Hyménomyc. Eur.: 97. 1887.
Common Name: none
Synonym: Clitocybe proxima Boud.; Laccaria laccata var. proxima (Boud.) Maire
Cap 20-45 (60) mm broad, convex, becoming plano-convex, often with a depressed disc; margin decurved, level to raised, occasionally wavy, when dry sometimes obscurely translucent striate; surface finely fibrillose-squamulose, hygrophanous, orange brown, fading to pale peach or buff; context thin, approximately 1 mm thick, pinkish-cream, unchanging; odor not distinctive; taste unpleasant, slightly bitter, chemical-like.
Gills adnate to shallowly notched with a decurrent tooth, close to subdistant, relatively broad, 5-8 (10) mm in width, edges even, pale pink in youth, flesh pink in age; lamellulae in up to three series.
Stipe 30-80 (90) x 4-8 mm in width, slender, occasionally with a basal bend, equal, round, pliant, with a hollow central core; surface longitudinally striate, sometimes twisted striate, colored like the cap or darker, streaked with paler fibrils; whitish mycelium at the base; partial veil absent.
Spores 8-10.5 (11) x 7-8 µm, broadly ellipsoid, densely ornamented with short < 1 micron spines; hilar appendage conspicuous, inamyloid; spores white deposit.
Scattered, in small groups or clusters, growing in litter, grass, and mosses under pines, occasionally with other conifers; fruiting from late fall to mid-winter; fairly common.
Unknown; an unpleasant taste is a deterrent.
Laccaria proxima is a pine-dwelling species recognized by an orange brown, finely fibrillose-squamulose cap that fades to lighter shades, pinkish gills, a longitudinally striate stipe that is concolorous or darker than the cap, and whitish mycelium at the stipe base. It should be compared with three other conifer inhabiting Laccarias: L. amethysteo-occidentalis, L. bicolor, and L. noblis. Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis is easily distinguished when fresh by a violaceus brown cap, violaceus gills, and lilac-colored mycelium at the base of the stipe. Laccaria bicolor is similar to L. amethysteo-occidentalis with vinaceous purple gills and lilac colored mycelium (when fresh) at the base of the stipe, but the unexposed cap is pinkish brown, not purple brown. Laccaria nobilis is a large, robust species found mostly from Mendocino county northward associated with Sitka spruce. It has a distinctly scaly reddish brown to orange brown cap, a scaly, concolorous, subclavate stipe and when fresh, lilac mycelium at the base of the stipe. Two other Laccarias worthy of note are L. fraterna and L. laccata var. pallidifolia. Laccaria fraterna, an introduced species associated with Eucalyptus and related species, is recognized by its diminutive size, a reddish brown cap and two spored basidia. Laccaria laccata var. pallidifolia, common in the San Francisco Bay Area under oaks, occasionally with pines, is recognized by an orange brown, soon buff colored cap, pinkish flesh colored gills, and a finely striate stipe with whitish mycelium at the base. Microscopically its spores are subglobose with relatively long spines.
Mueller, G.M. (1967). Designation of epitypes for Laccaria proxima and Laccaria tortilis (Agaricales). Mycotaxon 61: 205-208.
Mueller, G.M. (1992). Systematics of Laccaria (Agaricales) in the Continental United States and Canada, with Discussions on Extralimital Taxa and Descriptions of Extant Taxa. Field Museum of Natural History: Chicago, IL. 192 p.
Noordeloos, M.E., Kuyper, T.W. & Vellinga, E.C. (2001). Flora Agaricina Neerlandica—Critical monographs on the families of agarics and boleti occurring in the Netherlands. Volume 5. Agaricaceae. A. A. Balkema: Lisse, Netherlands. 169 p.
Osmundson, T.W., Cripps, C.L. & Mueller, G.M. (2005). Morphological and molecular systematics of Rocky Mountain alpine Laccaria. Mycologia 97(5): 949-972.