When: 2012-04-13

Collection location: Snow Peak, Lacomb, Linn Co., Oregon, USA [Click for map]

Who: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)

No specimen available


spores mounted in water @ 1600x

Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight: olive brown outer surface, olive brown gleba. Soft, so probably old.
8% (5)
Recognized by sight
Used references: http://www.mykoweb.com/...
31% (4)
Recognized by sight: reddish brown tint to outer surface. White rhizomorphs.

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

= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
Thanks, Irene.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-19 22:30:42 CST (+0800)

Just to be sure, the major difference between L. umbrinum and L. nigrescens is the brassy/golden endoperidium for L. umbrinum vs. a whitish endoperidium for nigrescens? I can certainly tell that easily.

It’s a widespread misunderstanding
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-04-19 15:51:37 CST (+0800)

in North America about Lycoperdon nigrescens. You do seem to have it in Oregon, but this is not it. Most of the “nigrescens” here on MO are something else. Several of them are one or another form of umbrinum (a handful of varieties have been described).
What I know as nigrescens can be seen here:

I was mistaken about the original description of umbrinum, the true original is very short and doesn’t tell much. In MycoBank (so darned slow now, with the new layout), there’s a blurry picture of Persoon’s umbrinum.
But you can see the original here, and zoom in to see better details:

Time to eat crow.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-19 02:59:50 CST (+0800)

After Irene’s comment, I blew the sectioned photo up to large, and can now see the vertically-oriented pseudocolumella with blue tints. Can also see what appear to be bluing coloration, both at the base of the pseudocolumella and along the inner peridium where butterflied. No mention of blueing of either pseudocolumella, nor peridium, nor “subgleba” or “sterile base.” Seems odd not to have that feature noted in Matchmaker’s description.

Something still odd here. Either my citations have been wrong, or original description of L. umbrinum varies greatly: don’t know which is which yet.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-04-18 15:22:02 CST (+0800)

It’s a very good photo here with a cross section, where I clearly see both a pseudocolumella (central, vertical capillitium) and the alveolate subgleba (in original description with olive, grey-brown or grey-lilac colour at maturity).

A perfect match with Matchmaker’s umbrinum then?

No columella visible.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-18 07:36:57 CST (+0800)

According to Matchmaker, L. umbrinum “usually” has a columella; . I see no columella present in the largest closeups I can get of the sectioned sporocarp. Breitenbach also notes a “columella”; others call it a “pseudocolumella”. Compare this observation to Truncocolumella citrina, which nearly always has a columella. (See http://www.natruffling.org/trci.htm) Smith, Smith & Weber defines columella as “In the tuber-like Basidiomycotina the sterile tissue that penetrates the gleba and is enclosed by the peridium (Fig. 3 i): see also stipe-columella)”

Matchmaker also states the sterile base should be white and have “lacunae” or chambers. I see no chambers in the base.

Still doesn’t sound like L. umbrinum to me.

My source on Lycoperdon umbrinum
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-18 03:52:34 CST (+0800)

I am posting the information that my Matchmaker software lists for this species.

