Observation 29495: Laccaria Berk. & Broome

When: 2009-12-04

Collection location: Tampa, Florida, USA [Click for map]

Who: lola (lthorne)

No specimen available

Was the only purple mushroom I could as listed as having been seen in this area. These were little mushrooms, growing in small bunches of 1-10 scattered over a few square meters in a forested upland.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:06:41 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida’ to ‘Tampa, Florida, USA’


Proposed Names

-34% (6)
Recognized by sight: small purple cap, brownish purple stalk.
41% (8)
Recognized by sight
-29% (7)
Recognized by sight: This probably isn’t violaceus as the texture of the pileus looks wrong, and from the photo I’m not sure it isn’t Laccaria. Were the gills purple?

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
No more Laccaria mushrooms avaliable
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2009-12-08 15:22:36 CST (-0500)

locally until next year. So it’ll wait until then. I’ll try transplanting the clump of earth. Thanks for the info.

Rain helps
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-12-08 02:05:30 CST (-0500)

but not essential. Neither is fresh sporocarps, although that ensures best spore germination, I think. I have used dried Laccaria as well for inoculation, and had no problems with it.

I don’t think snow is a problem either. Spray slurry under the spruce between the furthest out-stretched branches and the trunk, and all around the tree. Go a little further if you want. I used a 5-gallon sprayer with a wand, and the only notable problem is during high winds, the spray may be dispersed much further away than you had originally planned.

Thanks for the comments.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2009-12-07 17:16:20 CST (-0500)

Yeah, I think when rain is in the forecast, that’s an advantage. But the slurry method does introduce the spores as part of a liquid. So that’s also an advantage. It’s too late this year for me to try any of this (snow on the ground). Next autumn I’ll try to remember to swap some clods of mushroom bearing soil from my neighbor’s spruces with some of the soil by my baby spruces. Up until the present, I haven’t seen any types of mushrooms nearby these 2 spruces of mine (trees < 1m tall). Sunlight/shade is apparently another factor. The 2 spruces are in areas that offer different sun/shade ratios.

very interesting
By: Johannes Harnisch (Johann Harnisch)
2009-12-07 15:00:46 CST (-0500)

i would wait till the rain and do it in the rain to guarantee that the spores wouldn’t dry out right? or would it matter ?

Simple Laccaria cultivation
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-12-07 13:53:53 CST (-0500)

Transference of in situ mycelia certainly should work. Also has added advantage of transferring soil organisms which may be essential to mycelial growth to new site.

Not the way I cultivated Laccaria though. I gathered a few fresh Laccaria (haven’t tried Corts, tried Amanita only once), put them in a blender with a cup or 2 of water to create a slurry, put the slurry in a sprayer and sprayed the soil surface where I was trying to inoculate.

My second inoculation was done in late fall (late October as I recall), with good rainfall immediately afterwards to wash the spores into the soil and nearer the roots. Fruiting bodies began appearing everywhere within 2 weeks of inoculation – kind of surprising to me, as I thought it would take much longer. Almost no mycorrhizal epigeous fungi in the stand at that time, so that might have had an effect. Lots of hypogeous mycorrhizal fungi though.

I remember spending most of my weekends pruning the stand so I could walk through it and not be slapped constantly in the face with branches.

This slurry method works for some other epigeous species as well: Ramaria, Clavaria, Russula, Suillus, Boletus zelleri, B. chrysenteron, Pisolithus arrhizus, Sclerodermas and a few others.

Really no reason why this wouldn’t work with other mycorrhizal species: you are providing way more spores into the area than would normally fall from air currents; they are washing into the soil and should come into close contact with feeder roots of trees more quickly, and it’s very low tech. It hasn’t worked to date with truffles (had to add something to the slurry there for the spores to germinate), matsutake, Boletus edulis, or chanterelles. But I did have 2-3 years of chanterelle production after burying 1/2-inch pieces of fresh sporocarps near feeder roots of Douglas fir. Paul had to remove many older Douglas-fir near the inoculation site. The resulting increase in direct sunlight seems to have suppressed the chanterelles.

RE: Tuberale’s cultivation commentary.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2009-12-07 07:52:54 CST (-0500)

Our neighbor’s lawn has some good sized Blue Spruce which feature several different mycorrhizal fungi… Corts, Laccarias, Amanitas. It would be interesting to see if I can establish one or more of these nearby my spruces. Just plant a clod of earth which includes the mycelium/fruit bodies? I’ve only ever raised saprophytes… Agaricus/Oysters/Shiitakes… in kits.

