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

Volvariella gloiocephala (DC.) Wasser
common Volvariella

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #17457)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Volvariella gloiocephala
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Species Information

Features include dull white to gray or grayish brown, viscid cap; free, crowded, broad, white gills; whitish smooth stem; white to pale grayish, sac-like volva; growth in cultivated soil; and pinkish spore deposit. Volvariella speciosa var. gloiocephala, considered by some as a separate species, differs in having darker colors (brown or gray rather than whitish), and striations on cap (Arora). Boekhout & Enderle (1986 as referred to in Breitenbach(4)) determined that these color types are conspecific and can arise from a single mycelium.(Those that grow in summer are white and those in fall are gray to gray brown). For reasons of priority the combined species is given the name Volvariella gloiocephala; Justo(2) moved this species and its allies to a new genus Volvopluteus based on molecular research; on Volvariella speciosa var. speciosa collections examined from BC, WA, OR, also ON, MB, YT, AL, CA, CO, DC, FL, IL, IN, KS, MI, MT, NY, SC, SD, WI, (Shaffer); var. gloiocephala collections examined from CA, IA, KS, NY, (Shaffer). Breitenbach(4) give the range of V. gloiocephala as North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
5-15cm across, at first oval, then convex to flat or broadly umbonate; dull white to gray or grayish brown (rarely fulvous), "or often whitish with a darker center", "often with a metallic luster when dry"; "smooth or occasionally with patches of universal veil tissue, viscid when moist", margin sometimes striate, (Arora), 5-15cm across, ovoid to spherical when young, expanding to convex or flat, more or less umbonate; "white to light avellaneous or light brownish gray", often darker on disc; viscid, bald, "at times bearing patches of universal veil", margin not striate or only slightly striate, (Shaffer)
soft; white, (Arora), "moderately thick in center, thin towards the margin, soft"; white, (Shaffer)
free, crowded, broad; "white becoming flesh-colored and finally sordid reddish", (Arora); free, close to crowded, broad, ventricose; white, becoming deep flesh color; edges uneven to eroded, (Shaffer)
5-20cm x 1-2.5cm, equal or wider at base; whitish; dry, more or less smooth, (Arora), 9-20cm x 0.8-2cm, equal or widening to base, at times bulbous up to 3cm, round in cross-section, solid; white to cream; bald or villose and glabrescent [becoming bald], with the base villose to tomentose, (Shaffer), VOLVA universal veil membranous, forming a white to pale grayish sac-like volva at base of stem, volva often buried in soil, (Arora), "rather shallow, with the margin free and nearly even, lacerate, or lobed, white to light gray", (Shaffer)
universal veil forming volva, [presumably no ring]
unpleasant (Shaffer)
unpleasant (Shaffer)
Microscopic spores:
spores 11.5-21 x 7-12 microns, elliptic, smooth, [presumably thickened wall, presumably inamyloid, gill tissue presumably convergent], (Arora), spores 11.7-20.9 x 7.2-12.4 microns, oval to ovoid [sic], occasionally obovoid; basidia 4-spored, rarely 2-spored or 3-spored, 30-66 x 11-18 microns, clavate; pleurocystidia common, 30-118 x 10-69 microns, subcylindric to fusoid and then with or without a knob at apex, "fusoid-ventricose (and then at times with the neck enlarged at the apex, constricted at the base, rarely branched, slender and curved, or short and passing abruptly into the body of the cystidium), lanceoloid to oblanceoloid and then at times bearing a nipple or knob at the apex", clavate and then often with a knob or slender projection up to 25 microns long arising from the apex, ovoid, or obovoid, cheilocystidia abundant, 23-108 x 8-42 microns, fusoid, with or without a projection up to 50 microns long and 8 microns wide "which may be variously swollen and contorted along its length and rarely branched", "fusoid-ventricose and then at times with the neck enlarged at the apex or slender and passing abruptly into the body of the cystidium, obtusely lanceoloid with or without a knob or nipple at the apex", clavate and then at times with a slender projection up to 25 microns long arising from the apex, or ovoid; cap cuticle up to 260 microns thick, of gelatinized hyphae; clamp connections absent, (Shaffer)
Spore deposit:
deep flesh-color to pinkish-brown (Arora)

Habitat / Range

single to scattered or gregarious in cultivated soil, occasionally in woods, (Arora), single to gregarious "on dung or rich soil in lawns, gardens, fields, woods, and greenhouses", (Shaffer), spring, summer, and fall, (Miller), spring and summer, persisting as late as December, (Bacon), spring, summer, fall, winter

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Volvariella speciosa (Fr. ex Fr.) Singer
Volvariopsis emendatior (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Murrill
Volvariopsis floridana Murrill
Volvariopsis speciosa Murrill

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


yes, take a spore deposit because some Amanitas have pinkish gills in old age, (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Shaffer(3), Arora(1)* (as V. speciosa), Miller(14)* (as V. speciosa), Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)*, Kibby(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Breitenbach(4)*, Bacon(1)*, AroraPocket* (as V. speciosa), Justo(2)

References for the fungi

General References