The North American Species of Pholiota

Subgenus Hemipholiota Singer, Emended


Sydowia 15: 70. 1961.

In this group are included the remaining species with: 1) characteristically truncate spores, or 2) leptocystidia present or absent but if present scarcely projecting beyond the basidia. The subhymenium may or may not be gelatinous, and the pileus may be moist, dry or with a gelatinized subcutis or epicutis. If chrysocystidia are present and the stipe and pileus are distinctly scaly see the subgenus Pholiota. If the pileus is moist and hygrophanous but lacks gelatinous layers in the cutis, and chrysocystidia are present, the species belongs in Hemipholiota. Pholiota discolor was originally described as viscid so we have placed it here. If chrysocystidia are present and the stipe is not scaly see sect. Phaeonaematoloma, and P. caespitosa and P. tennessensis in Section Mutabiles.

Key to Sections

1. Pleurocystidia lacking; pileus viscid and context thin; spores not truncate (but see P. davidsonii); stipe mostly under 5 mm thick
Section Sordidae
1. Not as above
2
2. Spores truncate and chrysocystidia typically absent; spores seldom up to 10 µ long
Section Mutabiles
2. Not as above
3
3. Pleurocystidia absent; stipe (5) 8-15 (50) mm thick; spores not truncate
Section Hemipholiota
3. Not as above. Spores often with more than one germ pore near apex

Section Sordidae Singer, Emended

Sydowia 15: 70. 1961.

This section is retained for species with a viscid pileus, relatively thin somewhat hygrophanous context, non-truncate spores (but see P. davidsonii) and lacking pleurocystidia. The subhymenium may be gelatinous or not.

Type species P. oedipus (Cooke) Orton

Key to Stirpes

1. Spore apex with a slight wall thickening around the apical pore
Stirps Serotina
1. Spore apex lacking any differentiation around the apical pore
Stirps Discolor

Stirps Discolor

Key

1. Spores from 4-spored basidia 8-10 X 4-5.5 (6) µ
4
1. Spores from 4-spored basidia 5-8 X 3-5 µ
2
2. Pileus pale yellow; spores 4-5 µ wide
2. Not as above
3
3. Pileus with strong olive tones
3. Pileus orange to tawny; lamellae spotted brownish
4. Pileus context very soft and watery; stipe 1.5-3 mm thick
5
4. Pileus context fairly pliant; stipe 3-6 mm thick
7
5. Cheilocystidia 6-15 µ wide
5. Cheilocystidia 5-9 µ wide
6
6. Gills broad and subdistant (see P. subdefossa)
6. Gills narrow and close
7. Pileus dull reddish brown when young and fresh; stipe becoming rusty brown below
7. Pileus yellowish to tawny (on disc); stipe pallid below

Stirps Serotina

The peculiar "doughnut-like" thickening around the apical pore is the feature emphasized here. It is not conspicuous but it could be the forerunner of a spore apex resembling that of Boletus truncatus. No relationship, of course, is implied between the two just mentioned. The pleurocystidia are very inconspicuous.

The same spore feature is found in P. paludosella, but there it is not so distinct or present on as many spores.

Key

1.Gills very wide; gelatinous subhymenium very well developed; pileus yellowish white
1. Gills only moderately broad; subhymenium a poorly defined layer; pileus pale alutaceous on disc, margin olivaceous

Section Mutabiles Konrad & Maublanc

Encyc. Myc. 15: 158. 1948

Kuehneromyces Singer & Smith, Mycologia 38: 504. 1946.

As limited here the section includes only those species with truncate spores measuring consistently less than 9 µ long.

Type species: Pholiota mutabilis.

Key to Stirpes

1. Stipe scaly below annulus or stipe 4-12 mm thick
Stirps Mutabilis
1. Not as above
2
2. Pileus lacking a gelatinized pellicle
Stirps Marginella
2. Pileus with pellicle gelatinized
3
3. Gills more or less olive-fuscous mature
3. Gills some shade of rusty brown when mature
4
4. Gills broad at maturity

Stirps Obscura

4. Gills narrow
Stirps Vernalis

Stirps Mutabilis

In this group are placed first of all species with a distinctly scaly stipe and glabrous pileus as well as two additional species with stipes 4-12 mm thick in which the pileus is viscid or at least has a thin gelatinous pellicle but in which the veil is not developed enough to produce scales on the stipe. P. veris is often riddled by insect larvae by the time the spores are formed.

