Observation 28207: Cortinarius fulmineus sensu Moser

When: 2009-11-13

Collection location: Bon Tempe Reservoir, Marin Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)

No specimen available

These stubby little guys were growing in fairly hard ground by a trail and near Madrone, live oak and maybe one old pine.
They are immature but have some interesting characteristics; a very marginate bulb, no violet colorations, not viscid although some debris was adhering to both the cap and stipe, and red staining with KOH on the cap, stipe, cap flesh and stipe flesh.
The spores,(from a gill section) were approx. 9.0-10.0(10.9) X 4.9-6.0(7.0)microns and fairly rough.
They were about 5 X 5 cm in size.



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Add Comment
On staying informed and more…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-04-13 09:50:13 CDT (-0400)

Staying informed – my task is simple – I go to certain Irene who has her sources on everything that’s new. How she does it, I don’t know, but she has a way apparently.

I should have been clearer on my assertion below – based on a direct genetic match between Moser’s “C. fulmineus” collections from California and this species that Ron has illustrated, well known to me by now, we could see that it was what he referred to as “C. fulmineus”. That firm knowledge came around 7-8 months after this discussion.

European Cortinarius nomenclature is in a very complex state – I will discuss this on MT at a greater length, but just making a passing reference to any taxonomic rank, particularly those infrageneric sections requires a deep digging effort to get the right authorities nomenclaturally because they are used differently by various authors. But I think it is easy to bypass that Irene – most of the hefty European authorities are of the “old fashioned” breed, they push paper around… Frøslev recently described 7 new calochroid corts from his area on account of just pure evidence. I see things in Southern Europe that have been ignored. I have no doubt even the Frisian backyards holds a lot of secrets, but they need to be evaluated by bypassing the old school, otherwise they’ll block it.


Lucky you
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2011-04-13 04:36:19 CDT (-0400)

who can start fresh with new descriptions and new names!
In Europe, we are still struggling with old names and non-descript descriptions, throwing old names back and forth on different taxon.

You are right about new knowledge emerging fast, though. But how do we get ourselves informed about the latest news?

A time capsule…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-04-13 02:33:14 CDT (-0400)

Stumbling back on this thread – this is “C. fulmineus” sensu Moser from California. No doubt about it!! This species oxidizes dark brown pretty quickly. Phylogenetically it definitely does not belong near the real “C. fulmineus”, which has become an invalid name. I plan to describe this species as a paper #8-10. I am at #3 now.

Reading all this feels like bursting a time capsule… we know so much more now than just 16 months ago…


I agree
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-18 10:21:26 CST (-0500)

Fundamentally, we should hold off the naive desire to always put names on the Western material — I know it is a strong temptation that has afflicted much more title mycologists than me… Right now the effort here in Calfiornia is to organize what we know, collect, organize, understand, learn to know our species in the field, draw groups, etc. We have already some Academic support to start sequencing those things — particularly in the Phlegmacium area as there is a lot of work being done there already and a good set of data to match against.

How good are the markers transcontinentally is an outstanding question — I hear diametrically opposed opinions… Talking to Tuula Niskanen and Joe Ammirati a few weeks ago, I think they’re not entirely sure. But we will do that research too. I posted a collection of Scauri Cortinarii on MushroomTalk that was pulled out of the forests — man, we’ve got some variety in there. Some things match Brandrud’s herpeticus concept, which seems to be different than Moser’s, etc. Can the existing regions really be applied in these groups is a question that probably will need to be worked on slowly.

Transcontinentally, I see great similarities with material in the Myxacium group— the Vibratiles in particular. I see major differences in the Phlegmacium group with some collections coming close to Stirps, but not always easy to place in. Increasing interaction with Europeans to act as a filter, as well as my own heavy foraying in Europe will help to drive that systematic effort in the correct direction, I hope. But there is a never ending shortage of Cortinarius IQ, so the more we get, the better.

Some time I want to talk about the hosts question, but this is spanning topics and observations… I think in many cases there is a slight overestimation of the host importance, which may work well in the North, but loose its strength as one goes South…


C. cedretorum
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-18 03:51:02 CST (-0500)

is certainly a better match, as the spore size fits better. But I was stressing the occurence with oak, therefore I take elegantissimus as guess. Elegantissimu and cedretorum are very close and both have lilac-purplish KOH reaction. SO none of these match really. I don’t know how strong the systematic lays stress on the colour of the KOH reaction, but may be the red instead of lilac reaction is a hint that this one is not even close related to the cedretorum-elegantissimus group.
We had C. cedretorum in middle-Germany by the way, under pine on calcareous soil in 550 m a.s.l.: http://www.huperzia.de/Natur/Pilze/P119.jpg. The collection was sequenced by GARNICA.

