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

Cortinarius armillatus
bracelet cortinarius

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #18504)

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Distribution of Cortinarius armillatus
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Species Information

Subgenus Telamonia Section Armillati. Features include 1) a somewhat hygrophanous red-brown to yellow-brown cap, often paler toward the edge, with small red scales, especially in the center, and often orange-red patches of veil on the margin, 2) brownish flesh without blue tints, 3) notched, medium spaced, lightly brown young gills, 4) a white fibrillose stem that is later grayish brown, but usually with belts and patches of vivid orange-red universal veil, 5) growth under Betula (birch), and 6) microscopic characters including fairly large, thick-walled, strongly dextrinoid spores.

Harrower(1) assigned BC collection sequence 153 to Cortinarius armillatus. Morphological correlation is desirable. It is close enough to the Swedish neotype to be considered the same species (only 1 base pair and 2 indels), (D. Miller, pers. comm.). The phylogenetic study of Liimatainen(11) shows a collection from AK matching the Sweden neotype. Cortinarius armillatus has been found at least in ID and BC and is especially common in northeastern North America according to Arora(1). It is found from Canada to NJ, west to ID, (Phillips(1)). There are collections from BC at the Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria and University of British Columbia. It is also found in Switzerland and Asia according to Breitenbach(5). Niskanen(13) examined material from Sweden, Finland and France.
5-13cm across, obtuse to broadly bell-shaped or convex becoming nearly flat or broadly umbonate; only slightly hygrophanous (if at all), dull tawny or yellow-brown to rusty brown, orange-brown or reddish brown; not viscid, surface smooth or sometimes with small scales when old, "margins sometimes hung with veil remnants", (Arora)
thick; pallid or brownish, (Arora), thick, firm; pallid, darker in the stem, (Phillips)
"emarginate, medium thick to thick", medium-spaced (45-65 reaching stem), "light brown when young", dark brown when old; "edge somewhat lighter, rather uneven", (Niskanen), adnate to adnexed or notched, fairly well-spaced, broad; pale or dull cinnamon, becoming rusty brown, (Arora), adnate, distant, (Phillips)
7-17(20) x 0.8-1.5cm (at the top), cylindric, clavate at base (up to 3.0cm), "rarely wholly cylindric"; "white fibrillose when young, later grayish brown", "universal veil on stem vivid orange-red, usually forming an annular band on the middle part and distinct belts or zones lower down"; basal mycelium white to pale pinkish, (Niskanen), 7-15cm x 1-2.5cm at top, club-shaped; whitish to brownish; one or more (usually 2 to 3) dull red bracelets on dry stem from universal veil, (Arora), 1-3 cinnabar-red bands, (Phillips), with one or several cinnabar-red bands of veil remnants (Breitenbach)
see CAP and STEM sections (Niskanen), reddish, fibrillose universal veil leaves bracelets on stem; cortina copious and white, often leaving hairs on upper stem, (Arora)
in gills slightly raphanoid (Niskanen), usually slightly radish-like, (Arora)
bitter (Phillips), mild (Miller)
Microscopic spores:
spores 9.7-11.8 x 5.9-7.0 microns, "weakly sigmoid to narrowly amygdaloid to narrowly ellipsoid, sometimes with a low suprahilar depression slightly curved apex to the abaxial side of the spore, making the spores unique", "thick-walled, fairly finely to moderately, densely verrucose, most strongly at the apex", "warts somewhat anastomosing, strongly dextrinoid, at least some spores becoming brownish red in KOH, but this character was not observed in all specimens", spores on the gills "usually less dextrinoid and slightly narrower" [than those on the veil probably, judging by other descriptions in the journal article]; basidia 4-spored, 30-41 x 8-10 microns, "with pale yellowish to olivaceous brownish contents" in Melzer''s reagent and KOH; gill edge "fertile with basidia and narrowly clavate cells"; gill trama hyphae "in the overall view (pale) olivaceous yellowish to olivaceous brownish" in Melzer''s reagent and KOH, "smooth to distinctly finely scabrous, with small to large, olivaceous brown spot-like incrustations"; cap cuticle: epicutis medium thick, uppermost hyphae 4-10 microns wide, "yellowish brown to olivaceous yellowish brown" in Melzer''s reagent and KOH, "smooth (to very finely scabrous)", lower hyphae 6-12 microns wide, almost colorless, "smooth to finely scabrous", hypoderm "weakly developed with elongated elements" about 40-75(90) x 17-25 microns, almost colorless, "fairly thin-walled, smooth to finely encrusted", hyphae "in the transition to trama smooth to finely encrusted in KOH", in Melzer''s reagent "with scanty, small, pale olivaceous brownish, spot-like incrustations"; clamp connections: present, (Niskanen), spores (7)9-13 x 5.5-7.5 microns, elliptic, rough, (Arora), 7-12 x (5)6-7(7.5) microns, elliptic to almond-shaped, roughened, (Phillips), spores 9.5-13 x 5.7-7.3 microns, elliptic, weakly verrucose, deep ocher with a pink tint; basidia 4-spored, 33-40 x 8.5-10 microns, narrowly clavate, with basal clamp connection; no pleurocystidia, marginal cells generally clustered, cylindric to clavate, end cells 12-35 x 5-10 microns; cap cuticle composed of periclinal hyphae 4-10 microns wide, colorless to light yellow, lightly encrusted in places, septa with clamp connections, (Breitenbach)
Spore deposit:
rusty brown (Arora, Phillips), cinnamon brown (Schalkwijk-Barendsen)

Habitat / Range

in loose groups in deciduous and mixed forests with Betula (birch), possibly also with Carpinus (hornbeam), "on damp to fairly dry, usually oligotrophic soil", and it is also common "in coniferous forests under solitary birches and in manmade habitats such as yards, parks, cemeteries and roadsides", "common in hemiboreal to subarctic zones and rare to occasional in the temperate zone"; fruiting late July to mid-October, (Niskanen for northern Europe), single or more often scattered or in groups, on ground, associated with birch (Arora), summer and fall (Miller)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cortinarius haematochelis "sensu Bidaud, Moenne-Locc. & Reumaux "

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Genetic information (NCBI Taxonomy Database)
Taxonomic Information from the World Flora Online
Index Fungorium
Taxonomic reference: Epicrisis systematis mycologici (Uppsala): 295. 1838; Cortinarius haematochelis sensu Bidaud, Moenne-Locc. & Reumaux Atlas des Cortinaires 7: fiche 265. 1995

Additional Range and Status Information Links


yes, but be very cautious, (Arora), probably poisonous (Phillips)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Niskanen(13)*, Arora(1)*, Phillips(1)*, Lincoff(2)*, Miller(14)*, Kibby(1)*, Courtecuisse(1)*, Bessette(2)*, Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)*, Breitenbach(5)*, Bacon(1)*, Buczacki(1)*, Harrower(1), McAdoo(1)*, Liimatainen(11)*

References for the fungi

General References