LATIN NAME Lycoperdon umbrinum Pers. Syn. meth. fung.: 147. 1801
NOTES features include white to yellowish or brownish pear-shaped fruitbody that is often grooved or pleated in lower part, the outer layer with scurfy or granular coating mixed with very slender short dark brown spines that are relatively persistent or finally breaking up into concentric zones on base or areolate patches [cracked like dried mud] over the top, inner layer yellowish to dull brown when old, smooth (not reticulate), with pore at top, spore mass cottony, olive-yellow to yellow-brown or olive-brown, confined to upper third of interior, the lower part a sterile base that is white to violaceous-medium gray, small rhizomorphs, and growth under conifers or occasionally on wood; reported from WA, OR, MT, (Ramsey), New York Botanical Garden herbarium has collections from WA (collected by J.M. Grant), OR (det. by C.T. Rogerson and looked at by V. Demoulin), ID (determined by V. Demoulin), ON, PQ, CA, CO, CT, LA, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, TX (NYBG), University of British Columbia has S. Redhead collections from BC and AB; reported from AB (Schalkwijk-Barendsen), also found in Europe (including Switzerland) and Asia (Breitenbach)
OUTER SURFACE 3-6(8)cm across, spherical, depressed and tuberous or pear-shaped, with somewhat stem-like base; outer layer “with short, dark brown spines which often lean together at the tips to form pyramids, surface between them smooth to finely verrucose and brown”, (Breitenbach), 2.5-5cm broad, 3-8cm high, pyriform [pear-shaped], tapering or sometimes almost spherical; often sulcate [grooved] to plicate [pleated] in lower part; white to yellowish; “scurfy or granulose coating mixed with very slender short spines which are relatively persistent” or finally breaking up into concentric zones on base or areolate patches [cracked like dried mud] over the top, (Ramsey), at first the spines arranged in groups that converge at the top and then usually separate (Lincoff(1))
INNER LAYER “endoperidium whitish to yellowish and translucent, entire endoperidium smooth and ocher-yellow after the spines fall off”; forming a pore at the top, (Breitenbach), spore sac yellowish to dull brown when old; smooth; with apical pore, (Ramsey), opens at the top into a small hole (Lincoff(1))
SPORE MASS “olive-yellow to yellow-brown and usually with a distinct columella”, (Breitenbach), “medium brown to deep brown”, “showing evidence of pseudocolumella”, “cottony, confined to upper third of interior”, (Ramsey)
STEM base often constricted and folded and embedded in the ground; sterile base white inside, large-chambered, (Breitenbach), base 1-4cm across; sterile base “occupying entire tapered base and extending up sides to widest part”, “fusing into fertile tissue without demarcation”, violaceous medium gray, lacunae [cavities] open, irregular, less than 0.1cm; rhizomorphs present but small, (Ramsey)
ODOR mild to slightly unpleasant (Miller)
TASTE mild (Miller)
EDIBILITY fairly mediocre (Lincoff(1))
HABITAT single to gregarious or subcespitose [somewhat tufted] on leaf mold under conifers, occasionally on wood, September to November, (Ramsey), mainly in dry parts of hardwood or coniferous woods (Lincoff(1)), usually gregarious, in montane spruce forests on soil among needle litter, grasses, and herbs, as well as on burned ground, commonly in clearcuts; summer to fall, (Breitenbach)
SPORE DEPOSIT yellow-brown (Breitenbach)
MICROSCOPIC spores 4.5-5.5 × 4.5-5.5 microns, round, with distinct fine warts, yellow, with short pedicel, without broken pedicels lying free; basidia 2-spored, 10-15 × 4.5-7 microns, short-clavate, without basal clamp connection; capillitial threads 2.5-6 microns wide, brownish, in parts knotty-sinuous, +/- thick-walled, with numerous pores, (Breitenbach), spores 4-5(5.5) x 4-5(5.5) microns in diameter including spines, round with a small pedicel, minutely spiny at a magnification of 950x with some appearing smooth, almost colored as capillitium; capillitium 3.5-5(6.5) microns wide, yellow-brown with walls up to 0.8(1.6) microns thick, “pitted, branched, occasionally septate, irregular thickenings along the edge, tapering, sinuous in the thinner portions”, (Bowerman)
NAME ORIGIN means “dark brown” (Schalkwijk-Barendsen), means “dark-colored” (Lincoff(1))
SIMILAR Lycoperdon molle also has brownish spines even when young, but spores are red-brown in mass, spores are coarsely verrucose, there are abundant broken pedicels, and it occurs principally under hardwoods, (Breitenbach for Switzerland); Lycoperdon nigrescens also has brownish spines when young but has distinct reticulate pattern on inner layer after spines fall off and spores are almost smooth to slightly verrucose, (Breitenbach)
SOURCES Breitenbach(2), Ramsey(1), Miller(14), Lincoff(1), Bowerman(1), Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1), NYBG (accessed Sep. 24, 2004)
FAMILY Agaricaceae, Order Agaricales, Class Agaricomycetes, Phylum Basidiomycota

These here…
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2012-04-18 03:42:10 CST (+0800)

It looks like these here don’t have a patterned reticulation on the surface, which argues for L. umbrinum. At least according to the Italian book.

Well -
By: Douglas Smith (douglas)
2012-04-18 03:40:25 CST (+0800)

They are well described in the book: “Gasteromiceti epigei”, Mario Sarasini. An Italian book on gasteriod fungus in Europe from 2005. It is my favorite source for this stuff. There is a key on Lycoperdon, and it splits up at the front with “Endoperidio generally reticulated after losing spines”, or not reticulated after losing spines. L. nigrescens then is in the first half, and it has spines, deep brown, and the spines are in a reticulated pattern on the surface.

L. umbrinum is then in the second half, with well spaced thin spines and not mixed with granules, and deep brown.

I think the number of obs. from down here in the bay area is from Mike Wood and Stephanie Jarvis strongly suggesting that L. umbrinum is what we see down here. I think this strong suggestion doesn’t exist outside of here, and the id’s seem more mixed from other areas.

According to MycoBank
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-18 01:49:41 CST (+0800)

spore print should be yellow-brown. If spores can be obtained in mass.

Just tried researching L. umbrinum, and didn’t find much that could be considered definitive. Not even mentioned in Smith, Smith and Weber. While it is known from California near SF, it is mostly unknown further north, with the possible exception of extreme northern CA.