Key

1. Pileus dull cinnamon fading to yellowish; stipe distinctly scaly below annulus at time veil breaks
1. Not with above combination of features
2
2. Chrysocystidia present in hymenium
3
2. Chrysocystidia absent
4
3. Veil yellow; yellow pseudocystidia present in the hymenium
3. Veil remnants on stipe yellow-brown; pseudocystidia absent
4. Hypodermial zone of pileus with cell walls hyaline in KOH and about 1 µ or slightly more thick
4. Hypodermial zone of brown hyphae with thin walls as seen in KOH          

Stirps Marginella

This group contains species lacking a gelatinous pellicle on the pileus. The final test for viscidity here is to section freshly matured pilei to demonstrate that no gelatinous layer is present. In the remaining stirpes old basidiocarps of any of the species may have the pellicle obliterated by erosion, so young specimens, if available, should be sectioned. In P. albo-virescens we find a very close parallel to Naematoloma fasciculare but with a yellow-brown spore deposit.

Key

1. Basidiocarps with a distinct pseudorhiza; taste bitter
1. Not as above
2
2. Stipe distinctly yellow at first; gills at first pallid becoming greenish
2. Stipe not colored as above
3
3. Cheilocystidia 30-50 x 7-12µ, basal portion often ochraceous in KOH, arising from a cellular region with cells having ochraceous walls in KOH
3. Not as above
4
4. Pileus soon umbilicate; on debris of Thuja; stipe bister
4. Not as above
5
5. Pileus olive-yellow fading to whitish; pleurocystidia 25-46 x 6-9 µ, abundant
5. Pileus red to red-brown or dark cinnamon, not whitish when faded
6
6. Pileus subferruginous; gill trama of hyphae more or less thin-walled and nearly hyaline in KOH
6. Pileus dark dull cinnamon; gill trama at maturity cellular from hyphal cells inflated 10-25 µ, and with walls 0.5-1.5 µ thick as well as rusty brown in KOH

Stirps Obscura

In this group are placed the viscid small spored species with narrow stipes and broad gills in which the stipe below the annulus is not conspicuously scaly. The gills are yellow-brown at maturity or cinnamon. This group continues into the next to form a single complex.

Key to Species

1. Spores 2.5-3 µ broad
1. Spores 2.5-5 µ wide
2
2. Veil absent; stipe blackish below
2. Veil evident on young basidiocarps
3
3. Stipe whitish; pileus olive-yellow, moist
3. Stipe soon darker colored
4
4. Large clavate pleurocystidia present
4. Not as above
5
5. Veil rudimentary, all traces soon gone (see P. atripes also)
5. Stipe, when veil breaks, with a thin membranous annulus

Stirps Vernalis

Lubricous to viscid species with small spores and narrow gills key out here if the stipe is not conspicuously squamulose below the veil-line. This stirps approaches Psilocybe very closely even in the color of the spore deposit, in fact a problem exists here as to just how certain species should be placed generically.

Key

1. Stipe not discoloring from base up and its hyphae not becoming rusty brown in KOH
1. Not as above
2
2. Pleurocystidia present
2. Not as above
3
3. Pileus sharply conic; veil rudimentary
3. Pileus convex or with an obtuse umbo
4
4. Hyphal walls in gill trama and adjacent pileus trama thickening to 1-1.2 µ
4. Hyphal walls of gill trama not becoming appreciably thickened
5
5. Caulocystidia none; annulus thick, superior, striate above
5. Caulocystidia present; annulus soon evanescent

Stirps Depauperata

This "stirps" may be more of an illusion than a reality as far as Pholiota is concerned since the dark gills suggest purple-brown spores. It is quite possible that the species belongs in Psilocybe but the data needed to justify making such a transfer are lacking. We do not know the color of the spore deposit.

1. Only one species

Section Hemipholiota

Pileus flesh moderately to very thick (1-2 cm as measured near the stipe apex); pleurocystidia absent; spores not dextrinoid; stipe typically 10 mm or more thick at the base.

Key to Stirpes

1. Spore deposit olive-yellow ("Isabella color"); pileus with only scattered spot-like scales from the veil
1. Not as above
2
2. Gill margins white-crenulate; spores 10-15 X 5-7.5 µ
2. Gill margins not conspicuously crenulate; spores 7-10 X 5-6.5 µ
Stirps Destruens

Stirps Destruens

1. Stipe not staining yellow when handled
1. Stipe readily staining yellow when handled

Stirps Albocrenulata

1. Characters as in the central and only species.


Stirps Olivaceodisca

1. Only one species.

Section Variabilisporae sect. nov.

Sporae ad apicum multiporae. Typus P. variabilispora.

1.In the only species there is more than one germ pore near the spore apex in most spores.