In reference to the North American description of C. fulmineus sensu Moser…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-17 21:47:18 CST (-0500)

Guys, I am not trying to jam the fulmineus name down the throat of
anyone, as it is irrelevant anyway, as well as I agree that they are
deeper colored — but just a bit of reasoning as to why the name
fulmineus sensu Moser was applied once by me to this North American
material, despite the general problems with it.

For this to make sense actually, you need to read Moser’s description
from North America (I will scan it) — there he speaks of young
fruitbodies (and what Ron has is young!) with "bright yellow color
(Piniard Yellow, Martius Yellow to near Picric Yellow). And then later
darkening to “bright orange brown”. Martius Yellow is quite light and
pretty much how I have observed these fruitbodies initially. And as I
pointed out earlier, he speaks of light straw yellow gills too.

Now, in his 1960 volume he writes of “fuchsig” and “ockerfuchsig” to
“kastanienbraun” on the cap, which indeed seem much darker colors and
inconsistent with his North American concept. Obviously those two
descriptions don’t quite match.

In addition, the shape of the spores, much less citriniform than other
Fulvi matched quite well what Moser was describing from Calfiornia -
they hava photo of them. And they match the diagram in his 1960 volume
too. There is an agreement.

As far as where this species belongs Naturally, that’s a different
question. Andreas, elegantissimus also reacts lilac purplish with
alkaline solutions on the context. If I had to take a quick guess, I
see it closer to C. cedretorum, minus the bluish tinges.
C. elegantissimus has huge spores. We do have another species that
matches cedretorum quite well and looks alike, unless you slice them.

nice cort, Ron.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-11-17 19:55:29 CST (-0500)

bring it to Dimi’s lecture tomorrow night at UCB. the more good examples, the merrier!

Sect. Fulvi
By: Andreas Gminder (mollisia)
2009-11-17 18:35:35 CST (-0500)

I agree with sect. Fulvi in the circumscription of today, mainly characterized by the yellow to orange gills. And I agree with irene, that it doesn’t belong in the direct vicinity of C. fulmineus, in whomevers sense, because of the gill colour and the too greenish yellow cap. What we can see is a species which has a pale ellowish flesh (so no splendens agg.), a strongly oxydizing cap and bulb and a throughout blood red reaction with KOH. C. alcalinophilus is reacting lilac in the flesh, the splendens group greenish on the cap. So I think, this fungus is near C. elegantissimus, but differs by the small spores from all taxa I know from Europe. Also the reaction of the flesh is not that deep blood red (as far as I remember).
So this one is with certainty a species not known in Europe. Whether it is yet described in America is unknown to me.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-11-15 05:28:20 CST (-0500)

I was not saying I didn’t like sect. Fulvi, although I’m aware that the sections are highly artificial (In Cortinarius Flora Photographica they also included Moser’s subsection Orichalcei there).

I only disagreed with the interpretation of fulmineus, that initially has much warmer yellow, more like saffron coloured, gills.
In Moser’s words, first part of the key under sect. Fulvi:
“Lamellen jung orangegelb, gelbbraun bis fuchsig, Hut orange- bis bronzefarbig, Laubwald”, leads to fulmineus, subfulgens, eufulmineus, aereus.
“Lamellen jung mit anderen Farben”, leads to the rest of his species in sect. Fulvi.

Since this collection doesn’t look like a perfect match with any european taxon I know, I dont’t have an opinion about where to place it.. just wanted to say that it’s not likely to be fulmineus/alcalinophilus.

Well, Irene…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-15 01:16:25 CST (-0500)

In his decsription of the North Americam material, Moser clearly specified “Lamellae: at first yellow, viewed from edges Straw Yellow to Amber Yellow, Deep Colonial Buff®, Caill 87L, later becoming brownish with olivaceous tinge, Caill 65N, 60P…” This is what I based my earlier determination on. I have the English translation of his Keys, as well as Moser 1960 (“Die Gattung Phlegmacium” right in front of me – just got my personal copy from the Swedish site Antiquaria [great service, recommend them – fast and take credit cards and speak English too :-)]), but neither have the time, nor the interest to go any further with it, as that name is very unlikely to stay that way..

