When: 2007-12-29

Collection location: Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Douglas Smith (douglas)

Specimen available

Ok, this one, I’ve had a long history with this one now, and its escaped clear id, because – it does not have clamp connections. Which is just the craziest character for id, thanks to Smith and Singer. Mostly because for most mushrooms, in most places – you aren’t going to see clamp connections. But if the ‘shroom has clamps, the place you are going to see them is in the small outer fibrous hyphae, that can grow without restriction. In the Galerina now I’ve found the place to be sure is in the fibrous hyphae coating the base of the stipe. There in the small free hyphae, if there are clamps they will be there for every cell wall. In these they are not there for these hyphae. This puts these into section Tubariopsis (which makes sense I guess, since these guy look a bit like Tubaria.)

But to make matters worse, for these, the cell septum in the hyphae at the top of the stipe, tend to be at an angle to the hyphae growth, and at the edges of the angled septum, the cell walls tend to bulge outward. With the cell wall at an angle, and the hyphae bulging at the ends, this can look like clamps. But after looking at quite a few of these, in comparison to other Galerinas, it is not.

Anyway, no clamps here, fine, once you decide on that, then the id falls out in the Smith and Singer monograph of Galerina, and these are G. heterocystis.

The first micro-shot is of the cheilocysitida on the non-fertile gill edge. Here they are capitate (with little round ends), or even tibiiform (with long narrow necks), but a few of the cystidia are acute. There are no pleurocystidia seen (figuring out how to not see those is another story too…). This shot is at 400x of a gill edge in Meltzer’s. Another nifty fact here is that the spores are non-dextrinoid, or very weakly dextrinoid when mature and in mass. This is different than other sections of Galerina where mostly the spores are strongly dextrinoid. This is probably a better character for this section, than lack of clamp connections.

The second micro-shot is of the caulocystidia on the stipe apex, at 400x in KOH. I just include this because it is a kinda neat photo. Also, caulocystidia can be seen the whole length, to the base of the stipe.

The third micro-shot is of the spores from the stipe apex in KOH at 1000×. Here the spores are ellipsoid, and sub-pointed, where other section of Galerina the spores are usually pointed. Also here the spores are finely warted/wrinkled, and over the whole surface. There is no plage seen. This spore shape would also be a good way to separate this section, instead of the lack of clamp connections.

5/14/2008 -

Updating this to G. clavata. I still need to go back to the G. clavata stuff I’ve looked at and verify that they are 4-spored basidia, to make sure they are not G. subclavata. They are not G. heterocystis sensu. Smith and Singer, since the cystidia and spores don’t quite agree there, but agree well with G. clavata (which for some reason is not in Smith and Singer). See the notes on the species for more info there.

Species Lists


Proposed Names

86% (1)
Based on microscopic features: Capitate cystidia, non-dextrinoid spores, spores large, and lightly warted.

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


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