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Summary: features include white to ocher-tinged cap that is dry and often areolate [cracked like dried mud], fleeting ring, mild odor, growth in spring on cultivated or disturbed ground or in grass, and light brown spores; Breitenbach(4) give distribution as North America, Europe, Asia, North Africa; it is not clear which name of Agrocybe dura (Fr.) Singer or Agrocybe molesta (Lasch) Singer is the correct name for the Pacific Northwest species; included in Pacific Northwest key of Hermanson(1), collection from OR at Oregon State University, from BC at University of British Columbia, and more widely reported in Pacific Northwest on foray lists
Cap: 4-10cm across, convex then flat; white to pale buff on disc; dry, smooth, often cracking in dry weather, (Phillips), 3-10cm across, convex to flat; white to pale yellowish cream becoming yellow-brown-tinged to buff-tinted on disc; bald but often areolate [cracked like dried mud] when old, (Hermanson), 3-8(10)cm across, hemispheric becoming convex, margin incurved for a long time, expanded when old; pale ocher-yellow, when dry cream to whitish, evenly colored but somewhat browning when old; when moist slightly viscid, shiny, dull when dry, smooth when young, hung with white veil remnants especially when young, often areolate [cracked like dried mud] when old, (Breitenbach)
Flesh: white (Phillips), solid and firm (Hermanson) thick in center, thin toward margin; white, (Breitenbach)
Gills: adnate; pale brown to umber, (Phillips), adnate to sinuate, close, broad; whitish becoming more or less dark brown to purplish brown, (Hermanson); notched, 39-50 reaching stem, 3-7 subgills between each pair of gills, broad; "whitish when young, soon gray-brown to dark brown, sometimes with a lilac tinge"; edges white-floccose, (Breitenbach)
Stem: 4-10cm x 0.5-1.5cm, "equal, firm; white; smooth to fibrillose", (Phillips), 4-10cm x 0.5-1.5cm, equal; whitish becoming somewhat brownish; +/- pruinose at top, (Hermanson), 4-7(9)cm x 0.5-1.2cm, cylindric, top somewhat widened at times, base widened or narrowing, stuffed becoming hollow; whitish for a long time, later browning toward base; longitudinally fibrillose-floccose, may have white strands (rhizoids) at base, (Breitenbach)
Veil: ring soon vanishing or left as tatters on cap margin, (Phillips), white, forming a thin, superior, fleeting ring or remains on the cap edge, (Hermanson), fleeting, whitish ring zone on upper third of stem (without a distinct membranous ring), margin hung with white veil remnants especially when young, (Breitenbach)
Odor: not distinctive (Phillips), mushroomy, (Hermanson), pleasant, barely farinaceous, (Breitenbach)
Taste: a little bitter, unpleasant, (Phillips), slightly bitter (Hermanson), mild, with a farinaceous hint, (Breitenbach), mild with an aftertaste (Miller)
Microscopic spores: spores 10-14 x 6.5-8 microns, truncate, (Phillips), 10-12 x 5-6 microns, truncate with germ pore; pleurocystidia 35-48 x 10-18 microns, ventricose-pedicellate [wider in middle with a small stalk], and apex broadly rounded, cheilocystidia similar, (Hermanson); spores 10.1-14.2 x 6.6-7.6 microns, elliptic, smooth, thick-walled, yellow-brown, with germ pore; basidia 4-spored, 35-45 x 10-12 microns, slenderly clavate, some with basal clamp; cheilocystidia 35-50 x 15-25 microns, vesicular, cylindric to broadly lageniform, pleurocystidia 35-45 x 20-25 microns, similar; cap cuticle "hymeniform, composed of clavate to pyriform cells 20-35 x 10-20 microns, with an encrusted, gelatinized layer above it which does not swell in KOH, clamps not seen", (Breitenbach)
Spore deposit: dull brown (Phillips), light brown (Hermanson), dark tobacco-brown (Breitenbach)
Habitat / Range
in fields, pastures, and wastelands, shrub borders, May to July, (Phillips), scattered to gregarious on lawns, waste grassland, pastures, gardens, shrub borders, roadsides, spring to fall, (Hermanson), gregarious to clustered, more rarely single "outside of forests, in gardens, fields, vineyards, dry and semi-dry lawns, on soil", spring-fall, (Breitenbach for Europe), cultivated and disturbed ground (Arora(1)), spring, summer, fall
A. praecox has less robust fruiting bodies, membranous pendant ring when young that disappears when old (as opposed to only a hint of a ring zone but distinct veil remnants on cap margin), and shorter spores, Agrocybe dura "is easy to confuse with Agrocybe praecox... especially when the latter has a pale, areolate pileus. The two species can be definitely separated only microscopically, since A. dura always has spores distinctly > 10 microns long and cystidia which are vesicular to broadly lageniform. Macroscopically the two species can be separated by the fact that A. dura never has a pronounced membranous annulus but only a +/- well-defined annular zone with the veil remnants remaining attached to the pileal margin especially when young. In any case, an areolate cuticle is not a useful differentiating feature", (Breitenbach, Latin names italicized)
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
19/10/2019 10:10:15 AM
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