The North American Species of Pholiota
12. Pholiota erinaceella (Pk.) Peck, N.Y. State Mus. Bull. 122: 152. 1908.
Agaricus detersibilis Peck, N. Y. State Mus. Ann. Rept. 28:49. 1876.
Agaricus erinaceellus Peck, N. Y. State Mus. Ann. Rept. 30: 70. 1878.
Phaeomarasmius erinaceellus (Peck) Singer, Lilloa 22: 577. 1951.
Pileus 1-3 (4) cm broad, obtusely conic to convex expanding to broadly convex or nearly plane, rarely with a slight obtuse umbo; surface dry and granular-squamulose with tufted squamules soon breaking into a powder, margin for a short time appendiculate with veil fragments; color evenly dark rusty brown ("auburn") or "Brussel's brown" or "Mars brown"), in age the ochraceous ground color showing to give a paler yellow-brown effect. Context olive-yellowish fading to dingy buff; thin midway to margin; with FeSO4 olive, with KOH, dark red-brown; odor slight; taste metallic to bitterish.
Lamellae pallid to pale cinnamon-buff, becoming pale ochraceous tawny or finally dull tawny, broad, adnexed at maturity crowded, edges crenulate.
Stipe 3-4 (6) cm long, 2.5-4 mm thick, equal, stuffed becoming hollow, coated with granules and squamules like those on pileus, apical region above veil line pallid and pruinose, downward slowly glabrescent as veil remnants disappear; annulus merely a zone of fibrils to rarely submembranous.
Spore deposit pale dingy cinnamon; spores 6-8 (9) x 4-4.5 µ, smooth, wall slightly thickened (about 0.25 µ), dingy cinnamon as revived in KOH, in Melzer's reagent more ochraceous, suboblong to elliptic in face view, slightly bean-shaped in profile, no apical pore present as seen under an ordinary oil immersion lens.
Basidia 4-spored, 18-23 x 5-6 µ, narrowly clavate, yellow in KOH and also in Melzer's reagent. Pleurocystidia none. Cheilocystidia abundant (40) 50-115 x 3.5-6 x 9-16 µ, cylindric to flexuous with an apical capitellum, thin-walled, smooth, content hyaline or ochraceous, rarely narrowly clavate. Caulocystidia present over apical region of stipe and shaped like the cheilocystidia or more of them narrowly clavate, measuring up to 120 µ long and many with slightly thickened ochraceous-tawny walls in the lower half as revived in KOH, smooth or with some debris adhering.
Pileus cutis of chains of inflated to subglobose cells 18-36 x 12-20 µ and readily disarticulating, with rusty cinnamon walls in KOH and rather heavy patches of rusty cinnamon incrustation, in Melzer's the walls pale colored and the incrusting material inconspicuous. Hyphae of content floccose and interwoven, yellowish to hyaline in Melzer's or KOH. Clamp connections present. All hyphae inamyloid.
Habit, Habitat, and Distribution: Solitary to gregarious on rotting hardwood logs, northern United States and Canada, particularly abundant in old hardwood slashings late in the summer or early fall; Overholts reported it from Missouri.
Observations: The large capitate to subcapitate cheilocystidia, the more or less isodiametric cells of the pileus epicutis which soon disarticulate, and the even colors all make this one of our most distinctive species. Pholiota muricata is said to differ in having distinctly yellow gills when young. This is not the color in the material we have seen of Peck's species. In veil characters and cheilocystidia, however, the two should appear very similar. It is possible that P. muricata and P. erinaceella have been confused in the Michigan flora as Singer (1955) describes P. erinaceella as having yellowish gills. Smith confirmed this identification. At that time a species more like P. granulosa was passing under the name P. muricata in the United States.
Material Examined: MICHIGAN: Harding 109; Shaffer 2208; Smith 33-788, 21770, 25869, 33222, 33229, 37177, 39112, 39458, 41667, 41760, 41769, 41809, 41998, 49691, 49928, 50474, 57637, 57985, 61340, 66989, 67154, 67028, 73029; Thiers 704. MARYLAND: Smith 73064. NEW YORK: Kauffman 9-2-21; Peck, Lake Pleasant (type); Smith 228.