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Summary: Features include smooth soapy cap that is gray-brown to yellowish brown, close white gills, fibrous tough stem that is often off-center, and is whitish at the top becoming more brownish toward the base, growth in tufts and clusters in disturbed places, white spore deposit, and nearly round, smooth, inamyloid spores. Lyophyllum decastes is widely distributed in North America (Phillips). Breitenbach(3) give the distribution as North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. There are collections from BC at Pacific Forestry Centre and University of British Columbia, from WA, OR, AK, and CO at the University of Washington, and from ID at Oregon State University.
Cap: 3-12cm across, "convex then expanded becoming wavy; gray-brown to yellowish brown with silky or silvery streaks; smooth, soapy", (Phillips), 6-10(15)cm across, hemispheric when young, later convex to flat and sometimes wavy, center usually with obtuse umbo, margin acute; "gray-brown to hazel brown, paler toward the margin, sometimes almost whitish"; smooth, lardaceous-shiny, cuticle peelable almost to center when moist, (Breitenbach), very variable in color "ranging from whitish to pale watery tan to grayish brown or almost black"; smooth, consistently slippery feel, (Trudell(4) who note that different color forms are sometimes considered separate species like L. loricatum and L. fumosum)
Flesh: firm; white, (Phillips), thick in center, thin toward margin, elastic; white, (Breitenbach)
Gills: adnate to slightly decurrent, close, moderately broad; white to grayish, (Phillips), horizontally adnate, 41-58 reaching stem, relatively narrow, "at times some forked toward the stipe", 7-15 subgills between neighboring gills; whitish; edges smooth, (Breitenbach)
Stem: 3-10cm x 1-2.5cm, stout, often eccentric, fibrous, tough; white at top becoming brownish toward base, (Phillips), 4.5-10(20)cm x 0.8-1.5(2)cm, cylindric to clavate, sometimes narrowed toward base, often also twisted or eccentric [off-center], stem solid, elastic; whitish to dingy white; longitudinally fibrillose, apex white-pruinose, (Breitenbach)
Odor: mild (Phillips, Breitenbach)
Taste: not distinctive (Phillips, Breitenbach)
Microscopic spores: spores 5-7 x 5-6 microns, nearly round, smooth, [presumably inamyloid], (Phillips), spores 5.6-6.9 x 5.1-6.6 microns, nearly round, smooth, iodine negative; basidia 4-spored, 32-47 x 8-10 microns, clavate, with siderophilic granules, with basal clamp connection; pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia not seen; cap cuticle of +/- parallel [horizontal] hyphae 4-12 microns wide, with brownish pigmentation, septa with clamp connections, (Breitenbach)
Spore deposit: white (Phillips, Breitenbach)
Habitat / Range
in clusters on ground in waste places, grassy areas, wood edges, and paths, June-October, and in California overwintering, (Phillips), usually clustered, crowded, or in fairy rings, more rarely single; in hardwood and conifer forests, "in grassy places, alongside paths or streets, in parks or gardens, on humusy soils, rarely also in cellars", (late summer to) fall, (Breitenbach), fall (Buczacki), summer, fall, winter
Lyophyllum connatum has a white or whitish cap (=Clitocybe dilatata according to one source and easily confused with it according to another), (Arora). Lyophyllum loricatum has a blackish-brown to dark brown cap when young (often with hoary sheen or metallic luster), and a thick cartilaginous cap cuticle - the cap fades when old to paler brown or tan and may then be indistinguishable from L. decastes, (Arora(1)). There is a similar species with grayish cap and grayish gills, and another similar species that grows under mountain conifers soon after snow melt, (Arora(1)). Lyophyllum semitale is similar in color to the common brown forms of L. decastes, but it "is somewhat smaller, grows singly, in groups, or small clusters, and turns black in age or when bruised, although often the change is slow", and its spores are larger (6.5-9 x 3-4.5 microns), (Trudell).
choice but some reports of gastric upset, (Phillips), only eat clusters of five or more with white spore deposit, to avoid Entoloma lookalikes, and make sure you do not have Clitocybe dilatata, (Ammirati)
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. 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:
2020-06-03 7:07:45 AM
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