If you do not like Section Fulvi for this specimen, where else would you place it?

Potassium hydroxide.
By: Paul Derbyshire (Twizzler)
2009-11-14 13:38:59 CST (-0500)
By: Patrick Harvey (pg_harvey)
2009-11-14 12:16:16 CST (-0500)

What is the staining reaction from, a reagent?

I’m not convinced
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-11-14 11:59:32 CST (-0500)

that Ron’s collection is the same as fulmineus sensu Moser.
To reach fulmineus in Moser’s key, you have to pass his first step in sect. Fulvi: young gills orange yellow, yellowish brown to “fuchsig” (that’s a varible reddish brown, one of the basic colours on horses)..

A couple of related comments…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-14 11:26:58 CST (-0500)

Moser described his collection from “Gasquet Flat, north side of the Middle Fork of Smith River” from a deciduous Oak (Q. garrayana)… A spot were A.S. Smith collected previously. I was in that very location a few days ago for the purpose of studying that location and habitat — it is deep in the canyon of the Smith’s River and loaded with Interior Live Oak (Quercus wislizeni). As well as the usual Tanoaks, Madrone, Manzanita, etc., interspersed with Spruce (a rare combination!!). The reason I am saying that is because I have had hard time finding any mycorrhizal activity with Deciduous Oaks in the Fall in our area. That’s not absolute perhaps, but thought of mentioning it.

The title of that study “..from oak forests in Northern California” is somewhat misleading too. First, it covered mainly the extreme Northern California, which is a somewhat specific habitat and mainly because more than half of the collections were from Tanoak, which is not exactly Oak. The main body of Northern California requires us to study it. Not to mention the Live Oak forests going all the way to the Mexican border and there are some interesting collections from there too…


Thus spoke Meinhard
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-14 10:55:33 CST (-0500)

The species shown by Ron is not an uncommon one in our area under Oak. The description of it by Meinhard in “Studies on North American Cortinarii IV: New and interesting Cortinarius species (subgenus Phlegmacium) from oak forests in Northern California. Sydowia 49(1): 25-48.” matches very well in all characters as what he said is “These collections agree well with the interpretation of C. fulmineus Fr. as interpreted by Moser (1960)”.

The trajectory of the Europeans names and consequent synonymy is a complex one and while reading the assumptions, logic and conclusions, I can detect that they are not entirely free of controversy and likely not the last we hear on them. The Southern European School will inevitably recognize more species from their Oak forests than the more minimalist approach offered from up North. Therefore, the “safe name” for our collections would probably be C. fulmineus sensu Moser. Luckily, we do not have that historical debate in California and should treat these species as new until proven otherwise. I have discussed the study of the Fulvi Section as an important step going forward and doing so with all contemporary means available to us.

Oh, Moser was big on UV lights applying them to everything – he claims that this one has a red/orange reflection – I have not tested it, but you might try. I will when I collect it again…


P.S. I asked a few days ago Frøslev what’s going on with the cortinarius.com site – glad to see it running again.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-11-14 04:41:22 CST (-0500)

the Phlegmacium website is up and running again:

If you want a european name
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-11-14 04:34:30 CST (-0500)

the closest I can find is Cortinarius caesiolatens, but it’s not a perfect match either.

C. fulmineus is an old Friesian name. It may have included both olearioides and alcalinophilus, but they have warmer yellow colours on cap and gills even when they are young, not as pale greenish yellow as this one.

Good job on the KOH!!
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-14 00:08:37 CST (-0500)

Now we’re in business! Well done.

A familiar one.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-11-14 00:06:29 CST (-0500)

Hi Ron,

you have one of our Live Oak members of Section Fulvi. Moser user to refer to collections in our area as C. fulmineus. They tend to develop darker and more saturated colors at age. I have called them Cortinarius alcalinophilus.


Whether that name is properly applied (probably not) is something that deserves a special study. I will change that to aff. alcalinophiilus. We should never to rarely use European names, as those that I became familiar with do not serve well our material. I have not collected this one in Europe though.


Created: 2009-11-13 23:12:51 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2011-04-14 03:49:30 CDT (-0400)
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