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Summary: Section Viscosae (Smith), Section Hygrocyboideae (Maas Geesteranus). Features include viscid, striate cap that is a mixture of yellow, gray, and brown, sometimes with an olivaceous or pinkish tint; whitish gills that may be flushed pinkish and become brownish gray; viscid yellow stem that at times reddens with age; sometimes rancid-farinaceous or iodoform odor; growth under conifers; and microscopic characters. This description is adapted from Maas Geesteranus(1): note that unlike Smith's description, which says odor is "faintly fragrant or lacking", it allows for a stronger odor, and note also that the Maas Geesteranus description allows for brown colors whereas the Smith description mentions yellow and gray and tinges of pink but not brown. Smith gives North American distribution as WA, OR, CA, MB, MI, NY, and TN. This is a common mushroom in the Pacific Northwest, and is found also in BC (collections at the University of British Columbia). Breitenbach(3) give the distribution as North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
Cap: 1.5-2.5cm across, parabolic or conic to bell-shaped, flattening when old, weakly umbonate; pale grayish citrine, yellowish gray, pale gray-brown, pale sepia brown, but also whitish or with some olivaceous, pinkish or citrine shade, margin the same color or paler; at first delicately pruinose then viscid, covered with separable, tough, gelatinous pellicle, translucent-striate, more or less shallowly grooved, margin more or less scalloped
Flesh: thin; watery concolorous with cap
Gills: broadly adnate, with decurrent tooth, ascending, 17-23 reaching stem, up to 0.2cm broad, smooth to somewhat ribbed; whitish at first, then pale sepia grayish, not infrequently flushed with pink shade, edge the same color or whitish; edge gelatinized, separable as a tough elastic thread
Stem: 4.5-8cm x 0.1-0.2cm, equal, somewhat elastic to fragile, hollow, round in cross-section; citrine, gradually fading to watery whitish, at times reddening when old; smooth, viscid, minutely puberulous [downy] at least in upper part, "the base covered with long, coarse, white fibrils"
Odor: not distinctive to faintly fragrant to farinaceous or disagreeable and rancid when cut, sometimes iodoform (as in Smith's Mycena viscosa var. iodiolens)
Taste: not distinct to rancid
Microscopic spores: spores 8.1-10.8 x 4.5-5.8 microns, pip-shaped [elliptic], smooth, amyloid; basidia 4-spored, 27-35 x 7-8 microns, clamped; pleurocystidia absent, cheilocystidia (12.5)27-55 x 4.5-5.8 microns, forming a homogeneous band, embedded in gelatinous matter, clavate, clamped, covered with fairly few, unevenly spaced, rather coarse to very coarse, simple to forked or branched, cylindric to somewhat inflated excrescences 2-14.5 x 2-4.5 microns; clamp connections present
Spore deposit: white to pale buff
Habitat / Range
on humus in mixed woods, in mossy lawns, among fallen conifer needles, more rarely on decaying hardwood, (Maas Geesteranus), scattered to gregarious under conifers, August to November, (Smith), summer, fall
Mycena epipterygia var. epipterygia differs from other varieties of M. epipterygia by the light gray-yellowish to cream-colored or whitish caps, relatively narrow spores, and cheilocystidia with long outgrowths, (Breitenbach). Var. 'epipterygioides' has a dark olive gray cap, not fading to white, whereas var. epipterygia has decidedly yellowish cap that fades to white or pearly gray, (Smith). Var. griseoviridis has cheilocystidia that have one or more thorn-like projections and are often quite irregular in shape, and may also have an olive to dark brown cap and fruit near snowbanks, (Smith). Var. 'cascadensis' has cheilocystidia that are mostly aciculate [needle-like] and fruits on wood, (Smith). Var. lignicola usually grows on mossy conifer logs or stumps or on debris of conifers rather than on humus and carpets of conifer needles but has cheilocystidia clavate and covered with short rod-like projections, (Smith). One collection of var. lignicola also had a strong odor of iodoform developing after specimens had stood for a few hours, (Smith).
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:
2020-07-11 11:11:02 AM
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