When: 2008-02-09

Collection location: Sycamore Grove Park, Livermore, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)

Specimen available

Although similar in its blue-green color to the frequently encountered in the 2007/2008 season Clitocybe odora, this beautiful mushroom had brown gills and a brown sporedrop, and no strong scent of licorice.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

64% (2)
Recognized by sight: Bluegreen color, brown gills and sporedrop; also no licorice smell.
90% (2)
Based on microscopic features: See comment.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2008-02-11 16:03:30 CST (-0500)

Peter said that none of the blue Stropharia collections from California that he has looked at have been S. aeruginosa, but I don’t know the distribution, so it is unclear to me if it has ever been documented here (of course, verified using microscopic identification).

S. pseudocyanea does occur in California, though Peter said that everything he’s looked at has been S. caerulea.

Stroph caerulea
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2008-02-11 12:09:59 CST (-0500)

OK, I’m convinced. I checked out a bunch of photos of both sp.; it’s a far better macro match for caerulea than aeruginosa. So much for those simple color IDs!

So, does aeruginosa even occur in CA?

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2008-02-11 10:12:43 CST (-0500)

Do you or Peter have good photos of these fresh collections of aeruginosa cum caerulea? Or was this all done at an herbarium level?

What about S. CA collections of S. aeruginosa (according to Arora, a common mushroom there)? Were they actually caerulea too? If not, why couldn’t we be seeing some of the more southern sp. moving up here, like we are with calyptratoides and molybdites? What are the macro differences between the two species, if any? And how can you determine the micro characteristics from a photo??! The specimen is here for the curious taxonomist…

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2008-02-10 15:37:34 CST (-0500)

Peter is actually calling the blue species of Stropharia we encounter here in California, S. caerulea, based on microscopic comparison of multiple CA collections.