Observation 23688: Kuehneromyces Singer & A.H. Smith

Large cluster on end of cut conifer log, and along crack in side of the same log, in moist subalpine spruce-fir forest. Cap hygrophanous; partial veil leaving fibrils on upper stipe; spore print medium brown (easily visible on lower caps in field).


Updates: Spores are smooth, thick-walled, with germ pore, ~7.0 × 4.3 µm. Cheilocystidia are abundant, not or rarely hardly swollen at tips, up to 30 µm long by 5-7 µm wide at widest point. Taste was perhaps mildly farinaceous (I chewed on an entire dried mushroom for a while — they’re tiny things). I appear to have survived the experience. For now.


Spores in KOH at 1000×. (Mark is 10 µm.)
Cheilocystidia in KOH at 1000×. (Mark is 10 µm.)

Proposed Names

-69% (4)
Recognized by sight
22% (4)
Used references: I just checked my observations against the description in A.H.Smith’s monograph. Aside from my spores being a bit on the large side, it seems perfectly plausible. Given how common (abundant, even) these were, it seems likely.
20% (3)
Recognized by sight: Presence of a veil, larger spores than K. vernalis

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Not quite…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-08-04 12:05:06 PDT (-0700)

The stipes in the Smith photo don’t really show veil remnants, except for a very few. Although I think I would agree that it doesn’t quite look like what we have been calling K. vernalis in the west. In Cali. the stipes are always clean, where the veil pulls away from the stipe, and only leaves remnants on the cap margin. Your guys there show veil remnants on most of the stipes.

So, looks like yet another species in the North American west that would deserve a little more work done on it…

On Engelmann spruce logs
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2009-08-04 11:34:47 PDT (-0700)

I’ve seen these a dozen times or more in the ESSF (Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir) zone in the last two weeks. Always on conifer logs.

I tried really hard to find pleurocystidia, but failed. The caulocystidia are apparently obvious at 30x, but as usual I just see a random mixture of hyphae of all sizes and shapes going every direction when I squash a shaving of the upper stipe.

Have you looked at the (black-and-white) photographs of what Smith calls P. vernalis? The stipes shown here look exactly like mine (to me, at least): http://tinyurl.com/lll7pe

Have to agree
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-08-04 03:07:38 PDT (-0700)

that these are probably neither mutabilis nor vernalis. K. vernalis has been synonymized with several other names (myriadophyllus, lignicola etc), and I’m not sure they should have been.. There are several other species around these, described by Hesler & Smith and Peck, that maybe are hard to interprete today..?

What I know as lignicola (=vernalis??) has a cap with a small umbo, very dense gills, remnants of a ring and tiny, soon disappearing, scales on the stem, but also this white cover on the base of the stem (like many Galerinas).

I’m also ruling out mutabilis because of this white cover on a darkening stem, and the very small caps.

Pholiota populicola?
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-08-04 02:31:48 PDT (-0700)

Ok, here might be something. But I’m not sure I want to mention it.

In the Smith monograph of NA Pholiota, there are quite a few species in the area of Kuehneromyces. Where here he seems to define Kuehneromyces by its smaller truncate spores, not by the hygrophanous pileus, so once again it hard to tell what you define as Kuehneromyces. But, there is K. mutabilis fairly well described, and he makes a big point about the scales on the stipe, that they have to be there. There is another section which seems to describe hypholoma types (with crysocystidia and yellow-green colors), but with brown to yellow brown spores, and then he gets to stirps Vernalis. Here K. vernalis is described by its gelatin cuticle, which I haven’t noticed that much, and stipe without veil fragments, but with caulocystidia. But along with this, he mentions a new species Pholiota populicola, which was found on rotten logs of Populus trichocarpa, in the Olympic Pen., Washington state. This species is mentioned as a related species to K. vernalis, but with a veil on the stipe. He mentions that it lacks the scales on the stipe of K. mutabilis, but does have a whitish hyphal coating of the lower half. The stipe should be lighter, esp. near the apex, but he mentions that the stipe darkens from the base in age.

But, this is a new species in the monograph, and only obs. from one collection made in 1939. This looks like one of those Smith-special species, described from one collection, and never seen again. Also the cheilocystidia are roughly drawn, along with a few spores, and the cystidia don’t really agree.

