When: 2010-12-10

Collection location: Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Lux (Myco93)

No specimen available


12-15-10 revisit
12-15-10 revisit
12-15-10 revisit
These are the selected/available specimens i collected today for drying.
These are the selected/available specimens i collected today for drying.
These are the selected/available specimens i collected today for drying.
These are the selected/available specimens i collected today for drying.
Surrounding vegetation…
Surrounding vegetation…
Surrounding vegetation…
Surrounding vegetation…

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two characteristics of Murrill’s amanita lacking here…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-12-16 14:20:20 CST (-0500)

the long marginal striations (they are short in these photos), and the prominant umbo, as Lux already mentioned. Murrill mentions warts in his written description even if he doesn’t sketch them, and the medial annulus fits both mushrooms.

did Murrill even do microscopy on this mushroom? or was Jenkins the one who did the cited measurements?

sounds like the scope is your next step for ID, altho we are already seeing macro differences…

By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-16 13:28:31 CST (-0500)

Murrill was a voracious collector. His shorthand (and his drawings) are indicative of someone plowing through mountains of material. He often had only one or two characters in mind in finding a species to be new. He was not a microscope wizard either. He was a very sharp-eyed field guy…often naming species more than once because of differences in fruiting body size or color of the center of the cap.

Shorthand drawings probably reached their near minimum with Singer for whom a Picasso-esque, wavy line would suggest the form (and size!) of a cap and two lines would suggest the length and width of the stem. A wiggly “U” around the “stem base” shows the dimensions of the volva (if there was one) and its rough shape. By drawing approximately life size, Singer had to draw over his notes or write over his drawing sometimes. His Amanita notebook is now in the Field Museum in Chicago. Murrill was not quite this sort of minimalist.

Note that he draws the stipe arising from a hollow space with a lot of room around the stipe. This is something he did several times with his drawings of amanitas to emphasize that the volva was, in one way or another, limbate. I don’t think that we can assume tha Murrill’s drawing is a precise rendering in anyway. It is a sketch to jog his memory for the writing of a description of the species…at least that was part of the function of his drawings. They were not intended as illustrations.

I got some boxes of amanitas in the mail today. After I process them, I’m going to take a look at the umbrinidisca type collection.

Very best,


Sketch comparison…
By: Lux (Myco93)
2010-12-16 11:59:58 CST (-0500)
Thanks for the details, Rod. In response to the skirt location, this can be better seen in the 6th photo, where the stem below the skirt is visible. After reviewing the Murrill sketch, and making my way through the “oddly readable” comments, the first thing that seems odd is the pronounced unbonate in the sketch and description. At the moment, I’m at a loss to see this in our present specimens. The other detail, as Debbie has pointed out, would be that the cap is bald, though the description clearly states otherwise. Though this may be due to the condition of Murrill’s specimen, i.e. “eaten away & flesh by snails”. Perhaps this was an older specimen, thus the warts have washed off. But other than those details, it’s my opinion that the rest of his notes do seem to match up. I plan on making it out there today, to take photos of the surrounding vegetation, trees, etc. Also, i will gather a few specimens, for drying purposes.


also odd…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-12-16 11:25:10 CST (-0500)

that Murrill sketched a fruit body w/out warts!

By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-16 09:20:27 CST (-0500)

So then there is considerable space above the skirt on the stem. That can fit with Murrill’s crude sketch.

Did you check that sketch out yet? I’m curious to know what you think. By the way that is Murrill’s handwriting around the sketch and his very odd abbreviations like “bec’g.” for “becoming”. It’s (mostly) oddly readable…

Very best,


Skirt location…
By: Lux (Myco93)
2010-12-16 01:11:46 CST (-0500)

Yes indeed, that is the skirt. I recall making light of that detail.

In the second pic
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-16 00:09:48 CST (-0500)

Is that a skirt on the stem that seems to spread out and end just about at the level of the leaf litter?


I posted Murrill’s drawing…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-15 23:55:06 CST (-0500)

on the page cited below of the new Amanitaceae web site.


By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-15 23:53:18 CST (-0500)

Murrill describes the habitat in which he collected original material as “fir.” How about our friends in the Seattle area… Is there true fir (Abies) in the Seattle area?


Can anybody help Lux with drying this material?
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-15 23:51:27 CST (-0500)

I found a pencil sketch made by Murrill in 1911 when he collected the type of umbrinidisca. There are a few problems.

He drew short marginal striations, but says the margin was “long striate.” He describes a persistent skirt-like ring at about the middle of the stem (and sketches it there). He says the cap was umbonate and that the umbo was in a depression in older material. The one cap that is still in good condition in the type collection has no indication whatever that it had a striate margin and very little indication of an umbo.

My first attempt to find short gills in the dried specimen did not find very many. Those I did find appear truncate. No forking was noted either.

The collection is a bit strange…. Murrill retained one cap from which slugs had eaten ALL the gills.

One cap seems very well preserved, others seem almost as if they were collected at another time and preserved in a different way. Very odd.

