Observation 6783: Pluteus sect. Pluteus

When: 2008-02-05

Collection location: Mountain View, Santa Clara Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

Specimen available

Large brown fleshy ’shrooms, found on the side of the sidewalk in Mountain View, growing from the base of a stump.

The feel of the flesh is like other Pluteus species, if that makes sense. The spore print from one cap over night is pinkish brown, which makes it most probably Pluteus. The gills are mostly free…

Looking in the notes in Arora on other Pluteus species he comments on a large fleshy brown species, P. magnus. So, I am calling these they.

3/3/2008 – Getting back to these, and getting them under the scope. The first micro-shot here is 400x in Meltzer’s, and I think shows cheilosytidia. But the gill was laid face down, and it curled when getting revived in Ethanol, there is a chance these are pleurocystidia on a curved under edge. There were lots of pleurocystidia on the gill face.

But the main point here is that the cystidia do not show “hooks” on the end, and only rare sub-branches and points. Most are just simply pointed. This removes these from P. cervinus or P. pouzarianus contention, and is more consistant with P. magnus. Still not completely sure, and need to look a little more perhaps.


Proposed Names

74% (3)
Used references: From comments in other Pluteus species in Arora.
-22% (3)
Recognized by sight
Used references
76% (1)
Recognized by sight

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Need more info
By: Michael Wood (mykoweb)
2008-02-15 13:59:05 CST (-0500)

I cannot ID these from the photos. More information is needed. It would be very useful to know what kind of stump they were growing on (P. magnus on hardwood, P. pouzarianus on coniferous wood).

I could only find two description in the literature for Plutues magnus:
Singer, R. (1956). Contributions Towards a Monograph of the Genus Pluteus. Transactions of the British Mycological Society 39, 145-232.
Banerjee, P. & Sundberg, W.J. (1995). The Genus Pluteus Section Pluteus (Pluteaceae, Agaricales) in the Midwestern United States. Mycotaxon 53, 189-246.
I photo copyed these descriptions…you can find them at:

A description of P. pouzarianus by Else Vellinga can be found in
Bas, C., Kyper, Th. W., Noordeloos, M. E. & Vellinga, E. C. (1990). Flora Agaricina Neerlandica — Critical monographs on the families of agarics and boleti occuring in the Netherlands. Volume 2. Pluteaceae, Tricholomataceae. A. A. Balkema: Rotterdam, Netherlands. 137p.

and online at:

A little microscopy should resolve this question.

By: Erin Page Blanchard (CureCat)
2008-02-15 10:46:40 CST (-0500)

Yeeeaaah, these Pluteus are pretty distinct. They are often misidentified as P. cervinus, though the darker (often gray) and wrinkled pileus when young, along with typically slightly larger stature, and an ornate stipe with small dark fibrils, make this species pretty recognizable.
I knew they were different from P. cervinus for quite some time, but did not have a species ID, until Mike recently added P. pouzarianus to his species list on MykoWeb!

By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2008-02-15 08:54:49 CST (-0500)

Not just in Mountain View, but in the mountains, too…we collected this species at Chapman Creek (West of Yuba Pass) at a joint BAMS/SFSU foray a couple of Octobers ago.

Send to Else?
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2008-02-15 00:35:01 CST (-0500)

Else Vellinga has been looking at California Pluteus. She might be interesting in these. Certainly worth dropping her a note.