So, take with that what you will. Was this perhaps on a populus log? Not sure that matters. This might be a agreement with P. populicola, in roughly the same area of the world. Or, it might just point out that there are species roughly in agreement with K. vernalis and K. mutabilis in that area of the world still waiting to be found.

Oooh, look at those…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-08-03 06:05:04 PDT (-0700)

Ok, those are certainly not Galerina spores. So, it all seems to suggest Kuehneromyces pretty well. I don’t think you can split the difference between K. vernalis or K. mutabilis on those spore size ranges, they are just too similar and vague for that. Dimi has a photo he made of K. mutabilis cystidia from a sample he got in Europe on his site, you could compare to that perhaps.

You should check the Smith monograph on Pholiota in the section Kuehneromyces to see if there are some other related species, or I would vote actually for some other species instead of K. vernalis or K. mutabilis, the stipes there just look wrong for both.

K. mutabilis
By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2009-08-01 22:18:24 PDT (-0700)

The presence of a veil (however partial), combined with the slightly larger spores compared with measurements usually seen for K. vernalis (although the spore size described for both species does overlap), leads me to suspect K. mutabilis over K. vernalis.

K. vernalis: Spores 5.5-7.0 × 3.5-4.0 µm

K. mutabilis: Spores 5.5-7.5 × 4-5 µm

How farinaceous is farinaceous supposed to be?
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2009-08-01 17:46:50 PDT (-0700)

Since I’m asking, I’m guessing it wasn’t really farinaceous. At any rate, the obvious broad germ pore rules out Galerina, I believe. Doug will no doubt be pleased to see the cheilocystidia, too. Not as exciting as the cystidia of the Pluteus earlier, but they make up for quality in quantity.

Tasting Galerina not suggested in North America
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-07-31 07:50:25 PDT (-0700)

I think the farinaceous taste test comes from the Kuhner 1935 work on Galera, where G. autumnalis is sited as strongly farinaceous. And I think this test only works in Europe, I haven’t noted this as true in North America. But people have noted amanita toxins in Galerina in North America, so a taste test of Galerina isn’t suggested.

You could give it a try, and add some data on this from the west, but I think from what we know in western north America, you need to add the spore info. to prove that it works or not. And rinse your mouth out after… just in case…

(But still, not sure I would suggest tasting a Galerina…)

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-07-31 05:01:51 PDT (-0700)

I haven’t made up my mind if it’s Galerina or Kuehneromyces (vernalis?) either. The method I use to tell them apart, is to taste them. Farinaceous: Galerina; not farinaceous: Kuehneromyces.

Spore color should be the same
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2009-07-31 04:38:52 PDT (-0700)

I haven’t done too much to compare the spore color, but the spore color of Kuehneromyces and Galerina should be the same. This was notes by Smith in the Pholiota monograph, and used by Watson (I think? ah, my memory…) to put Kuehneromyces as a section of Galerina.

The clustered growth here on wood is pretty much classic Kuehneromyces, and I haven’t seen it in Galerina to this extent (but I’d be willing to believe it happens, I don’t think it is so classic).

There is a problems with the stipes here, they show a clear veil, and are fairly dark and fibrous. Usually in the west you see K. vernalis, but they don’t really show a clear veil on the stipe. K. mutabilis should show a clear veil, but also have a stipe with scales, and lighter tones at the apex.

So, I guess I would vote for Kuehneromyces at this point, but not sure about species. It would be neat to see the spores, pretty clearly they should be ellipsoid, smooth, and a germ pore. They should have clear cheilocystidia also, but then again so should Galerina. But I haven’t seen a good photo of the Kuehneromyces cystidia, so that would be good to get. Oh, wait did Dimi post some to his site, I saw spore photos on his site at least, you can use for comparison.

By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2009-07-31 03:09:10 PDT (-0700)

It doesn’t appear to be a Galerina, check the spore print color in the last picture.

By: AmatoxinApocalypse (AmatoxinApocalypse)
2009-07-30 18:13:56 PDT (-0700)

Looks a lot like a Psilocybe species, im not saying it is but they sure do look like one, with the striated cap margin and the umbo as well as the spore deposits on the caps.

Created: 2009-07-30 15:33:50 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2009-07-30 15:33:50 PDT (-0700)
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