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

Heyderia abietis (Fr.) Link
miniature earth-tongue

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #85447)

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Distribution of Heyderia abietis
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Species Information


Not available
Fruiting body:
0.5-4(5)cm tall, sharply differentiated head is 0.1-0.7(1)cm wide and high, roundish to cylindric; pinkish-buff to pale flesh-colored to light brown; smooth; flesh thin, (Arora), 0.3-2cm high, head 0.05-0.2cm wide and 0.1-0.7cm high, cylindric to hemispheric, light brown to pinkish buff, sharply distinct from stem, (Mains), 2-3cm tall, with distinct head and stem, head up to 0.3cm wide, helmet-shaped to cylindric, 1/5 to 1/4 the height of the fruiting body; yellow-brown to brown-ocher, smooth, (Breitenbach)
thin (Arora)
0.5-3(4)cm x 0.1-0.4(0.7)cm, equal or tapered slightly; light to dark brown, usually darker than head; smooth or slightly powdery in upper part, often with brown hairs at base, (Arora), 0.02-0.07cm wide, very slender, round in cross-section; light to dark brown; slightly pruinose in upper part, often with a brown tomentum in lower part, (Mains), up to 0.1cm wide, cylindric, colored as cap but somewhat darker toward the base; smooth, finely frosted, (Breitenbach)
spores 10-14 x 2-2.5 microns, elongate, smooth, not septate, colorless, (Arora), spores 10-14 x 2-2.5 microns, fusoid [spindle-shaped], subfalcate [somewhat sickle-shaped] or narrowly cymbiform [boat-shaped], acuminate [narrowing gradually to a point] at both ends or acuminate at one end and rounded at the other, straight or slightly curved, one-celled; asci 50-70 x 4-6 microns, clavate; paraphyses slender, clavate, colorless, branched in lower part, (Mains), spores 11-15 x 1.7-2.5 microns, cylindric-fusiform, smooth, colorless, not septate, with several droplets; asci 8-spored, 70-75 x 5-7 microns; paraphyses filiform, tips with slight clavate thickenings, (Breitenbach)

Habitat / Range

scattered to densely gregarious in needle duff under northern and mountain conifers, sometimes in large carpets on forest floor, spring, summer and fall, (Arora), scattered on fallen needles of conifers (spruce, hemlock, fir and larch), (Mains), growing singly on conifer needles, but gregariously, (Breitenbach)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Dacrymyces radicatus ([Alb. & Schwein.] Fr.) Donk
Gymnomitrula abietis S. Imai
Helotium radicatum Alb. & Schwein.
Heyderia cucullata Boud.
Mitrula abietis Fr.
Mitrula cucullata Fr.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


"fleshless and probably flavorless", (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Mains(3) (as Mitrula abietis), Arora(1)* (as Mitrula abietis), Trudell(4)*, Redhead(42), Breitenbach(1)*, Tylutki(1)* (as Mitrula abietis), Siegel(2)*

References for the fungi

General References