L. nigrescens is the most common collection from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. L. nigrescens was formerly known as L. foetidum, a primary characteristic of which is the foetid (rank) odor. There is no mention of any odor associated with this collection; certainly not any foetid odor.

A single photo at MycoBank also suggests the gleba should be much more yellow. Original collection of L. umbrinum from Persoon in England. Said to be scattered across much of Europe, and several (7-9) possible forms or variations of it. Also said to be associated more with hardwoods.

Many collections identified as L. umbrinum have since been reclassified as either L. molle or L. nigrescens.

The location (Snow Peak near Lacomb, Linn County, Oregon) would seem to be several hundred miles outside the range of L. umbrinum. Location by itself is not conclusive. On Peterson’s Butte near Lebanon is growing Holly cherry, which should not be found outside of the Sierras in CA, with the northern-most collection being around Mt. Shasta.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-04-17 16:39:37 CST (+0800)

there aren’t many trustworthy pictures and descriptions of umbrinum and nigrescens on the web to compare with.

Here’s at least one umbrinum:
there seems to be different forms of umbrinum, possibly separate species..

and one nigrescens:
Non-original description (as Lycoperdon perlatum f. nigrescens):

Butterflied. Yes. Makes perfect sense.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-17 14:31:12 CST (+0800)

Thank you for clarifying. I thought that might have been what you did, but needed to be sure. Was trying to estimate the size of the sporocarp, which seemed about twice as wide as it should have been for guidelines under Smith, Smith and Weber. Hoped that was the case.

Not twins
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-17 06:59:47 CST (+0800)

I cut this in half but left one side attached, so it’s butterflied.

Cross-section of specimen near bottom
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-17 06:44:22 CST (+0800)

appears to be two sporocarps which have grown together and share a common sterile wall: Siamese twins? Otherwise the description in Smith, Smith and Weber matches completely IMO. A more powerful microscope might have picked up the minute cilia on the spores, which should be to 1 micron high.

I think you’ve posted everything, Britney.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-17 06:38:55 CST (+0800)

Looks like L. nigrescens to me. Here’s my description of L. foetidum in Smith, Smith and Weber’s How to Know the Non-Gilled Mushrooms: "Fruiting body 1-3 cm broad, 2-3.5cm high, pear-shaped to globose; sterile base well-developed, chambers bvious; exoperidial spines very fine and pinted, densely spaced over upper part and surrounded by granular mateiral; endoperidium smooth in age, papery, opening by a pore, graying tan in color and with a slight yellow tone; gleba dull cinnamon (snuff brown to sepia); spores 4-5 microns, minutely echinulate; capillitial threads 4-6 microns wide, branches narrower (1.5-2.5 microns near the tips), undulating to crooked.
“On duff and debris in dense conifer forests, Pacific Coast region of the United States and Canada, common at times. This species has also been known under the name L. nigrescens.”

By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-17 05:52:38 CST (+0800)

I’ve posted the spores.
What else should I be looking at?

I’ll wait to vote until microscopy
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-17 05:44:19 CST (+0800)

but I think bloodworm’s got this one. At this stage of development should have an extremely rank odor as well (= L. foetidum, which lasts and lasts and…).

We do get a lot of L. nigrescens up here, especially when you’re searching for L. pyriforme.

White rhizomorphs
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-17 05:25:25 CST (+0800)
Lycoperdon umbrinum has them, according to mykoweb.


Fruiting body 2.0-4.0 (5.0) cm tall, 2.0-3.0 cm broad, pear-shaped to turbinate, gradually to abruptly tapered below to a well developed pseudostipe, the latter attached to the substrate by thin, white rhizomorphs; exoperidium a mixture of dark-brown to blackish-brown, short spines, < 1 mm in height, typically grouped and united at the tips, plus minute warts, in age sloughing away from the apex; endoperidium before maturation visible between the spines, cream-yellow, to brassy-yellow, paper-thin; gleba white at first, becoming yellowish-olive, at maturity brown to olive-brown; subgleba alveolate, buff-brown to ochre-brown with lilac tints; odor and taste not determined…"


Microscopy to follow
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-17 04:38:27 CST (+0800)
I’m working on it.
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-17 03:51:34 CST (+0800)

sorry, kid, taxes, storms.
I don’t know if I’m coming or going.
I will update.

Please post photo of attachment/base.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-04-17 03:41:32 CST (+0800)

I hesitate to say more before seeing more.

I have this.
By: Britney Ramsey (Riverdweller)
2012-04-17 00:21:55 CST (+0800)

The outer skin is dark red-brown-black and is very thin. Peels away to reveal a straw colored layer. Interior is olive brown.
I will post more photos when I can get to it.

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2012-04-16 23:52:50 CST (+0800)

That is incredibly dark.