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Summary: recognized by wine-red to tan cap, grooved often segmented or claw-like ring, growth on wood chips, mulch, straw, lawns, gardens, and other cultivated areas, and purple-black spore deposit; there is a white form pictured in Phillips; description derived from Arora(1) except where noted; found at least WA (Stuntz), MA (Murrill), common in New England, collections from BC at Pacific Forestry Centre and University of British Columbia; Breitenbach(4) give distribution as North America, Europe, Asia
Cap: 4-15(20)cm across, "obtusely bell-shaped or convex" becoming broadly umbonate to flat; color variable, wine-red to purple-brown to reddish brown when fresh, but fading to tan, straw, or even grayish as it ages; "smooth, slightly viscid or dry", (Arora), "dark wine-brown when young, irregularly covered with whitish veil remnants, later increasingly paler to ocher-brownish and with fine, wine-reddish fibrils", almost cream-colored when old, (Breitenbach), cracking when old (Lincoff(2))
Flesh: thick, fairly firm; white
Gills: adnate or notched (but sometimes becoming free when old), crowded; "at first whitish but soon gray and finally purple-gray to purple-black with whitish edges"
Stem: 7-12(25)cm x 1-3(7)cm, "often enlarged at base"; white or discoloring yellowish to brownish when old, "base often with white mycelial threads attached"
Veil: membranous, white, forming thick, persistent superior ring on stem that is soon blackened by spores, ring grooved or striate on upper surface and often split radially into segments
Odor: pleasant (Phillips), pleasant, faintly farinaceous, (Miller)
Taste: pleasant (Phillips)
Microscopic spores: spores 10-15 x 6-9 microns, elliptic, smooth; chrysocystidia present on gills, (Arora), spores 9.4-12.3 x 7.1-8.9 microns, "elliptic-ovate, smooth, ocher-brown, thick-walled, with a germ pore"; basidia 4-spored, 26-33 x 8-9.5 microns, cylindric-clavate, without basal clamp connection; cheilocystidia "(chrysocystidia?) in part with contents not changing color in KOH, vesicular, ventricose, clavate, or lageniform, with an apical protrusion", 30-45 x 11-22 microns, pleurocystidia 28-50 x 10-13 microns, fusiform-ventricose, some also with contents not changing color in KOH; cap cuticle of periclinal hyphae 5-13 microns across, brown-pigmented; clamp connections on some septa in cap cuticle, (Breitenbach)
Spore deposit: deep purple-brown to black (Arora), dark brownish violet (Breitenbach)
Habitat / Range
scattered to gregarious "in mulch, wood chips, straw, lawns, gardens, and other cultivated areas", (Arora), May to October (Lincoff(2)), spring, summer, fall
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:
2020-07-09 6:10:45 PM
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