The North American Species of Pholiota

84. Pholiota contorta sp. nov.

Illustrations: Text figs. 53-55.

Pileus 3-6 cm latus, convexus, demum depressus, viscidus, sordide ochraceus vel ochraceo-brunneus, squamulosus, glabrescens. Lamellae latae, confertae, adnatae, sordide ochraceae. Stipes 1-6 cm longus, 3-8 mm crassus, subcontortus, fibrillosus, sordide ochraceus. Sporae 5-6 x 4-4.5 µ (7-8.5 x 4.5-5.5 µ). Pleurocystidia ut chrysocystidia. Cheilocystidia 28-42 x 6-10 µ, capitata, ochracea. Specimen typicum in Herb. Univ. Mich. conservatum est; legit prope Cleveland, Ohio, 14 Oct 1948, M. B. Walters n. 169.

Pileus 3-6 cm broad, convex becoming broadly convex, surface viscid, color pale yellow-brown drying dull ochraceous, at first with minute squamules but becoming glabrous, margin slightly fringed at first.

Lamellae broad, thin, close, adnate-seceding, yellowish and drying yellowish, rather glaucous when fresh, edges minutely fimbriate.

Stipe 4-6 cm long, 3-8 mm thick, equal to contorted, some inflated at apex, dingy yellowish, fibrillose from remains of thin veil, as dried with yellow mycelium binding dirt at base.

Spores 5-6 x 4-4.5 µ (7-8.5 x 4.5-5.5 µ), elliptic to ovate in face view, elliptic to obscurely inequilateral in profile; apical pore very inconspicuous; walls relatively thin; color in KOH dingy ochraceous to pale ochraceous tawny, pale tawny in Melzer's reagent.

Basidia 4-spored, 18-23 x 5-6 µ, subcylindric with a broad central constriction when sporulating, hyaline in KOH and in Melzer's reagent. Pleurocystidia 25-36 x 5-11 (14) µ as chrysocystidia buried in the hymenium, ventricose-apiculate to fusoid-ventricose. Cheilocystidia 24-46 x 7-9 µ, resembling those of P. erinaceella but smaller, (capitate and narrowed irregularly to base), yellow in KOH from a homogeneous content, smooth, thin-walled. Caulocystidia 28-42 x 6-10 µ, clavate, fusoid-ventricose, or with a short apical projection, content homogeneous to coagulated and ochraceous as revived in KOH, walls thin and ochraceous in KOH, smooth.

Gill trama subparallel, of smooth non-gelatinous hyphae with very wide cells (some 20 µ or more), walls ochraceous and somewhat refractive in KOH, thin but visible as 2 lines each about 0.25 µ thick; subhymenium of gelatinous narrow hyphae, gelatinization extending to base of basidium. Pileus trama with a gelatinous cutis of encrusted yellowish hyphae 3-5 µ diam., which became rusty brown as they collapsed; hypodermium of wide rusty-brown encrusted hyphae 4-12 µ diam. Context hyphae very wide (20 µ in many), with smooth refractive walls most seen to be double in optical section. All hyphae inamyloid. Clamp connections present.

Habit, Habitat, and Distribution: Gregarious on soil in an old grassy road in a woods, Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 14, 1948. Maurice B. Walters 169, type.

Observations: This species combines the gelatinous subhymenium with cheilocystidia of the P. erinaceella type and a viscid pileus. The basidiocarps remind one of a dingy P. spumosa. The pleurocystidia are easily overlooked. The cheilocystidia separate it at once from P. prolixa and P. californica.