The North American Species of Pholiota

30. Pholiota discolor (Pk.) Saccardo, Syll. Fung. 5: 744. 1887.

Agaricus discolor Peck, Buffalo Soc. Nat. Sci. Bull. 1: 50. 1873.

Illustrations: Text figs. 42-43.

Pileus subcaespitose, 1-3 cm broad, convex, becoming plane or slightly depressed, hygrophanous, cinnamon-rufous and striatulate on the margin when moist, bright ochraceous yellow when dry, glabrous, thin.

Lamellae adnate or with a decurrent tooth, pallid then pale ferruginous, finally brown, narrow, close. Stipe 2.5-7 cm long, 1.5-3 mm thick, whitish or pallid, fibrillose-striate, equal, hollow. Veil forming a distinct, persistent annulus.

Spores 7-9 x 4-5.5 µ, elliptic to broadly so in face view, slightly inequilateral in profile; smooth; germ pore not evident; very pale yellowish in KOH under microscope.

Basidia 22-26 x 6-7 µ, (2-, 4-spored. Pleurocystidia none; cheilocystidia 45-68 X 5-9 µ, usually long-cylindric, often obscurely to slightly ventricose, more rarely capitate.

Gill trama slightly interwoven, hyphae 4-7 µ broad. Subhymenium not distinctive. Pileus trama interwoven. Cuticle of repent hyphae, bearing erect, scattered or clustered colorless hyphae, the terminal elements as ventricose or subclavate pileocystidia, 25-95 x 10-13 µ. Caulocystidia absent, but at times the terminal cells of the more or less colorless hyphae are cystidioid and project outward. Clamp connections present.

Habit, Habitat, and Distribution: On wood, New York, September. Type studied.

Observations: In his original description, Peck described the pileus as viscid. We found the type devoid of any gelatinous hyphae on the pileus and therefore regard the species as not viscid. But this conclusion needs to be reaffirmed from an examination of fresh material, as Peck was usually right on such matters. However, Peck himself confused this species with Galerina autumnalis, a species with distinctly ornamented spores, and this concept (of a species with rough spores) was continued for many years in the North American literature.

Dennis (1953) reported on this species, but he described it as having spores with an apical germpore and cheilocystidia 20-30 X 7 µ. These features do not check with our study of the type.