When: 2007-01-27

Collection location: Albion, Mendocino Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

No specimen available

This one confused everyone up there, but was a very popular ‘shroom for its smell. Although a very small, pretty much colorless ’shroom, it packed quite an olfactory punch. The odor was of moth-balls, kinda intense chemical naphalene-y smell. It was soo intense, that it was almost a physical presense, I couldn’t comfortable get these to within six inches of my face.

Because the unique smell people spend sometime trying to make sense of these, but they were still unknown by the end of the weekend.

They were id’ed later by just the description of the smell, and I was told these are kinda a rare ’shroom to find.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

84% (1)
Recognized by sight: H. foetens is a European species and H. paupertinus is the only Hodophilus species known from Western North America.

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Change of name…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2007-02-07 16:55:26 -05 (-0500)

Yeah, I know Dennis, I took a course from him almost two years ago now.

But anyway, the whole changing name thing is going to cause trouble. The best thing to be able to see all the species listed in the current and best name. But then to also have a list of previous names of the species, and to have some way to get to a species using the old names. Not sure what that will be.

But I wonder about a common a popular species like (and here I go, what name should I use, maybe the common name) the Shaggy parasol ’shroom. Started out life, and is still in many books as Lepiota rachodes. But then it went on a journey of Macrolepiota rachodes → Chlorophilum rachodes → Chlorophilum brunneum (I think…). Where if only the recent name gets used, the link to name for source info gets lost.

But this is I am sure a known problem, just not sure what to do about it…

Who do you take as a reasonable authority?
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2007-02-04 23:51:48 -05 (-0500)

In this particular case, who applied the name Hygrophorus foetens? I notice that it is mentioned in Largent, but it is not actually described. Largent does acknowledge Camarophyllopsis at least at the sectional level within Hygrophorus.

Dennis Dejardin applied the name Camarophyllopsis foetens. I don’t know if you know Dennis, but he is extremely knowledgeable and very careful with his taxonomy. Personally I would take a name he gave me over just about anyone with the possible exception of Scott Redhead, Lorelei Norvell and a professional mycologist who specialized in a particular group.

You said, “Making people who aren’t following the changing info, think that new mushrooms are being describe each week, that just aren’t.” I understand this perspective. However, Camarophyllopsis foetens was published in 1986. Not exactly last week. The fact is that most of us amateurs (myself included) are wedded to a small number of out of date field guides and make very little real, consistent effort to stay current. Arguably field guides do have a special status since they some of the most available literature for the general public. My goal with the site is to add a synonymy feature that makes it easy to look up observations based on any synonym, but to encourage the participants to use the most accurate names possible.

One open question, is whether and how the synonymy feature should be optional in some sense. I like the idea of giving the person making the observation a level of control over the id, but I’m concerned about the confusion this could cause in the long run.

New genus names…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2007-02-04 01:03:44 -05 (-0500)

I’m not sure about the use of new genus names. In one case someone has done the work to prove that the species is different in a general way than other previously related species. But in the other case, we want to have a body of knowledge that will make it easy for people to better understand the vast array of fungus, and changing labels rapidly make it hard to compare today’s info with yesterday’s knowledge. Making people who aren’t following the changing info, think that new mushrooms are being describe each week, that just aren’t.

So, in the end, I think I am so balanced on the issue, that I just don’t care enough. I guess I just take the view at this point, that I just report what I’ve been told. I will err of the side of the more general known name, until the new name is more generally accepted…

Which is just a big cop out.

Camarophyllopsis foetens?
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2007-02-03 10:55:25 -05 (-0500)

I’m really glad you got a photo of this species for the site! I presume this is the same collection that Debbie Viess gave to Dennis Dejardin. According to her email, Dennis said:

“Your mothball species is Hygrophorus foetens (in Smith and Hesler), better
called Camarophyllopsis foetens. It would make a fine addition to the herbarium, indeed a rare fungus.”

Given all the current confusion around the Hygrophoraceae, it seem best to be as specific as possible. What do you think?