I came across this very interesting Lepidella while hiking on the Sand Spring Trail (SST) that runs along Hickory Run Brook/Stream. I have no idea what species it is as I couldn’t find it on either the PA/NJ or Northeast checklists. The closest match is A. cinereopannosa, but I don’t think it’s that. Perhaps Rod can help here.
The GPS coordinates of the spot are approximate, but the collection site is about 50-60 yards from where SST and its campgrounds branch split off and just before SST enters a thick rhododendron grove. The actual spot is a steep slope below the right side of SST (between the trail and the creek). The slope forms the eastern side of this bowl-shaped pit surrounded by mature hemlocks. A careful inspection of the site revealed a couple of maples, a large birch of some kind (gray bark) and two large black cherry trees near and slightly beyond the hemlocks. I think the amanita is probably mycorrizal with the hemlocks.
So why is the amanita in pieces?! Well, I after collecting the mushroom I stood up on the steep slope, slipped and fell; the amanita fell out of my hand and broke up upon hitting the ground. I doubt these woods heard so many bilingual profanities in such a short time before – I was cursing myself for being such a klutz, but then calmed down as s**t just happens. At least I should be thankful I didn’t hurt myself falling flat on my belly. :-)
The pix give a good idea of what this critter looks like. I estimate it was 6" tall. The key features of this amanita are the whoolly-cottony grayish-tan universal veil covering the cap, stipe, upper part of the bulb and the underside of the partial veil, and a very large bulb. The odor was of decaying protein. The PV still covered the gills, so it was immature at the time of discovery; however, the cap expanded while I drove back home and I was eventually able to get a spore print. The spores appear small (under 10 microns) and broadly ellipsoid to ellipsoid when viewed at x400 without a mounting agent — more on that later.
The final cap size is 9 × 7.5 cm; the stipe is 2 cm wide; the bulb is 6.5 cm long, the cross-section is oval, 4.5 × 3.5 cm wide. If allowed to reach maturity, the specimen would have undoubtedly become a large mushroom.


In situ pic in dark woods; flash deployed
In situ pic in dark woods; flash deployed
Natural light, no flash
Natural light, no flash
Natural light, no flash
Natural light, no flash
Natural light, no flash
Natural light, no flash

Proposed Names

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Herbarium Rooseveltensis Amanitarum (R. E. Tulloss) has received specimen.
By: mcmacher
2017-07-18 14:20:35 CDT (-0400)

We have received the dried specimen. Thank you. It is being accessioned in Rod’s herbarium.

amanita puzzle pieces!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-07-12 11:20:51 CDT (-0400)

even broken, one can clearly piece together a lepidella with a very fat bulb and interesting dark ornamentation.

Nice to find a reasonable name for this one, Igor!

Yes :-)
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-07-12 00:47:31 CDT (-0400)

I didn’t descend the slope from the trail as it looked downright dangerous. Instead I found a better point of entry and climbed the slope from the pit. I am lucky not to have impaled myself on some branches scattered around the site. Still I am ticked off at smashing up a fine specimen. :-)

One’s concentration on that slope…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2017-07-12 00:27:42 CDT (-0400)

is best directed to not falling down the slope. Next time I visit this spot I’ll try to remember to survey the trees. Of course, atkinsoniana may associate with types of trees other than oak and beech.

Yes, Dave,
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-07-12 00:17:18 CDT (-0400)

I was just looking at your obsie from 2008 as you posted your comment. Yes, it’s an impressive lepidella owing mostly to its UV texture, color and disposition.
I didn’t see any beech in the vicinity, but I didn’t look beyond 10-15 yards out — this area is really saturated with trees.

I found atkinsoniana once…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2017-07-12 00:08:13 CDT (-0400)

but I won’t forget it! A really impressive mushroom. C du Q says it favors oak or beech. Igor, I know this exact location at Hickory Run; no oak but probably beech mixed in with the hemlock and birch. A key (as Rod suggests) is the way the warts on the basal bulb extend down beyond the upper shoulder of the bulb. In addition to my one find, I have seen this one at NEMF once or twice.

Thanks, Rod!
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2017-07-11 23:59:28 CDT (-0400)

Not sure how I missed it because I did look at it. Probably decided there was not enough UV material in the pix in your website. I’ve never collected atkinsoniana before. The approximate spore shape/size observed by me fit the data on your website, but I will measure the spores anyway. I was also amazed that my measurements of cap width and bulb dimensions were dead on (especially the latter).

By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2017-07-11 23:44:53 CDT (-0400)

Consider the shape of the bulb and the disposition of volva on the bulb.

Very best,


By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2017-07-11 23:12:32 CDT (-0400)

but I don’t think that it is cineroepannosa.

Created: 2017-07-11 23:06:44 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2019-02-02 14:18:58 CST (-0500)
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