When: 2010-12-26

Collection location: Mission De Alcala, San Diego, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Christian (Christian Schwarz)

Specimen available

Spores white.
On small woody, shed stems of Echium in deep, moist leaf duff of the same plant.

Odor strongly farinaceous.

Species Lists


Copyright © 2011 Christian F. Schwarz
Copyright © 2011 Christian F. Schwarz
Copyright © 2011 Christian F. Schwarz
Copyright © 2010 Christian F. Schwarz
Copyright © 2010 Christian F. Schwarz
Copyright © 2010 Christian F. Schwarz
Copyright © 2010 Christian F. Schwarz
Copyright © 2010 Christian F. Schwarz

Proposed Names

-22% (4)
Recognized by sight
-52% (4)
Recognized by sight
-96% (4)
Recognized by sight
63% (3)
Recognized by sight: ITS sequence a 94% match for O. lachnopus

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Well, for starters
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2017-09-30 11:52:07 PDT (-0700)


what more does one need
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2017-09-19 08:27:29 PDT (-0700)

than acetocarmine and heat?

Clamps are OK for Pleurocollybia.
By: Jacob Kalichman (Pulk)
2017-09-18 19:50:17 PDT (-0700)
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2017-09-18 18:38:43 PDT (-0700)

I originally identified it as Pleurocollybia, but the sequence result in combination with Irene’s opinion led me to label it with Ossicaulis.
I can’t do siderophilous-granule assays myself, and I can’t figure out if the presence of clamps are relevant or not for deciding for or against Pleurocollybia

Why not Pleurocollybia?!
By: Jacob Kalichman (Pulk)
2017-09-18 18:07:39 PDT (-0700)

Everything fits.

P. imbricata at least has a farinaceous odor.
obs 266213, even more Pleurocollybia-like and featuring the anise odor, was also found near San Diego.

DNA putting it in the Lyophyllaceae seems fine; “Pleurocollybia cremea” was moved to Gerhardtia.

these were the days…
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2017-06-13 21:53:31 PDT (-0700)
Very interesting.
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-11-16 16:11:47 PST (-0800)

The suggestion seems very plausible. I will hit the books and study Ossicaulis. Actually, going back in history, I must have seen this species many times. Hell, yesterday here in Bombai I saw something very similar… I need to go back and collect…

Irene is a doll, we know that.


Notice this observation:
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-11-16 14:54:54 PST (-0800)

observation 82683

Which just goes to show… we should listen to Irene the first time…

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-13 19:19:24 PDT (-0700)

avg L=4.8, W=3.6, Q=1.3
Min L=4.1, W=3.0, Q=1.2
Max L=6.3, W=4.0, Q=1.6

Often clumped in groups of four.

Harmaja (2003), noted that it was characteristic of a significant proportion of the spores of Clitocybe to adhere in tetrads, so I suppose that supports Clitocybe as the genus.

Good man
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-05-13 16:51:40 PDT (-0700)

Nicely done Christian – the willingness to consider errors and the strength to admit them even in higher profile cases only grows your stature in my eyes. We all make errors, but the recovery is key. Not all do well in error recovery – even some older luminaries throw tantrums when you point out their mistakes and this is when they become dangerous to science. But in my eyes you stand high, you must feel not bad about mixed collections – they’re part of life, silly, unpleasant, but unavoidable. I have some funny stories from my own experience – doing microscopy on 25 fruitbodies the other day to select the three that do not belong comes to mind… Anyway, you’re a good kid (probably a man by now) and such deserves to be smug all he wants.


Great ideas!
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-13 16:22:25 PDT (-0700)

Sounds extremely fun.

blunder or not
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-05-13 16:14:01 PDT (-0700)

i think this is a brilliant little mental exercise. the site is perfectly structured for it. reminds of an idea of my own to conduct a kind of taxonomic decathlon utilizing all the senses of the contestants.


-as done in this obs. by revealing a select few macro or micro shots.

-all stand at a predetermined distance from a specimen and must identify it from afar based both on what they can see of the specimen and its surroundings.

-IDed from a moving vehicle (ocular mycopolo!)


-blindfolded, a specimen or decoy is waved under the nose to by IDed only by olfactory divination.

hearing/mind’s eye:

-ID by a description read aloud, delivered plainly or in rhyme or riddle, Latin or English.


-with noses clothespinned, a specimen or decoy inside a glove box is IDed by feel.


-a nibble, a swish, a spit and a guess!

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-13 15:11:53 PDT (-0700)

Well, this is embarassing…

I rechecked the specimen for a fourth time – it is definitely the same one as in the observation, but there is one cap (the one from which I sampled) that is darker colored and has a longer stipe.

I went and checked my records, and found that the day after I made this collection, I found an interesting Melanoleuca… now things start to look bad.

