dyer’s Field Guide. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, New York. 176p.
Bessette, Alan E., William C. Roody, Arleen R. Bessette, and Dail L. Dunaway. 2007. Mushrooms of the Southeastern United States. Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, New York. 373p.
Metzler, S. and V. Metzler. 1992. Texas Mushrooms: a Field Guide. Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, Texas. 350p.

Gill attachment — Tubarioid
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-06-23 05:30:48 EEST (+0300)

The main thing I see here is the gill attachment, which is rather
Tubarioid. Even the smallest Sanguinolenti (Cortinarius/Dermocybe)
have a slightly sturdier appearance and notched gill attachment. Other
than that we’re trying to balance a needle on its tip here…

But then I’d take it slow on invoking the punicea epithet — you run
into problems with the distribution. As far as I know punicea seems to
be a Pacific Coastal phenomenon. This being an Eastern species might
have been something very significant to preserve and send to Matheny
in Tennessee…

How about a compromise — Tubaria sp..?

Nice photos though and it was important to show the underside of the
mushroom. It holds a lot of secrets.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-06-23 01:52:54 EEST (+0300)

Ah, like section Dermocybe? I could see that… Know if C. marylandensis belongs to that section?

brightly colored gills
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2009-06-23 00:42:39 EEST (+0300)

The pink gills seem more in line with Cortinarius, but the shape suggests Tubaria.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-06-23 00:31:58 EEST (+0300)

The spore print looks brown but not rusty. All of the Cortinarius that I know of have more orange/brown spores, and although Tubaria can have rusty spores, I’ve also known them to have more drab brown spores as well, which makes me lean slightly in the direction of Tubaria.

If anyone has any arguments one way or the other, I would like the hear them.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-06-22 03:19:18 EEST (+0300)

Interesting Darvin. It really could be either- T. punicea or C. marylandensis. I haven’t been able to figure out any really definitively distinguishing features between the two. The spore colour for C. marylandensis is said to be rusty or cinnamon brown, while T. punicea is described as cinnamon brown (though if the colour is similar to other Tubaria species, I could see the spores looking rusty as well).

The pileus of T. punicea is said to be striate (which these are not), and then C. marylandensis is supposed to be silky, which even with the rain these do not appear to have a fibrous or silky cap.

Tubaria are saprobic, while Cortinarius are Mycorrhizal… These are described as growing from wood and leaf litter, but as we know, many mycorrhizal species will fruit through wood debri.

So I’m not sure where to go next, except the microscope.

Created: 2009-06-21 19:15:11 EEST (+0300)
Last modified: 2012-09-30 21:20:40 EEST (+0300)
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