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

Cortinarius caperatus
gypsy mushroom

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15137)

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Distribution of Cortinarius caperatus
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Species Information

Subgenus Phlegmacium. Features are warm brown or yellowish, wrinkled cap that has a hoary sheen when young, membranous ring, and rusty-brown spore deposit. The common English name ''gypsy'' should be avoided as it is often considered a racial slur (the g-word) by the Romani people. Rozites was synonymized in 2002 with Cortinarius due to molecular data (Peintner(2)). The description is derived from Arora(1) except where specified. This is a common species in the Pacific Northwest.

It has been reported specifically from BC (in Redhead(5)), from WA by Arora(1), Jumpponen(1), and O''Dell(1), from OR (Lorelei Norvell., pers. comm.), from ID (Arora(1), Drew Parker, pers. comm.), and from CA (Desjardin), as well as elsewhere in North America and in Europe and Africa.
5-15cm across, oval becoming somewhat bell-shaped to broadly convex, flat or obscurely umbonate; "warm tan to yellow-brown or orange-brown, margin often paler"; dry, with a hoary sheen when young, "usually distinctly wrinkled or corrugated radially, at first covered with a thin white to grayish coating of silky fibrils (especially at center)", (Arora), "light ocher to beige-brown or ocher-yellow to orange-ocher, with a pale violet cast from a thin veil when young"; "margin acute, even to undulating-costate", (Breitenbach)
thick, firm; white
"adnate to adnexed or notched, close"; at first pallid, soon dull tawny or brown to rusty brown, "sometimes transversely banded with darker and lighter zones", (Arora), pale brown to darker brown with pale edges; often crisped or wavy, (Trudell)
5-13cm x 1-2.5cm, "equal or slightly enlarged at base, solid, firm"; white to pale tan or pale ocher; top often striate or scurfy, base sometimes with an obscure volva-like zone, (Arora), "whitish to creamy or pale yellow-brown and fibrillose, especially below the ring", (Trudell), 5-12(15)cm x 1-2.5cm, white to dingy whitish, "developing pale orangish stains at base"; "dry, with longitudinal striations, slightly silky to smooth", (Siegel(2))
"white, membranous, forming a more or less median ring", (Arora), persistent white membranous ring; universal veil white, often leaving a thin whitish coating on cap and slight membranous rim around the stem base; sometimes the veil on the cap or the stem apex has slight violet tones, (Trudell), partial veil thick, membranous, "leaving a rimmed collarlike ring near midpoint of stipe", (Siegel)
pleasant (Phillips), none (Miller), indistinct (Siegel)
pleasant (Phillips), mild to slightly unpleasant (Siegel)
Microscopic spores:
spores 11-15 x 7-10 microns, elliptic, roughened or warty, some cheilocystidia, (Arora), spores 10.2-13.5 x 7.1-9 microns, elliptic to amygdaliform [almond-shaped], moderately verrucose, some somewhat papilliform apically, light ocher-yellow; basidia 4-spored, 35-55 x 12-14 microns, clavate, with basal clamp connection; pleurocystidia none, marginal cells on gills 25-50 x 6-10 microns, cylindric to clavate; cap cuticle of periclinal hyphae 2-12 microns wide, colorless to light yellow, in part lightly encrusted, septa with clamp connections, (Breitenbach)
Spore deposit:
rusty brown (Arora), rust-yellow (Breitenbach), dingy-rusty to yellowish brown (Miller), ochraceous brown (Buczacki)

Habitat / Range

scattered or in groups on ground in woods, (Arora), in coniferous woods, often under blueberries or huckleberries, July to September, (Phillips), summer to early fall (Miller)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Pholiota caperata (Pers.) Fr.
Rozites caperata (Fr.) P. Karst.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Genetic information (NCBI Taxonomy Database)
Taxonomic Information from the World Flora Online
Index Fungorium
Taxonomic reference: Epicrisis 256. 1838; Rozites caperata (Fr.) P. Karst.; Pholiota caperata (Pers.) Fr.

Additional Range and Status Information Links


yes, discard tough stems, (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Arora(1)* (as Rozites caperata), Phillips(1)* (as Rozites), Lincoff(2)* (as Rozites), Lincoff(1)* (as Rozites), Miller(14)* (as Rozites), Ammirati(1)* (as Rozites), Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)* (as Rozites), Kibby(1)* (as Rozites), Courtecuisse(1)* (as Rozites), Bessette(2)* (as Rozites), Barron(1)* (as Rozites), Breitenbach(5)* (as Rozites), Redhead(5) (as Rozites), O''Dell(1) (as Rozites), Jumpponen(1) (as Rozites), Sept(1)* (as Rozites), Trudell(4)* (as Rozites), Peintner(2), AroraPocket* (as Rozites), Buczacki(1)*, Desjardin(6)*, Siegel(2)*, Marrone(1)*, McBride(1)*, McKnight(1)*, McAdoo(1)*

References for the fungi

General References