Next, I found a picture that I fortuitously happened to take of my dehydrator tray that day – the Melanoleuca is placed IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT to the mushrooms in this observation… a smoking gun.

One of the caps accidentally made it into this collection! My bad.

Many thanks to Dimitar who urged me to examine the specimen again. This kind of stringency prevents propagating errors in the already muddy taxonomic puddle.

It is somewhat comforting to know that our feelings were right – there is pretty much no way this could be a Melanoleuca.

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-13 11:52:37 PDT (-0700)

It was hard for me to think of all the reasons why this doesn’t look like Melanoleuca. I will go take a photo of the dry material today.

and notched gills, stipe shape…
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-05-13 11:39:35 PDT (-0700)

Most Melanoleuca develop notched gills at maturity. They also have a distinct stipe shape, slightly twisted at times, narrower at the bottom (quite often).

If I see a case like that of so many things mismatching, which happens occasionally when I mix collections, I go and triple check the material and inspect every piece of the desiccata visually to be absolutely certain. I know this was addressed already, but can’t resist mentioning it again. A photo of that dry material would yield high smug readings.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2011-05-13 10:55:53 PDT (-0700)

I haven’t heard of any Melanoleuca with a strongly farinaceous odor. And what about that fuzzy stem..?

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-13 08:23:12 PDT (-0700)

is usually terrestrial (that’s probably the most surprising thing), not usually growing in clusters like this, usually has a stipe taller than the width of the cap, and often has a notably circular cap. Weaker characters are that the fruitbodies are usually larger, and often with really contrasting cap and gills colors.

amateur hour
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-05-12 21:07:52 PDT (-0700)

for those of us residing somewhere beneath the heavyweights on the taxonomist totem pole (yet most certainly GAS, to borrow an acronym), break it down for us. what makes this such a stumper?

There Noah goes again.
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-12 17:22:37 PDT (-0700)

Haters gonna hate.

Come on Christian
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2011-05-12 17:04:15 PDT (-0700)

you were more smug than The DV after she was shown an Agaricus crocodilinus

That’s how this game is played
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-12 16:23:49 PDT (-0700)

Noah, you shouldn’t project smugness on me for your lack of persistence.
I did give you clues, and you got close.

A game in which our myco-egos are, by turns, justly inflated and summarily squashed.

By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2011-05-12 16:11:59 PDT (-0700)

If you were chatting with Christian on Facebook at the time and had run through every genus that was or had been in Clitocybe and he was being smug because he knew something I didn’t and going “No, no NO” over and over again whenever I guessed something I told him WGAS and moved on…

I checked the speciment TWICE
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-12 08:13:03 PDT (-0700)

because I was so surprised…

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2011-05-11 23:50:59 PDT (-0700)

I would have guessed Ossicaulis, and can’t help thinking about the possibility of mixed up collections..

Very nice!
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-05-11 23:10:52 PDT (-0700)

Very nice! The thought passed through my mind for about one millisecond, but I purged it away on account of that hairy stipe and straight lignicolous habit. No, Melanoleuca would not be my guess. But the microscopy is absolutely definitive. Nice quiz, give us more. I will offer some too.

Well, that is what the scope is for…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2011-05-11 22:57:01 PDT (-0700)

That is what the scope is for… to help get to genus. But 6cm… that is huge! Hardly small…

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-11 22:13:04 PDT (-0700)

Melanoleuca really surprised me… I even rechecked to make sure I was looking at the right specimen… These were rather small (6 cm across at the very largest), and on herbaceous debris. But I guess they sort of look like that genus…

By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2011-05-11 21:47:01 PDT (-0700)

give a shit, and can’t wait to hear.

Reminds me of Clitocybe?
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2011-05-11 21:35:38 PDT (-0700)

Superficially, without looking into any microscopy, it reminds me of Clitocybe. In fact Clitocybe candicans is fairly similar… The pinkish gills and ligniculous habit remind me of C. salmonilamella. But I’ve no idea what you’re going to pull from under your sleeve.


By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-11 21:26:12 PDT (-0700)

After more consideration, I have to do more research before saying anything about this.

The microscopy points unambiguously to a well-known white-spored genus, but I think this thing
might be weirder than I am giving it credit for… some really obscure genus or an undescribed genus.

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-11 20:11:59 PDT (-0700)

Mushroom nerds.
Dimitar proposed this awhile ago – test people’s intuition while withholding information… This is a really hard one to start with, but I’m inviting people to have a go.

By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2011-05-11 20:07:06 PDT (-0700)

who gives a shit

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-11 20:04:43 PDT (-0700)

Not yet! The goal is to test intuition!

Let’s see them
By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2011-05-11 19:54:30 PDT (-0700)

Post the microphotos!

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2011-05-11 19:47:44 PDT (-0700)

Okay, heavyweights. Let’s hear your guesses on this one.
I did microscopy today and was very surprised by the results…