The North American Species of Pholiota
6. Pholiota multifolia (Pk.) comb. nov.
Flammula multifolia Peck, Bull. Torrey Club 32: 79. 1905.
Gymnopilus multifolius (Pk.) Murrill, North Amer. Fl. 10: 204. 1917.
Pileus 5-8 cm broad, convex, subumbonate, dry, "cadmium yellow" (brilliant yellow) when young, then more tawny or "Xanthine orange" when mature, sometimes paler on the margin and darker at the center, glabrous or obscurely fibrillose from veil patches, margin incurved. Context fairly thick in large specimens, pale yellow to bright yellow, soon sordid rusty brown where injured, odor slight, taste bitter.
Lamellae adnexed, rounded behind, concolorous or "pinard yellow" (paler yellow than pileus), narrow, crowded, soon spotted or stained rusty brown to orange-brown from injury, edges crenulate, often with yellow or reddish-yellow glandular drops.
Stipe (2) 3-7 (10) cm. long, (2) 4-10 mm thick, yellow, floccose, fibrillose to the apical zone or nearly glabrous finally, equal or slightly thickened at the base, solid, tough. Veil yellowish, fibrillose, evanescent.
Spores 6.5-9 x 4.5-5 (5.5) µ, ovate to elliptic in face view, somewhat inequilateral to obscurely bean-shaped in profile, smooth, rich tawny in KOH, germ pore obscure and very minute.
Basidia 25-30 x 5-7 µ, narrowly clavate, yellow revived in KOH, 4-spored or occasionally apparently two-spored. Pleurocystidia present as brown basidioles 24-42 x 4-7 µ. Cheilocystidia (20) 30-50 (75) x (4) 5-9 µ, filamentose-capitate, hyaline to yellow in KOH or some rusty brown, in clusters, thin-walled, smooth, rarely with a secondary septum below the head (shaped much as in those of P. curvipes). Caulocystidia none found.
Gill trama interwoven to subparallel, hyphae 3-12 µ in diam. in broadest part, walls thin and yellowish in KOH, hyphal cells inflated only in age; subhymenium of narrow non-gelatinous hyphae. Pileus cuticle of non-gelatinous radially arranged hyphae with thin smooth walls 4-12 µ diam. and the terminal cells merely tapered to the apex. Hyphae of context interwoven, cells thin-walled, yellow in KOH and in Melzer's reagent many small needle-like crystals often grouped into burr-like masses in the mounts, walls all inamyloid. Clamp connections present.
Habit, Habitat, and Distribution: On logs, sawdust and decaying wood of deciduous trees of ash, aspen, maple etc. New York, North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan and Canada, June to October.
Observations: The narrow, crowded, spotted and stained lamellae together with the yellow to tawny hues of the pileus, and the bitter taste are a good set of field characters. It is close to P. curvipes but the latter has broader more distant gills and a mild taste. We do not emphasize the lack of caulocystidia as observed so far as an important feature since in Smith 67009 with pilei up to 7 cm wide they were present as clusters of clavate thin-walled cells. The taste of this collection was not recorded.
A yellow pigment dissolves into the KOH mounting medium and in Melzer's the presence of pale dextrinoid burr-like to star-like aggregations of needle-like crystals is unique in our experience. This species is the most "Gymnopilus-like" of the section as far as pigmentation is concerned, and is likely to be confused with that genus until the spores are examined. Flammula expansa was considered identical with this species by Kauffman but Peck described it as having white flesh and a mild taste. Pholiota tuberculosa (Fr.) Kummer is apparently very close to P. multifolia, but on the data available we do not regard them as synonyms.
Material Examined: MICHIGAN: Harding 77, 84, 117, 161, 186, 232, 346, 393. Pennington 9-13-07. Potter 2801, 14219. Smith 22131, 32059, 32035, 33866, 33894, 35877, 42034, 42370, 50064, 51023, 57078, 57865, 61426, 67009. Thiers 688. MISSOURI: Peck (type of Flammula multifolia). NEW MEXICO: Barrows 3085. NORTH CAROLINA: Hesler 24842. TENNESSEE: Smith 10894. WASHINGTON: Flett (Mich). CANADA—ONTARIO: Smith 4718.