The North American Species of Pholiota
205. Pholiota squalida (Pk.) comb. nov.
Flammula squalida Peck, New York State Mus. Ann. Rept. 44: 131. 1891.
Gymnopilus squalidus (Pk.) Murrill, North Amer. Fl. 10: 197. 1917.
Illustrations: Text figs. 471-473.
Pileus 2.5-3.5 cm broad, convex or plane, dingy-yellowish or rufescent, viscid, glabrous. Context firm, whitish but under the separable cuticle concolorous to pileus surface.
Lamellae adnate, pallid, becoming dark-ferruginous, rather broad, close.
Stipe 3.5-7.5 cm long, 2-4 mm thick, pallid or brownish, subcartilaginous, at first the apex pale yellow, flexuous, fibrillose, hollow.
Spores 6-8 x 4.2-5 µ, smooth, apical pore obscure under NA 1.4 obj.; shape in face view elliptic, in profile elliptic to very obscurely inequilateral, color in KOH pale ochraceous-tawny, in Melzer's reagent about the same; wall 0.25 µ thick.
Basidia 18-22 x 5-6.5 µ, somewhat clavate, 4-spored, yellowish in KOH and Melzer's reagent. Pleurocystidia abundant, 46-68 (76) x 9-17 µ, fusoid-ventricose, apex blunt to subacute, smooth, thin-walled, neck filled with a plug of ± colloidal-coagulated material but appearing homogeneous under microscope. Caulocystidia none found.
Gill trama with a central area of subparallel floccose hyphae, yellowish to nearly hyaline in KOH; but subhymenium gelatinous of narrow interwoven hyphae. Pileus cutis a thick pellicle; hyphae narrow (2-3 µ diam.), gelatinous, transversely creased (as revived in KOH); hypodermial region of rusty orange to orange-brown incrusted hyphae (revived in KOH), the hyphal cell 5-8 (15) µ diam. Context hyphae interwoven, inflated (and often not reviving well) thin-walled smooth hyaline to yellowish in KOH, clamp connections present. All hyphae inamyloid.
Habit, Habitat, and Distribution: Often very caespitose on soil, in bushy places and alder swamps, New York, September. Type studied.
Observations: This is very close to P. spumosa in the sense of European material but differs in the uniform color of the pileus, its whitish flesh, slender habit and dingy appearance. Peck in describing the flesh as whitish, also says that the flesh, under the cuticle, is concolorous with the pileus. The lamellae are at first pallid, and Peck says nothing of a yellow coloration of the young gills. He does say that he observed the species several times in different localities always finding it constant in its character and readily distinguishable. This has influenced us in recognizing it as a species. P. spinulifera may be the same as P. squalida, but both should be re-collected and studied fresh before making such a disposition of it. The aspect of the basidiocarps in the type of Flammula squalida is rather similar to those of P. prolixa but the cystidia distinguish them readily.