E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Rhizopogon vulgaris (Vittad.) M. Lange
no common name

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #18009)

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Distribution of Rhizopogon vulgaris
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Species Information

characters of distinction appear to be basic pale yellow color when fresh, rapid dark blackish green reaction of dried surface and spore mass to FeSO4, red reaction of dried surface to KOH which soon fades to rusty brown, narrow spores, and lack of thick-walled hymenial elements, (Smith(30)), other features include spherical to lobed fruitbody with surface cream to yellowish and finally yellowish tan to olive brown, bruising pink to red-brown, with whitish brownish rhizomorphs that when young bruise pinkish, basal cluster of rhizomorphs, spore mass cartilaginous, pallid to yellowish then olive gray to olive-brown or yellow-brown, underground growth under conifers, and microscopic characters including smooth spores that are narrowly subfusoid or elliptic or oblong, 4-spored and 8-spored basidia, peridial epicutis a turf of spherical to ovoid, thin-walled, inflated cells, and peridial subcutis with oleiferous hyphae and orange brown to reddish brown pigment; abundant in the Pacific Northwest, also widespread in the United States and Europe, (Trappe(13)), collections examined from BC (although paraphyses were thick-walled), ID, NS, TN, (Smith(30) saying that they are tentatively assigned here), found ID (rare) according to Smith(4), collections examined from OR, AR, CA, FL, MA, MS, TN, VA, (Miller), reported from WA by Colgan(2), found in United Kingdom (Hawker(1))
Outer Surface:
up to 4cm across, cream to ochraceous and often yellowish brown where exposed; rhizomorphs brownish; basal cluster of rhizomorphs, (Smith(4)), 1.5-5cm across, spherical to slightly lobate; "at first white, then yellowish tinged with reddish, finally green
basal cluster of rhizomorphs (Smith(4)), rhizomorphs forming 1-3 rootlets in lower part, (Smith(30)), rhizomorphs abundant near basal attachment, (Miller)
Chemical Reactions:
for dried collections, surface and spore mass quickly dark blackish green in FeSO4, surface red in KOH but the red soon fading to rusty brown, (Smith(30)), FeSO4 on white peridium dull grey to blackish grey, negative on older surface, negative on spore mass, KOH on white surface reddish white, on yellow or olive areas brown, KOH negative on spore mass, (Miller)
pallid then olive gray; cartilaginous when fresh, sectioning readily when dried, (Smith(4)), soft; white at first, becoming greenish and finally olive-brown; with narrow maze-like chambers, (Lincoff), pallid almost to maturity; chambers empty; deliquescen
slight (Smith(4)), slightly acid and fruity then acrid and penetrating (Lincoff), faint, like Scleroderma, or in some mature specimens strong and offensive, (Smith(30)), similar to the commercial mushroom when fresh, when old strongly of road tar, (Miller
initially sweet (Lincoff), mild (Trappe, M.(3))
spores 5.5-8 x 2-2.6 microns, many subfusoid; "peridium of appressed hyphae, no pockets of vesiculose cells seen, in KOH finally fulvous near the surface" and nearly colorless toward the spore mass, with copious pigment in peridium as revived in KOH, (Smith(4)), spores 5-8 x 2-3 microns, elliptic, smooth, whitish, (Lincoff), spores 5.5-8 x 2-2.6 microns, narrowly subfusoid to elliptic varying to oblong, smooth, in Melzer's reagent yellowish singly and in groups, in KOH colorless singly and yellowish in groups, with inconspicuous basal scar; basidia 4-spored and 8-spored, 14-17 x 4-5 microns, "subcylindric, readily collapsing"; paraphyses 10-18 x 4-10 microns, subspherical to clavate or vesiculose and thin-walled; cystidia none; "subhymenium poorly developed and individual cells indistinct in revived material"; tramal plates "with gelatinous highly refractive hyphae more or less interwoven"; peridium of "appressed-interwoven hyphae at first red in KOH but soon fading out to fulvous and with orange-brown pigment globules in upper region (in Melzer's sol.), no pockets of vesiculose cells noted", the part next to the gleba finally nearly colorless; all tissues inamyloid; clamp connections none, (Smith(30)), spores 7.5-9.5(10.5) x 2.5-3.0 microns, subcylindric, oblong to narrowly subfusoid, often slightly curved in side view, in Melzer's reagent pale yellow singly, dull olive yellow in mass, mostly with 2-3 lipid droplets, in KOH pale yellow singly, dull yellowish gray in mass, basal scar present but not prominent; basidia borne in a distinct hymenium, 12-18 x 4-5 microns, subcylindric to narrowly clavate, "thin-walled and soon collapsing, mostly 8-spored", brachybasidioles 10-20 x 6-10 microns, subspherical, clavate, or obovate, thin-walled when young, thick-walled, mucilaginous when old, not readily disarticulated in crush mounts; subhymenium poorly developed, composed of branching, colorless, thin-walled or thick-walled, cylindric or cubic hyphae; trama of hyphae that are 4-7 microns wide, colorless, highly refractive in KOH, cylindric to slightly swollen, thin-walled when young, mucilaginous when old, oleiferous hyphae present in mediostratum, 6-12 microns wide, hyaline refractive to deep yellow in KOH and in Melzer's reagent, "cylindric or irregularly swollen and contorted"; peridium 300-360 microns thick, peridial subcutis a layer of hyphae that are 6-14 microns wide, cylindric, appressed, interwoven, and thin-walled, oleiferous hyphae abundant, 8-20 microns wide, dark yellowish brown in KOH and in Melzer's reagent, cylindric or irregularly swollen and contorted, occasionally branching, slightly gelatinized when old, "lightly encrusted with amorphous pigment that is orange brown to reddish brown in KOH, orange brown in Melzer's reagent, readily liquefying into large, compound orange brown pigment globules", peridial epicutis a turf of spherical to ovoid, thin-walled, inflated cells; clamp connections absent, (Miller)

Habitat / Range

under mixed conifers (Smith(4)), underground under conifers, often gregarious (Lincoff), "occurring primarily on disturbed, eroded, or less than optimal sites", associated with a variety of conifers, (in the western United States including Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine), P. contorta (Lodgepole Pine), P. monticola (Western White Pine), Tsuga mertensiana (Mountain hemlock), and Abies amabilis (Pacific Silver Fir)), July to December, (Miller), with Pinus, Pseudotsuga (Douglas-fir), Abies, and other conifers "in young to mature stands from sea level to subalpine", year-round, (Trappe, M.(3))

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


edible when immature, but too difficult to identify accurately (Lincoff for Europe)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Smith(30), Smith(4), Lincoff(1)*, Miller, S.L.(1) (colors mostly from Kornerup(3)), Trappe, M.(1)*, Trappe, M.(3)*, Colgan(2), Hawker(1), Trappe(13)

References for the fungi

General References