Collection location: Potter Co., Pennsylvania, USA [Click for map]
Project: Collection – Local Mycoflora
Project: My Cology is Better than Yours
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I have heard talk of Cotton Blue not in Lactophenol but with the smell you describe I am sure that yours is LCB. The Lactophenol part of the stain is to kill any live organisms(phenol)and preserves fungal structures(lactic acid). Like a few chemicals for fungal use care should be taken when using them. According to Schumacher the spores are 5-15% larger in LCB than in water but I have found the opposite especially when the spores collapse which often happens.
Don’t know if lactophenol is part of it. It has a very strong chemical smell and seems to damage some microstructures. Can work really well as a stain. Will keep your comments in mind if I come across the voucher. no measurements on spores or hairs.
Danny is right in saying that Lactophenol Cotton Blue is vital in showing enough detail of the spore ornamentation of many Scutellinia. There are one or two which have such distinctive spores you can (sometimes) come to a conclusion without its use. In this case the spores are obviously heavily ornamented resulting in a “massive and irregular reticulum” and because of this it looks very promising for S pennsylvanica. The hairs of this species are some of the longest in the group but look a bit on the small size. Have you got the spore and hair measurments?