Collection location: Los Trancos Preserve, Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co., California, USA [Click for map]
Ok, got more of these this year, the same I saw last year at this time. I’m going to work these up with microscopic details, and the dried samples will be added to the SFSU Thiers’ Herbarium.
It seems the features of a Hebeloma (if you really want to be sure because you just love little brown jobs…), are the dull brown spore color; the “bean” shaped spore that are “roughened”, not really warted; the lack of pleurocystidia; and the fact that the cap surface cells are held in a gell, either as a “ixocutis” or an “ixotricoderm” (which mean that the surface cell lay along the cap surface, or stand up away from the surface).
The features that are most diagnostic is seems, is the presence of a fiberous veil or not; are the spore “snout” like, or rounded; the size and shape of the cheilocystidia; and the cells at the cap surface. So, in the photos here, I have some old ones, and some young ones. The young ones show the veil clearly. Also the gills are pallid when young, and go brown in age.
The first micro-shot is of the spores, at 1000x oil immersion, under Meltzer’s reagent. This shows the “bean” like shape of the spores. They are also variable in size. But the average size is 8.5 × 4.6 microns, measured from 12 spores.
The second shot is at 400x under Meltzer’s reagent. This is of the gill edge, and show copious amounts of cystidia. They seem to be in tight clumps, and some are slightly branched.
The third shot is of the cap surface cells, and this is at 400x under water. I didn’t want to effect the color of the cells, or disolve the gell. The suface cells break off and bend upwards, but they come from a tight layer in gell of cells running along the surface of the cap, so these are in an “ixocutis”.
I haven’t got back to the monograph of veiled Hebeloma with these details yet, but I think with these you can get a good id, or not…