RE: Dave in NE PA’s comment
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-12-07 02:03:08 CST (-0500)

I don’t know if Laccaria amethystina-occidentalis forms mycorrhiza with spruce. I’ve grown them solely with Douglas-fir. While Colorado Blue spruce is sometimes used as an ornamental here in Oregon, I don’t go out of my way to find it. One of my neighbors did have a fairly large one, but had to cut it down 3-4 years ago.

RE: Debbie’s comment, our (my?) L. a-o is brilliant purple, making it easy to spot. It usually begins fruiting after the Cortinarius are done, and often fruits simultaneous with Tuber oregonense throughout its season, unless a killing freeze stops the mushrooms. A similar Laccaria species is also found here, but I’ve been calling the dull-brown specimens L. laccata, as many (all?) of my cultivated L.l. turn dull-brown in stipe and cap after 7-10 days.

sure looks like a purple capped laccaria sp. to me…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-12-06 11:24:20 CST (-0500)

the stipes on our local CA Laccaria a-o are brownish and shaggy, which might make one think of a cort. but the cap texture on this one is pure laccaria, greasy smooth, and the stipe shapes and textures fit too.

Raising amethystina.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2009-12-06 10:15:03 CST (-0500)

Good for the trees, I presume. I’ve got a couple of planted baby Blue Spruce that are doing pretty well so far (about 3 feet high). Maybe I should try to introduce some mycorrhizal fungi?

Mycorrhizal Laccaria
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-12-05 15:40:27 CST (-0500)

Been growing them at Paul Bishop’s Jones Creek Tree Farm since 1988. Mycorrhizal with Douglas-fir. Cultivation so simple even a child could do it.

I’m looking at Arora’s
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2009-12-05 13:56:55 CST (-0500)

color plate #30 in Mushrooms Demystified.. One of the smallish unexpanded L. amethystina fruit bodies shows the enlarged stalk base (not as pronounced as obs 29495 seen here) as well as a ring of purplish color on the upper stipe.

Daniel, you cultivate your own crop of L. amethystina occadentalis..! That sounds pretty interesting. I am under the impression that Laccaria is a genus of mycorrhizals. Do you raise trees and then do something to foster the fungal association?

I agree with Dave
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-12-05 03:45:24 CST (-0500)

with one exception. I can see the remnants of a annulus (a purple one?!?) on the top photo of 4. A Cortinarius cortina would/should have rusty-brown spores there. But this appears purplish. I don’t agree this is Laccaria-like in habitat and form: I have never seen a Laccaria with such a bulbous or enlarged base: they expand much too quickly for this to occur. I’ve been growing L. amethystina-occidentalis for several decades now, have produced several thousands of them, and have never seen such tiny caps on oversized stipes. Not saying it couldn’t occur, just that I’ve never seen it.

These are listed by the collector
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2009-12-05 00:01:55 CST (-0500)

as being small. The dry capped purple Corts I’ve seen are mostly robust mushrooms. The top one in the pic of 4 is well focussed. I see no sign of a cortina either on the stalk or attached to the cap. The purple Lacs often occur in very small sizes.

it’s a Laccaria
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2009-12-04 23:24:16 CST (-0500)

the stipe is typical of Laccaria as is the growth habit. Plus if you look at the picture of the four specimens – the top one is flipped over and it has no signs of a cortina.

I blew up both pics
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2009-12-04 21:51:13 CST (-0500)

and didn’t see any residual spore print. However, the stipe and cap don’t look like Laccaria (which could have been established by cutting a stipe in two). I’m voting Cortinarius at least. There also seems to be a residual snnulus around one specimen. It’s curious that this is identified twice: once as C. violaceus and once as Laccaria amethystina-occidentalis (29494). They are both the same fungus at least. One needs to be removed.

if you blow up the pics
By: Eddee (eddeeee)
2009-12-04 20:02:08 CST (-0500)

If you blow up the pics you will notice the remnants of what appears to be rusty brown spores on the cap margin.

Gill color
By: lola (lthorne)
2009-12-04 16:56:21 CST (-0500)

I’m not sure of the color of the gills, I think they were purple. I’m planning to try to go back and take another look at them.