Tomorrow I will see if I can get any microscopic characters from the material.


to Rod…
By: Lux (Myco93)
2010-12-15 23:11:16 CST (-0500)
I’ll write you at your address… ~Lux
Additional habitat info…
By: Lux (Myco93)
2010-12-15 23:03:02 CST (-0500)
The habitat is located about a mile inland from the coast. To the best of my knowledge, the surrounding vegetation is native to the area. This location is dominated by Oak, however, patches of Pine and Redwood are scattered. I can make it out again tomorrow to take detailed pictures of the patch and the surrounding vegetation. Unfortunately, at the moment, i don’t have the facilities to properly dry specimens. I can however, follow your suggestion to obtain a spore print and check it with Melzer’s Reagent.
Nope, no observations on umbrinidisca
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-15 22:43:59 CST (-0500)

I added the name, author citation, etc.


Amanita umbrinidisca???
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-15 22:40:56 CST (-0500)

What do you think?

Check out this:


Both the darkening of the disc and the paling of the margin seem to fit. The limb on the volva seems to be close to a match…although a bit vague. Very little is known about this species.

On the other hand, I have the holotype on loan from NY, and it’s sitting here beside me.

I’m thinking, Lux, that it may be very valuable for the understanding of this species if you can dry the material you are photographing.

Please contact me directly at ret@eticomm.net so that I can send you some relevant material by attachment to an email.

Like I said, A. umbrinidisca is POORLY understood. I happen to have what’s left of the 1911 type collected near Seattle here in the lab. I would very much like to say the same about your current, photographically documented collection. Any measurements you can supply (the material I will send covers how I make measurements) will be a big help also.

It would be really cool if you’ve found Murrill’s A. umbrinidisca.

Have we had a suspect come up before on MO? I’ll check.

Very best,


Nothing about forking found for any groups with taxa similar to this…
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-15 22:15:30 CST (-0500)

We should also add to the data built up in the notes below, that this guy has very plentiful short gills of very diverse lengths. Truncate short gills are among the longest short gills seen and among the shortest short gills seen. That is there doesn’t seem to be a trend to toward gills being more attenuate if they are longer (for example). There is occasional anastomosing of short gills with adjacent full-length gills.

Any taxa described as having only scattered short gills probably can be set aside as a possibility for a home for this mushroom.

Very, very interesting.


Playing with my database… (corrected)
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-15 22:06:12 CST (-0500)

A yellowish cap with a darkening center is described for several taxa in the gemmatoid group from several places in the world. Can you describe your habitat a bit? Is it entirely native vegetation? Can you tell us some tree genera or species in the vicinity?

I’m going to search for examples of taxa in section Amanita with common gill forking and confusingly variable shapes of short gills.

Very best,


Building up a comment as I look at the pix….
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-15 21:50:24 CST (-0500)

Short marginal striations. Cap a pale yellowish tan, without the darkening of the early photos. The white volva seems to form an irregular white limb on the top of the bulb.

The lamellae are a real suprise. I wonder if this repeats relatively frequently in other fruiting bodies. There is forking of gills rather commonly (not usual in Amanita), and there is even reverse forking (the “tines” of the fork point toward the stem a couple of times). The short gills vary in shape a great deal—truncated, rounded-truncate, truncate with an attenuate tooth down (in the bottom pic) near the flesh of the cap, and even more or less attenuate rather frequently.

Could you get a spore print (on glass or ceramic, NOT paper or wood) and put tincture of iodine or Melzer’s Reagent on the spores? I think they will probably not turn black. But I wouldn’t bet more than a cup of coffee at this point.

This sure isn’t A. franchetii sensu Thiers.

If it’s in subgenus Amanita (inamyloid spores), then it’s likely to be gemmatoid or pantherinoid…in my opinion.

Interesting species…

There’s still no one from the West ready to jump up and say they find this all the time? :-)

Do you have the facilities to dry specimens?


Added photos from todays revisit…
By: Lux (Myco93)
2010-12-15 21:12:56 CST (-0500)
I revisited this location today, and there were still recent fruitings. I’ve uploaded a few photos of the bulb, stem and gills.
Additional info…
By: Lux (Myco93)
2010-12-11 15:01:05 CST (-0500)
If it helps at all, this was a revisited site (See link below http://mushroomobserver.org/observer/show_observation/60168). I did take photos of the stem and bulb at that time. Rod had made the suggestion that these were in the gemmata-like group, based on the photos. Whatever they may be, they sure have some beautiful qualities about them.
OK this is an odd one…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2010-12-11 12:02:50 CST (-0500)

certainly the cap color reminds us of franchetii, but the striate margin as well as white veil material (both universal and partial) make me think its something in the gemmata/pantherina group.

It is extremely helpful in these photo IDs to be able to see the entire mushroom, top to base…that would tell us the section at least right off the bat.

Good point.
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-11 07:46:59 CST (-0500)

Good point, Darv. Do you have another suggestion for an ID?


Color is off
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2010-12-10 23:48:58 CST (-0500)

The third photo shows a button emerging with white warts. The universal veil is yellow in California material of A. franchetii.

The striking transistion between different colors
By: R. E. Tulloss (ret)
2010-12-10 23:08:11 CST (-0500)

The striking transistion between different colors is not a usual feature of taxa in Amanita gemmata-like taxa. Take a look at the old observations assigned to A. franchetii sensu Thiers; and you’ll see some of the images are very similar to the ones you posted here. It’s a good idea to get more of the stem (and, in fact, the bulb at the base of the stem) in at least one pic in a set of pics of an Amanita species. Those extra bits of info can help quite a bit with an ID based only on pictures.


Created: 2010-12-10 17:40:08 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2018-12-02 20:50:56 CST (-0500)
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