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Summary: Features include 1) gray-brown to purple-gray or reddish brown, slimy, smooth cap that is often spotted or stained blackish, 2) decurrent, close, broad, thick, grayish white young gills, 3) white stem narrowing toward yellow base, 4) slimy partial veil, 5) growth under conifers, 6) smoky gray to blackish spore deposit, and 7) elongated spores. This description from Miller(4) is for var. glutinosus. Var. purpureus from ID, AB, MT, NM has A cap that is light purple, drab brown, vinaceous brown to dark purple, (Miller(4)). Var. salmoneus from ID has A cap that is salmon color, often light purplish just at center, (Miller(4)). Gomphidius smithii Singer is regarded as a synonym by Miller(19): "Gomphidius smithii is very closely related to G. glutinosus as stated by Miller (1971), and ITS data from a Utah collection ... bears this out... It was recorded by Singer under Pinus flexilis James but there are no good characters to separate it from G. glutinosus. Since it is in the same clade with G. glutinosus, I regard it as a synonym of that species.", (Miller(19) with Latin names italicized). Gomphidius largus O.K. Mill is also considered to be likely a synonym by Miller(19): it is "very similar to G. glutinosus with only the size of the fruiting body and very large tramal cells differing from it. No DNA could be recovered from herbarium material, so there is no molecular evidence. Nevertheless, it is likely a synonym of G. glutinosus." (Miller(19), with Latin names italicized). Collections of var. glutinosus were examined from WA, ID, AB, QC, AK, AZ, CA, MI, MT, and NM, (Miller(4)). There are many reports of G. glutinosus from BC (Redhead(5)) and collections from BC at the University of British Columbia. There are collections from OR at Oregon State University. It also occurs in Europe including Switzerland (Breitenbach)., CHEMICAL REACTIONS in Melzer's reagent, stem staining black to greenish black on yellow parts, (Miller(4))
Cap: 2.5-10cm across, peg-like expanding to convex or flat, margin upturned; gray-brown to purple-gray or reddish brown, "often spotted or stained blackish"; slimy, smooth, (Lincoff(2)), (1.5)3-10cm across, broadly convex to flat; purple drab to brownish drab, changing to "cinnamon-buff", [also given without specifying the variety as salmon, purple, to reddish brown], soon spotted black; glutinous, bald, (Miller(4))
Flesh: thick, soft; pallid to whitish with a pinkish hue, (Miller(4))
Gills: decurrent, close, broad, thick; grayish white, becoming smoky, (Lincoff(2)), decurrent, close, in several tiers, rarely forked; pale drab to "pale ecru-drab", becoming darker from spores, (Miller(4)), waxy, spotting when bruised, (Breitenbach), gills not reddening where pressed (Moser)
Stem: 5-10cm x 0.5-2cm, narrowing toward base; white, base yellow, (Lincoff(2)), 4-10cm x 0.7-2cm, narrowing toward base, solid, soft within; white near top, yellow over lower three fourths, (Miller(4))
Veil: partial veil slimy, colorless, leaving slimy ring, blackening from spores, (Lincoff(1)), thin to thick glutinous layer with a white fibrillose one beneath it, (Miller(4)), with white fibrils underneath the glutinous layer, leaving a thin slimy, superior ring on stem, (Bessette)
Odor: mild (Miller(4))
Taste: acid (Miller(4)), a bit sour (Schalkwijk-Barendsen)
Microscopic spores: spores 15-21 x 4-6(7.5) microns, elliptic in face view, subfusiform [somewhat spindle-shaped] in side view, smooth, gray brown in KOH, ochraceous in Melzer's reagent; basidia 4-spored, 32-48 x 4-10 microns, clavate, colorless in KOH, weakly dextrinoid in Melzer's reagent; pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia scattered, 74-146 x 11-14 microns, fusiform to narrowly clavate, thin-walled, colorless in KOH, colorless to light yellow in Melzer's; gill trama of hyphae 2.5-4(6) microns wide, colorless throughout in KOH, dextrinoid in Melzer's; cap cuticle a gelatinous pellicle of transversely striate hyphae 2.5-4(6) microns wide, colorless individually but in mass with a bluish cast in KOH and Melzer's reagent, cap trama of interwoven hyphae (3.5)8-11(12) microns wide, in KOH a rusty brown layer directly beneath pellicle which is dark ochraceous in Melzer's reagent, rest of trama colorless in KOH "except for scattered bluish green to light yellow or occasionally dark purple oleiferous hyphae", weakly dextrinoid in Melzer's reagent; caulocystidia "occasionally found but not aggregated into regular fascicles"; clamp connections "absent on hyphae of sporophore but present on hyphae of mycelium at the base of buttons", (Miller(4))
Spore deposit: smoky gray to blackish (Lincoff(2)), smoke gray (Miller(4))
Habitat / Range
single to scattered, or occasionally cespitose [in tufts], under many different conifers; June to October, (Miller(4)), under conifers especially spruce (Lincoff(2)), summer, fall
Gomphidius oregonensis is similar but Gomphidius glutinosus does not often grow in clumps and usually has a darker or purpler cap when young (colors overlap however, and definitive identification relies on the smaller spores of Gomphidius oregonensis - 10-13 microns long). Gomphidius smithii is pale purple-vinaceous as opposed to dark purple-drab to vinaceous-drab for Gomphidius glutinosus; in addition G. smithii has a thicker gelatinous veil, and microscopically "the color reactions of the oleiferous hyphae seem significant to some degree. In G. glutinosus they are bluish green to yellowish and rarely as dark purple as in G. smithii", (Miller(4), Latin names italicized). Gomphidius subroseus is typically pink to ocher red as opposed to salmon, purple, to reddish brown for Gomphidius glutinosus, and typically has fascicles of caulocystidia at apex of stem (but caulocystidia, scattered or in small loose fascicles, occasionally found in specimens otherwise typical of G. glutinosus), but it can at times be difficult to separate, (Miller(4)). Gomphidius maculatus has gills that become wine red where pressed, then spot brown, whereas gills of G. glutinosus do not redden where pressed, (Moser). G. maculatus lacks a veil and is particularly associated with larch.
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:
18/11/2019 6:46:20 AM
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