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

Agaricus purpurellus
little purple agaricus

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15222)

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Distribution of Agaricus purpurellus
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Species Information

{See also Small Agaricus Table} Section Minores, presumably. Agaricus purpurellus is a member of the A. diminutivus group with purple-tinged (bright or deep wine-red) cap. The online Species Fungorum, accessed October 10, 2012, gives this species as a synonym of Agaricus dulcidulus Schulzer, but Isaacs(1), who reported A. purpurellus from Washington State, said that he found no material fitting the description of A. dulcidulus.

In addition to the A. purpurellus report from WA by Isaacs(1), a collection from BC by Paul Kroeger was deposited at University of British Columbia. Kerrigan(3) does not mention this species - he does mention a destroyed collection as "the only lilac- or violet-colored Agaricus [italicized] I have seen in North America" but does not assign a name to it. It is also found in Europe.
4-4.5cm across, cushion-shaped, convex, finally flattened; deep wine red at disc, whitish ground with light grayish margin, bruises ochraceous; finely appressed fibrils in small batches radiating outward, giving streaked silken look, (Dilly), 4-4.5cm across, wine red at disc, background color of margin light grayish, bruises ochraceous, "fibrils grouped in small batches to create slightly squamulose look", buttons cushion-shaped, (Chariton), 4-4.7cm across, pulvinate [cushion-shaped], becoming convex to broadly convex, disc with obscure, low, rounded umbo, or somewhat flattened-truncate, margin lobed to slightly irregular, exceeding gills; "deep, shining reddish-vinaceous to the margin which is silvery white to light grayish, the disc 13F5-6, Rh., 8E8-9, outward paler, 13B-D2-3, Rh., the margin silvery white, darkening in age to 7A-C9-10, 12B-C2-3, surface where bruised ochraceous, 12K-L7-8"; finely appressed-fibrillose, occasionally obscurely squamulose [fine-scaly] at margin, the fibrillosity usually grouped into fasciculate strands that radiate outward to margin, give cap a streaked silky appearance, disc entire, margin occasionally appendiculate with hanging veil remnants, (Isaacs), 2-4cm across, completely wine-red with purple-colored radial fibrils and scales, (Moser), up to 5cm across, vinaceous brown; fibrillose, with fibrillose margin, (Courtecuisse)
0.3-0.4cm thick, gradually tapering off disc; white becoming grayish, in stem brittle, punky; white to ochraceous, (Isaacs), white, yellowing, (Courtecuisse)
pale grayish wine then reddish, (Chariton), free, gradually rounded at cap margin and stem, rather broad, about 0.5-0.7cm, ventricose to arcuate, not reaching cap margin; ''at first "pale grayish-vinaceous", R39, to "light vinaceous fawn", R40, pale rosy, then darkening to reddish-brown or black, 8E-H10'', (Isaacs), deep (Moser), grayish then vinaceous brown (Courtecuisse)
3.5-7cm x 0.5cm, equal to having rounded bulbous base; white or pallid, often staining yellowish, sometimes slightly tufted at base, (Chariton), 3.5-6.5 x 0.45-0.65cm, equal in upper part, with a rounded bulbous base about 0.9cm wide, occasionally merely club-shaped, punky inside then hollow at base; pure white at first, then tinted with flesh color, 11B-C2, where handled becoming ochraceous, 12K-L8-9; silky-shining above ring, "streaked-fibrillose-appressed to slightly floccose toward base, the flocculae often breaking up into patches over surface", (Isaacs), club-shaped, in middle about 0.5cm, (Moser), up to 5cm long and 0.5cm wide, white, yellowing, (Courtecuisse)
single, thin, white, fleeting, (Chariton), ring superior, sheathing above, flaring at first then becoming appressed to stem, "single, finely cottony-tomentose, often upturned and oblique at first, narrow", (Isaacs)
faintly fragrant anise (Chariton), sweet, almond-like, (Isaacs), of bitter almonds (Courtecuisse)
sweet, almond-like, (Isaacs)
Microscopic spores:
spores 4.5-5 x 3.5 microns, narrowly elliptic to obovate in face and side views, apiculus obscure, oblique, colorless, guttulation [droplets] obscure; basidia 4-spored, 18-23 x 6-7 microns, clavate, colorless to slightly yellowish in KOH, sterigmata aculeate, about 3-3.5 microns long; cheilocystidia only slightly wider than basidia and difficult to demonstrate, 12-24 x 7-10 microns, clavate, spheropedunculate, occasionally cylindric, (Isaacs), spores 4-5 x 2.5-3.7 microns (Moser)
Spore deposit:
[presumably a dark shade of brown]

Habitat / Range

open woods(Chariton), gregarious "on needle duff under conifers in open woods", (Isaacs), coniferous woods (Moser), grassy conifer woods (Courtecuisse)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


yes, but too easy to confuse with poisonous Inocybe species, (Chariton)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Isaacs(1) (colors from Ridgway(1), Kornerup(2) or Maerz(1)), Chariton(1), Courtecuisse(1)*, Moser(1), Dilly(1), Kerrigan(3) (to say that he does not mention species)

References for the fungi

General References