Schweiz. Zeitchr. Pilzk. 17: 14. 1939.
Common Name: none
Cap 4-20 cm broad, convex becoming plane, the disc sometimes depressed, margin incurved when young and faintly striate; surface dry, unpolished, smooth but finely scaled in dry weather, cream to cream-buff, lighter at the margin, in age turning buff-tan; flesh white, moderately thick, odor mild; taste fungal, but unpleasant.
Gills decurrent, close, broad, cream-colored, in age buff-tan.
Stipe 3-7 cm tall, 2.5-4 cm thick, stout, enlarged at the base; surface smooth to finely-scaled, cream-colored when young, buff-tan in age, bruising pale buff-brown at the base where handled; growing from a dense, white mycelium.
Spores 5-7 x 3.5-5 µm, elliptical, ornamented with amyloid warts; spore print white.
Scattered, gregarious to in arcs or rings, mostly under conifers, but occasionally also hardwoods e.g. Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa), Monterey pine (Pinus radiata), coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), and blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus); fruiting from mid to late winter.
Inedible. Though apparently not toxic, it has an unpleasant taste.
Leucopaxillus albissimus is one of the larger mushrooms one is likely to encounter in California. Fruiting bodies are typically about 10 cm in diameter but some grow to 30 cm. Moderate to large size, a dull, cream cap with an incurved margin, decurrent gills and fruiting from a dense, white mycelium make this an easy mushroom to recognize. Leucopaxillus albissimus is unusual in that its fruiting bodies are resistant to decay and thus persist for several weeks in the field.
Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. & Stevens, F.A. (2015). California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.
Peck, C.H. (1874). Descriptions of new species of fungi. Bull. Buffalo Soc. Nat. Sci. 1: 41-72. (Protologue)
Singer, R. & Smith, A.H. (1943). A monograph on the genus Leucopaxillus Boursier. Pap. Mich. Acad. Sci. 28: 85-132.
Singer, R. & Smith, A.H. (1947). Additional notes on the genus Leucopaxillus. Mycologia 39: 725-736.