When: 2018-05-27

Collection location: Umstead State Park, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA [Click for map]

Who: Geoff Balme (geoff balme)

No specimen available

with enormous cap, like a tapas plate.
I did not dig it up.


dr. Tulloss’ screen snip showing the fibers at base of warts

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


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No problem, Rod
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2018-06-24 02:22:06 CDT (-0400)

Being put on the spot from time to time comes with the territory, I guess. :-)
Another morphological trait supporting ravenelii that can be gleaned from the thumbnail pic is the appearance of the bulb. In the context of this observation, wherein the structure of the UV on the cap begins to steer one in the right direction, the recurving scales and staining (the info from your website) also help eliminate rhopalopus.

Sorry to have put you on the spot, Igor. Worse yet, there is a serious and…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2018-06-24 00:09:29 CDT (-0400)

…confusing typo. I meant to say this is NOT A. rhopalopus.

Very sorry. It’s on me.


By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2018-06-22 21:55:18 CDT (-0400)

Geoff and Dave are both away, so that leave me with the riddle. :-) Nothing like being put on the spot. :-)
Rod, I am a little be confused by the wording:
“This is rhopalopus. This is something very easily confused with rhopalopus. What is it. What’s the species?”
I think the magnified region of the cap shows fibers at the bases of the warts. However, ravenelii has already been proposed for this observation. If it’s neither that nor rhopalopus, then I need to critically re-evaluate my options. :-)

David, Igor, Geoff.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2018-06-22 21:37:13 CDT (-0400)

The image has been emailed to all three of you. :)

Very best,


I’d like to bring up another possibility.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2018-06-22 21:33:36 CDT (-0400)

Look at image two. Imagine that the cap forms the upper half of a clock face.

Start at the middle of the stem and the edge of the cap. Move toward ten o’clock on the clock face. Expand the image to the max and lookf for the fibers that are joining the bases of the warts. This is not {<— corrected text} rhopalopus. This is something very easily confused with rhopalopus. What is it? I wish I could insert the screen snip that I just made. Looks like I can’t.

What is the species?


Interesting interaction.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2018-06-22 21:19:44 CDT (-0400)

The Asian lady should know that all the species in stirps Rhopalopus contains allenic norleucine. The kidney toxin first reported from strips-member A. smithiana. The third North American species of the stirps (A. magniradix) also contains norleucine.

Very best,


By: Geoff Balme (geoff balme)
2018-05-29 17:10:05 CDT (-0400)

that fine “woolen sheath” like UV is the go to diagnostic for me. That and the fact they’re usually some of the last big fruit I see near the end of the season.

Thanks, Geoff.
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2018-05-29 10:13:50 CDT (-0400)

Like you say, the learning never ends here on MO. In this instance, it’s these large white Lepidellas with the club-shaped stipes that I stand to learn better. The distributions peter out a bit south of me, so I don’t run across many of these. Comparing with your beautiful polypyramis photo (an iconic photo-documentation of the species) I see another difference. The mushroom seen in this present observation (317482) exhibits a bit more basal structure, larger scales with a more concentric arrangement.

Hey Dave,
By: Geoff Balme (geoff balme)
2018-05-29 09:44:09 CDT (-0400)

I always appreciate your input! I’ve learned tons from the experience of you and Igor, RET and many others! This website has been a godsend getting me out of a rut of stagnant mushroom understanding and into this more alive and vibrant one!

now enjoy my A. polypyramis photo! Which the NAMA folks found charming enough last year. :p
Observation 258295: Amanita polypyramis (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Sacc.

Gestalt reminded me…
By: Dave W (Dave W)
2018-05-27 18:15:32 CDT (-0400)

of polypyramis, especially the over-the-top size. But admittedly, I have little first-hand experience with this species, aside from a few late-season observations from S NJ. The brown deposits on the cap did make me wonder, but ASW says polypyramis can turn brown in age.

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2018-05-27 15:34:51 CDT (-0400)

People have no idea what they are dealing with, yet the temptation to munch on stuff is always there. Last thing you want is a ban on collecting fungi at Umstead because of a poisoning incident.

By: Geoff Balme (geoff balme)
2018-05-27 15:06:42 CDT (-0400)

are frequently “dog-legged” as well. Though it’s probably not always the case. I didn’t excavate this one as 1. Dr. Tulloss isn’t looking for anymore of these, and 2. there were people around who were interested and want a picture of it. One East Asian lady asked me if it was edible, she said to her eye it looked good. I dissuaded her. :p

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2018-05-27 12:56:47 CDT (-0400)

…in my experience is an all-white mushroom with no brown tones, covered with tiny pyramidal warts on cap and bulb. It has a distinct gestalt that easily separates it from other clunky lepidellas. It’s also a fall species, at least here in NJ, growing in the Pine Barrens ecosystem, suggesting it’s likely mycorrhizal with conifers, not oaks. It’s is true, however, that some fall mushroom can have regular fruitings in the spring, e.g., our iconic scaber stalk.
Yeah, I cannot discern ravenelii from rhopalopus either, for I have only seen them “in the flesh” once or twice. I went with ravenelii here because of the perceived texture of the UV on the cap and the collapsed PV.

The A. polypyramis
By: Geoff Balme (geoff balme)
2018-05-27 12:37:53 CDT (-0400)

I find look like a neat wool sock on the base. I had my shot of those win the NAMA photo contest last year! Big brag!

I still can’t tell rhopalopus from ravenelii – every year I try to squeeze prof. Tulloss for more details. :)

Created: 2018-05-27 09:30:30 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2018-06-24 21:34:31 CDT (-0400)
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