The North American Species of Pholiota

63. Pholiota cubensis Earle, Inf. An. Estac. Centr. Agron. Cuba 1: 242. 1906.

Illustrations: Text figs. 83-84.

Pileus 3-12 cm broad, expanded, scattered or gregarious, dark tan, "tawny" to "cinnamon-brown" in herbarium specimens, dry, floccose-scaly on the disc, margin areolate but not striate. Context yellowish, firm; taste mild but somewhat unpleasant.

Lamellae sinuate with an adnate tooth, dark cinnamon, crowded, 3-7 mm broad.

Stipe 3-6 cm long, 3-10 mm thick, pale yellow, glabrous below, floccose above, terete, solid, firm, base slightly enlarged, with a thick cottony median annulus.

Spores 6-8 x 4-4.5 µ, smooth, apical pore very minute; subelliptic to ovate in face view, in profile somewhat inequilateral (ventral line straight to concave slightly, dorsal line humped to convex), color in KOH bister to snuff brown, in Melzer's reagent paler and more tawny; wall about 0.2 µ thick.

Basidia 15-18 x 4.5-6 µ, 4-spored, short and obese, yellowish in KOH and Melzer's reagent. Pleurocystidia buried in hymenium, 26-35 x 8-12 µ, clavate, clavate-mucronate to ellipsoid, more rarely somewhat fusoid-ventricose, with thin hyaline walls some with slight encrusting material on mid-portion, many with some refractive internal coagulated material rarely consolidated into a distinct body, these connected to hyphae with similar content. Cheilocystidia (the only ones seen were similar to the pleurocystidia, but gill edges were not favorable for study). Caulocystidia 54-66 x 6-10 µ, more or less filamentous to narrowly subclavate, some narrowed to apex, thin-walled, hyaline.

Gill trama of very broad interwoven hyphae yellowish hyaline in KOH, walls thin more or less; subhymenium a thin layer of narrow interwoven non-gelatinous hyphae. Pileus cutis a tangled layer but somewhat oriented into fascicles of thin-walled hyphae with cells 8-20 µ diam., content yellowish in KOH, walls smooth, end cells somewhat cystidioid. Context beneath of greatly enlarged thin-walled hyphae. Clamp connections present. All hyphae inamyloid.

Habit, Habitat, and Distribution: On soil, under a building and in open fields. Cuba and Grenada. Type studied.

Observations: The general aspect of the basidiocarps reminds one somewhat of Agrocybe but the minute scales on the disc are distinctive. The annulus is apparently somewhat like that of P. duroides. Most of the basidiocarps in the type collection at one time became infected an "imperfect." The hyphae of the latter may show rather prominent swellings, and are most numerous along the gills where the end-cells of some might be mistaken for cystidia. When a piece of the pileus was compressed between two sticks of pith for sectioning the pith stained orange from the expressed liquid, but in KOH no pigment pervaded the mount.