The North American Species of Pholiota

155. Pholiota sphagnicola (Pk.) comb. nov.

Flammula sphagnicola Peck, New York State Mus. Bull. 167: 43. 1913.
Gymnopilus sphagnicola (Pk.) Murrill, North Amer. Fl. 10: 196. 1917.

Illustrations: Text figs. 339-341.

Pileus 1-2.5 cm broad, convex or nearly plane, obtuse or umbonate, yellowish with reddish or reddish brown often spotted center, viscid, glabrous. Context thin, white.

Lamellae adnate or with a decurrent tooth, whitish becoming cinnamon color, thin, narrow, close.

Stipe 2.5-3.5 cm long, 1-3 mm thick, whitish, apex slightly white-fibrillose, base white-tomentose.

Spores 8-10 x 4.5-5.5 (6) µ smooth, apical pore distinct and a few spores seem to have a slight wall thickening around the pore; shape in face view elliptic to ovate, in profile somewhat inequilateral; color in KOH tawny to ochraceous-tawny (well colored), in Melzer's reagent slightly paler than in KOH; wall about 0.3 µ thick or slightly more.

Basidia 4-spored, 20-26 x 6.5-8 µ, clavate, yellowish in KOH and Melzer's reagent. Pleurocystidia scattered to rare, 35-53 x 8-15 µ, fusoid-ventricose with obtuse apex to ovate-pedicellate or ventricose mucronate, content "empty," wall very thin; (in the type most cystidia remain collapsed), smooth. Cheilocystidia (28) 35-46 (53) x 4-12 µ, fusoid-ventricose to clavate or utriform (variable in shape), thin-walled, smooth, content homogeneous and hyaline. Caulocystidia none.

Gill trama a central area of parallel to interwoven thin-walled smooth hyphae 3-5 µ diam. but cells inflating in age, hyaline to yellowish in KOH, content not distinctive; subhymenium a thin layer of narrow gelatinous hyphae hyaline to yellowish in KOH. Pileus cuticle a tangled layer of hyphae 3-6 µ diam. with rather heavily incrusted walls and only subgelatinous in KOH, hyphae yellowish to tawny in KOH, those at or near surface collapsing in age; hypodermium a distinct region fulvous in KOH from incrusted floccose hyphae, hyphal cells 4-12 µ or more in diam. Context of interwoven inflated hyphal cells with smooth yellowish thin walls. All hyphae and hyphal end-cells inamyloid. Clamp connections present.

Habit, Habitat, and Distribution: Among sphagnum, in swamps, Massachusetts, September. Type studied.

Observations: In the type pleurocystidia are rare and we could find no caulocystidia. In P. paludosella we found the pleurocystidia more abundant, and caulocystidia are readily demonstrated. In both P. sphagnicola and P. paludosella the curious apical thickening around the germ pore of the spore shows on a few spores. A study in culture of both of these would be highly desirable. In recognizing both we are simply going on the evidence available but have reservations to the effect that both may simply be extremes of one species.