Observation 26089: Macowanites Kalchbr.

SPORE PRINT: None obtained. Apparently not dropping spores. Tried on both yellow and white paper. GILLS: white, mal-formed, scrunched and convoluted, crowded, wavy, growing together then apart, with plentiful cross-hatching especially close to the cap. CAP: strongly inrolled, strong striations and crenulate ridges on the outer 1.3 inches of the cap. Taste of cap/gills not hot, but bad, with chemical aftertaste for several minutes after chewing and spitting out. Cap is nearly exactly 4 inches across, depressed in center; with brown center with a distinct color change 1-1.5 inches from center, becoming white with crenulate ridges, striations, and dotted with orange, brown, or orange-brown. Height: 4 inches. Clear, glue-like exudate on outer 1/2 inch of cap. STIPE: 2.5-3 inches before attaching to cap, equal, solid at top and bottom, but partially hollow between, between hollows filled with some cottony material. No change in base of stipe (or stipe) after handling. HABITAT: In mycorrhizal association with Quercus palustris, which is not native to this area. ODOR: faint, not pleasant, somewhat chemical as fresh. After 2 days drying, odor of fresh-cut raw potato. In Arora’s Mushrooms Demystified, under Macowanites magna, there is an extension to Elasmomyces odoratus from Washington that is similar. Specimen is very young, which could explains why the odor is still faint at this time. Will dry and submit for herbarium collection, as this looks more Russula-like than Macowanites-like; yet has some Macowanites characteristics. I have never found an Elasmomyces before that I am aware of, and cannot be certain of this identification.

Species Lists


Centrally-depressed, but with a ring of up-raised material (fused scales?) just outside, becoming immediately crenulate and striate. Outer edge of gills sticky/gluey with clear exudate, but no exudate present when gills and pileus broken.
Notice yellow, brown, and yellow-brown splotches on the outer portion of the cap only.
Wavy, contorted, crowded gills.
Wavy, contorted, crowded gills.
Stipe mostly equal, but as fresh enlarging slightly toward the base, or narrowing toward the cap. Mostly white with linear striations. No apparent bruising where handled, although some soil from digging the specimen may have transferred to the stipe.
Strong cross-hatching and convolution of gills immediately under the cap.
Strong cross-hatching and convolution of gills immediately under the cap.
Notice cotton-filled areas, as well as hollows.

Proposed Names

61% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Used references: Arora’s Mushrooms Demystified. If/when proven, this collection would be among the largest known specimens of Macowanites currently known.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2011-09-20 23:35:08 CDT (-0400)
M. odoratus(=Elasmomyces o.)
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-10-03 08:12:25 CDT (-0400)

The above have been suggested, but I think must be rejected. The only collection known is from Mt. Rainier in WA, and the original collection by A.H. Smith was 10-20mm diameter, associated with conifers, without stipe and hypogeous. This specimen is 10cm tall, 10cm wide, associated with either Quercue palustris or Pseudotsuga menziesii (distant), has well-developed stipe, is epigeous. I now strongly regret not being able to attend Teresa Lebel’s informative talk about the Russula/Macowanites complex, where she handled at least some of the Russula-like Macowanites, that might shed light on this critter. Oh well.

Unlikely to be Macowanites odoratus
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-10-02 22:24:31 CDT (-0400)

which is known from a single collection by Alexander H. Smith at Mt. Rainier, WA in 1948. Sporocarp said to be 10-20mm wide. Columella said to be of negligible size. Unless I’m missing something dramatic, this cannot be the same material, solely because it has a well-developed stipe.

Just added 3 more photos.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-10-02 19:02:31 CDT (-0400)

Have not been able to find any photos of Elasmomyces odoratus to date. Have just added close-ups of cut gills and sectioned stipe to aid identification. Odor after 2 days drying of fresh-cut potato: chemical aroma no longer present.

Created: 2009-10-01 17:44:42 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2011-09-21 03:03:14 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 106 times, last viewed: 2018-07-14 17:40:40 CDT (-0400)
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