The North American Species of Pholiota
44. Pholiota marginella Peck, Rep. N.Y. State Mus. 51: 289. 1898.
Illustrations: Text figs. 139-140.
"Pileus fleshy, convex becoming nearly plane, glabrous, hygrophanous, yellowish red or subferruginous when young or moist, then commonly striatulate on margin, yellowish buff or whitish when dry, the young margin slightly silky with the whitish fibrils of the veil; lamellae close, thin, adnexed, minutely eroded on the edge, whitish becoming dark ferruginous; stem flexuous, subequal fibrillose, pruinose or mealy above the slight evanescent annulus, stuffed or hollow, pallid or whitish, sometimes with a white mycelial tomentum at the base; spores elliptic, .00024 to.0003 in. long, .00016 to.0002 broad."
"Pileus 1-2 in. broad; stem 2 to 4 in. long, 2 to 4 lines thick." "Single or caespitose on decaying wood. North Elba, June."
"The species is related to P. marginata, from which it differs in its paler color, even or merely striatulate margin, adnexed lamellae and uniformly colored stem."
The above is quoted from the original description. Smith's notes on the type follow: Pileus epicutis of interwoven appressed hyaline nongelatinous hyphae 3-5 µ diam. with clamps at the septa (mounted in KOH), beneath this an area of more compactly interwoven hyphae yellowish in KOH but not forming a distinct hypodermium. Context hyphae (5) 10-20 µ diam., yellowish in KOH or nearly hyaline, the cells more or less inflated. Gill trama of interwoven short broad hyphal cells 6-15 µ diam., nearly hyaline in KOH except toward subhymenium where they are pale tawny. Pleurocystidia none found. Cheilocystidia abundant, 32-44 x 6-9 µ, fusoid-ventricose with short to long necks and subacute apex, if elongated the neck often flexuous to moniliform (with irregular swellings and constrictions).
Basidia 14-17 x 6-7 µ, 4-spored, hyaline in KOH. Spores 7-8.4 x 4.4-5 µ, smooth, apical pore distinct and apex somewhat truncate, ovoid to ellipsoid, pale tawny in KOH.
Smith noted that the gills were neither as close nor as narrow as in P. vernalis. The diagnostic features of the species are the subferruginous young pileus, broad close gills (as contrasted to narrow crowded gills in P. vernalis), whitish gills when young and the whitish stipe. Singer and Smith (1946) confused this species with P. vernalis and published a very cumbersome description under the latter name which encompassed a number of taxa. At present, we suspect with Overholts (1927) that P. marginella is rather common on conifer wood and debris in the mountains both in eastern and western United States but our data on individual collections are not complete enough for critical comparisons. For further comment see P. vernalis.