The North American Species of Pholiota

54. Pholiota vernalis (Pk.) comb. nov. f. vernalis

Agaricus vernalis Peck, New York State Cab. Ann. Rept. 23: 91. 1872.
Agaricus lignicola Peck, New York State Cab. Ann. Rept. 23: 91. 1872.
Naucoria vernalis (Pk.) Saccardo, Syll. Fung. 5: 838. 1887.
Naucoria lignicola (Pk.) Saccardo, Syll. Fung. 5: 838. 1887.
Naucoria praecox Murrill, North Amer. Fl. 10: 174. 1917.
Kuehneromyces vernalis (Pk.) Singer & Smith, Mycologia 38: 514. 1946.

Illustrations: Text figs. 153-154; pl. 19, 20.

Pileus 10-35 mm broad, when young with a conic umbo and a decurved inrolled margin, expanding to obtusely campanulate to convex or nearly plane, glabrous, margin frequently being decorated with veil remnants, viscid, when moist translucent over marginal area, when moist pale to dark butterscotch-color ("honey-yellow" to near "clay-color" or darker), hygrophanous, when faded pale yellow to (at times) almost pallid. Context watery pinkish-buff to cinnamon-buff, fairly pliant, thin, odor, and taste mild.

Lamellae crowded, narrow, (1.5-2 mm) bluntly adnate, seceding, pinkish buff young (pale dingy tan), becoming dark dull cinnamon, margins becoming crenulate to fimbriate at times.

Stipe (2) 3-6 cm long, 1.5-3 (5) mm thick, hollow, pliant, equal, at first covered over all by a fibrillose silky coating grayish to buff in color and with sparse patches or zones of veil remnants pale brownish in color below the evanescent annulus or annular zone, color beneath fibrils at first dingy butterscotch-color (dingy melleous) but soon stained dull rusty brown from base upward.

Spore print cinnamon-brown; spores 5.5-7 (7.5) x 3-4 (4.5) µ, smooth, obscurely truncate, dingy tawny in KOH, and scarcely darkening in Melzer's, ovate in face view, elliptic in profile, terete or very slightly compressed in cross section, wall less than 0.5 µ thick.

Basidia 16-20 (25) x 5-6 (7) µ, typically 4-spored, clavate, hyaline in KOH to somewhat ochraceous. Pleurocystidia none or a few seen near gill edge and similar to cheilocystidia. Cheilocystidia 24-46 x 4-9 µ, fusoid-ventricose to subfusoid, neck often elongated and flexuous, apex subacute to obtuse. Caulocystidia 34-104 x 7-18 µ, clavate, cylindric or ventricose, at times septate.

Gill trama of subparallel brown hyphae often with incrusted walls, cells 5-13 µ broad; subhymenium of nongelatinous often incrusted hyphae, and brown in KOH. Pileus with an epicutis of narrow gelatinous hyphae (2-4 µ diam.) mostly hyaline; hypodermium of brown radially disposed hyphae 6-12 µ in diam. Clamp connections present.

Habit, Habitat, and Distribution: Gregarious to caespitose on rotting wood, usually of conifers, but at times on hardwoods, typically vernal and abundant in our mountainous areas but throughout northern regions. It is one of the common species of the Rocky Mountain "snow bank flora."

Observations: The following material-studied list contains many collections on which complete data on macroscopic characters are lacking. Hence the listing is more to show the abundance of this complex than to sharply delimit its taxa. As a complex, it is one of the most difficult series of variants in Pholiota, particularly in the Rocky Mountains. A study in culture of this group would be most desirable.

Material Examined: ALASKA: Wells, 7-4-64 #8 (S). CALIFORNIA: Cooke 18223, 30324, Siskiyou County (no number) (all MICH.); White 118, 122. COLORADO: Smith 51379, 53037, 53046, 53069, 53076, 53114, 53115, 53116, 53117, 53153. IDAHO: Cooke 20169, 21921; Gruber 22; Slipp 1498, 1513, 1591, V-2509; Smith 44157, 44160, 44161, 44248, 44729, 45257, 45305, 45375, 45380, 45478, 53219, 58617, 58687, 64900, 65093, 65116, 65117, 65176, 67870, 68030, 68251; Trueblood 104, 1048, 1077. MAINE: Bigelow 2931, 3145, 3182, 3224, 3347; Parlin 17115, 17138 (FH), 17783, 17784, 17816 (MICH). MASSACHUSETTS: Dadmun (FH). MICHIGAN: Bartelli 5-17-64; Charlton G-29 (MICH.); Kanouse 569,5-30-45 (both MICH.); Kauffman 7-3-05; Nickell 11-18-45; Pennington 7-14-06; Otter 4444, 4473, 4540; Shaffer 1297, 1778; Smith 32150, 36332, 36438, 36813, 37006, 41601, 49584, 49673, 61025, 63925, 6647, 71508, 71510; Thiers 660, 2612, 2619, 3101, 3204, 3236, 3631. MONTANA: Cotner 55001, 570010, 570018, 570027. NEW MEXICO: Barrows 62, 211, 635, 641, 645, 648, 651, 662. NEW YORK: Peck (types of A. lignicola, and A. vernalis). NORTH CAROLINA: Hesler 17625, 20851. OHIO: Cooke 33126, 33160. OREGON: Gruber 3, 763, 6-24-42 (MICH.); Sipe 691, 893. TENNESSEE: Hesler 3873, 11395; Porter 11391; Hesler & Smith 7340, 17034, 17625. VERMONT: Burt (as N. lignicola) (FH). WASHINGTON: Brown 9-29-25; Imshaug 31, 32, 37, 42, 44, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 103, 222, 227, 861, 1546; Simmons 1353; Smith 12085, 13064, 13083, 13179, 13399, 13400, 13520, 13714, 13784, 13869, 28831, 29124, 29253, 29420, 29747, 30056, 41186, 47597, 47715, 48081; Smith & Digilio 7-6-48. UTAH: McKnight F318, F439, F1120 (All MICH). WYOMING: Arenberg 68, 8-2-38 (MICH.); Cronin 149 (MICH.); Smith 34370, 34377, 34378, 34384, 34417, 34807, 34888; Solheim 3370, 3681, 3703, 3733, 3765, 3768, 3826, 3875, 3877, 3935, 4043, 4469, 4494, 4546, 4825, 4826, 4827, 4839, 4840, 4870, 5318; Thiers 129 (MICH.). CANADA (QUEBEC): Pomerleau 8-9-49. U.S.S.R.: Zinova (LE); Vassilieva (LE, KAZ).