Collection location: Madison Heights, Pasadena, California, USA [Click for map]
GEN med-large mush, scattered in lawn near yound live oak, mild odor
ST: 80×15-20, thickened at base, solid, brittle but w fibrous sheath, shiny, striate, covered w minute water beads
CAP: 60mm wide, broadly convex, smooth, very tacky, pale orange-brown, darker in center to nearly white near margin, small sterile margin curled under
FLESH: 6-7mm thick, v pale brownish, spongy, watery
GILL: pale aging flesh-colored, margins lined with minute water beads, strongly notched but not free, 5mm deep, close, not branched, hyphae parallel, can’t find any cystidia (but can find plenty of basidia with 4 spores each)
SPORE: print brownish flesh-colored (see photo), ellip, min textured but not angular side-on or end-on, 10-13×5-7um, strongly apiculate
NOTES: More notes here.
Fleshy spore print suggested some sort of Entolomataceae but the non-angular spores rules it out. If I call the spore print “brown” (really??) it seems to match description of Hebeloma crustuliniforme pretty well (including photos I find on the web). Also Arora says this species has “cystidia abundant on edges of gills”, but I can’t find any. Does anyone have a better idea?
Hebeloma should have a “brown” brown spore print, kinda dull brown, so you’re pretty close there. But also the thing about Hebeloma is that the spores have a covering that wears away slowly, giving them a roughened surface in age (I’ve been reading up on Hebeloma this week, boy I need a life…). Also the Hebeloma spore shapes divide into two forms, a “bean” shape, which is flat on one side, and rounded the rest, and “snout” like, which is pointed. These look a lot like the “snout” like Hebeloma spores.
Now, the rest looks like H. crustuliniforme, but you are right, the gills don’t look right. I usually think of the gills as being darker than the cap, with a lighter margin. Here the gills are lighter than the cap.
So, it gets worse, people (Arora) usually don’t care much about Hebeloma, since they just plain brown guys, but it turns out there are a bunch out there. (I was reading the veiled hebeloma monograph this week, with over 100 species.) So, I would easily believe these are not H. crustuliniforme, but are still Hebeloma.
But then again, what do I know…