Observation 29358: Cortinarius subgenus Phlegmacium (Fr.) Fr.

When: 2009-12-01

Collection location: Tomales Bay State Park, Marin Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)

Specimen available

These were growing near tanoak and most were partially to almost completely buried. They were somewhat viscid with clinging debris.
The largest had a cap 8.9cm across.
KOH reaction; cap..reddish brown, cap flesh..little change, stipe..little change,stipe flesh.. sl. reddish at base.
The cap and stem flesh were basically white with a little lilac tint on the outer, upper stipe area.
Spores were approx. 9.0-10.0 X 4.6-5.1 microns.



Proposed Names

9% (2)
Recognized by sight
28% (1)
Recognized by sight: Bojantchev and Davis, nom. prov.

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
One year later…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-12-14 21:45:27 PST (-0800)

Well, almost an year ago I got the molecular data for this collection, courtesy of my friends at UC Berkeley, but I couldn’t tie it to this observation.. Now I got all my material back and I saw Ron’s MO link.

Anyway, this is well put as Cortinarius sp. This is a rare cort that I have one collection of, a very beaten one and all of the features described by Ron match. This is clearly an undescribed species in the large calochroid clade, but I have to run some more reconstruction to get a satisfactory position.

This is something to keep an eye for. Two collections only, both from California, no closely matching European or broader PNW material.

This is in the list 10-15 similar Phlegms that I know are new, but have not had an opportunity to develop a good species concept – if I can’t id it in the field, no point to attempt to write it up.


Ok, here is the scoop.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2010-12-04 20:09:08 PST (-0800)

Received Ron’s package, handed personally at the MSSF event – as usual, neatly packed, labeled, i.e. perfection.

Looked at the spores – there were plenty of mature ones – the length of the measurement stated by Ron is correct. I saw them as (8.5) 9-10 × 5.2-6. The width is below mine, but I do have the feeling that Ron is a bit less precise on his spore widths in general and he rushes through the process.

This is not Cortinarius flavodryophilus. Of course, I should have picked on it earlier.

In the past 4 days we got all varieties of the yellow Corts known to me so far and I had a chance to reexamine them and refresh my memory, as well as look at all molecular data I have. I will soon put a key with photos – or rather a “feature matrix” to help sort them out. I am developing it for myself too because last night at the MSSF id event I really needed my cheat sheet.

The Cort on this observation matches this collection from some time ago and also a recent one – smaller spores, up to 10microns and red-brown KOH reaction on the pileus.

Check the two collections at the bottom -– very similar, strongly oxidizing cap – these though have a distinctly pink KOH reaction on the stipe. These collections match exactly Moser’s interpretation of C. fulmineus from California (1997) exemplified by collections JFA11832, JFA11843, JFA11846 on GenBank.

I do not have moleuclar data on the upper collection (i.e. Ron’s collection here), but will get it soon. Then I will update the observation.

Cortinarius XXX


P.S. I’d love a quick way to attach photos with a comment =— it would allow me to communicate much quicker with examples.

Ohh, I really want to look at these spores
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2010-11-30 19:53:38 PST (-0800)

Ok Ron, I really want to look at these spores – you see even in my earlier reaction from last year that I was looking for bigger spores and claiming to know these. Once I look at the spores I will express an opinion. I will comment on your other collection next.

Dimi, no.. this collection is different
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2010-11-30 19:47:29 PST (-0800)
from the one I gave you on 12-4-09 at the Fair (See http://mushroomobserver.org/29569?q=2wWj ) These I had found a few days earlier. This one I still have in my possession. They do look similar and the spores also do look like your C.flavodryophilis but my measurements are a bit less than yours. R
Question to Ron
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2010-11-30 19:08:19 PST (-0800)

Hmm. I’ve always said that the ultimate test is to see if an author can recognize his species… So, here my back is against the wall. But a question to Ron. Ron, is this the same thing as what you showed me on 12/4/2009 at the MSSF meet? The brighter yellow guy? Seems like it in many respects despite this collection being darker overall. In a way this collection looks darker brownish like the typical mature C. flavodryophilus, but the spores are smaller and not nearly as rough… But the overall thing resembles more what I call Cortinarius 28838 PASTORINO – which also can darken like that. Ron, did you ever send me this collection? SEE MY FULL OBSERVATIONM AT THE EXTERNAL LINK BELOW

External Link

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2010-11-30 18:20:45 PST (-0800)

Debbie – I would have also gone for that name, but it may be because I am a little trigger-happy to use the name, seeing as how I found out about it today…

Dimitar – Please advise on how this collection is similar to/differs from C. flavodryophilus nom prov

Thank you.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-12-07 09:56:07 PST (-0800)

This is not about me, but the mushroom identification. I regularly have to go and double check what is on the slide against the dry material when I have doubts of any kind.

Unable to please Dimitar
By: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)
2009-12-07 09:36:06 PST (-0800)
I don’t think the spores were immature as I used a “middle-aged” specimen and the spores dropped readily and copiously. However, as a double check, I did retest using a gill section from the oldest specimen and squashed it in KOH.

Got the same basic results(see photo)

Familiar with, but no good name available…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-12-02 20:13:22 PST (-0800)

Hi Ron, I am familiar with this Phlegmacium, Section Fulvi with bluish tinges on the stipe and context but I do not see suitable name in any of the North American sources. Smith & Kauffman used to refer to these as cedretorum in a broad sense., but this name cannot be applied to our material because of the KOH reaction being the wrong color). Please keep the material, as it will come in handy for sure. Very nice observation. complete with all relevant data.

The thing that bothers me a bit is the size of the spores — they seem a little small and immature. One thing to do is to squash a gill of the most mature fruitbody and see what sizes you see — I’d be happier with a 10-12 × 6-7µ spore range, but again, I’m sure this mushroom didn’t think of ways to please me…


Created: 2009-12-02 17:08:03 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2013-08-14 19:35:50 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 268 times, last viewed: 2018-06-08 16:05:35 PDT (-0700)
Show Log