Identification Assistance Requested

Sat Jul 11 10:38:24 EST 1998

 I live in Manassas, VA.  The tight association with a living tree root also amazed me and I
thought it would make it easy to identify (esp given the other characteristics -- white flesh,
white spore print, growing in clusters, etc.), but I couldn't find anything.  Slugs and maggots
love it.  The maggots will reduce it to a brown mass of slime (with a few stalks sticking up) in
a day.

In article <b1ca943500021004c8c4@[]>,
	mschaech at (Moselio Schaechter) wrote:

>  At 1:35 PM 7/9/98, RAPHAEL PANITZ wrote:
>>I can't seem to identify a mushroom growing in my front yard.  Here are
>>the characteristics:
>>     Growing on the semi-exposed root of a Water Maple.  The roots run
>>along the ground and are
>>partially exposed to the air.  The mushrooms start growing when there is a
>>little bit of dirt
>>covering the root.  When I pull up a cluster, it is always attached to the
>>buried root and has
>>its rhizomorphs digging into the tree root.
>>     Had a lot of rain recently and temperatures in the high 80s
>>     At least 10 or 20 growing from a single location on the tree root.
>>     I have about 7 clusters now growing on the root (growing over a space
>>of about 20 feet,
>>with another 5 clusters developing.
>>     The "clusters" have a LOT of overlap and are tightly packed
>>     Some in shade, some in direct sunlight
>>     Mature cluster can be 12" x 8" x 4" -- a tight mass of mushrooms
>>     The rhizomorphs are brown and all stalks come together in a single
>>place on the root of the
>>Maple tree.
>>Spore Print:
>>     White
>>     1" when young, 2(maybe 2 1/2) inches at maturity
>>     Plane when young, becoming Depressed in age
>>     Dry
>>     Very light tannish brown
>>     Smooth to touch, but slightly scaly-looking
>>     Adnate when young, becoming decurrent in age
>>     Not crowded
>>     Varying lengths
>>     White becoming yellowish in age
>>     White
>>     Central
>>     Thin (1/4 ")
>>     Brown with vertical lines
>>     Mild, "mushroomy" smell -- no difference when crushed
>>     Similar to Agaricus Bisporus i.e. not brittle, watery, or tough
>>Universal Veil:
>>     Absent
>>Partial Veil:
>>     Absent
>>Any assistance would be appreciated.
>I can only make a wild guess, as the description does not readily fit any
>species I know.   My conjecture is that it may be a  Clitocybe or a
>Lyophyllum.   Leafing through Bigelow's  N.A. Species of Clitocybe, one
>finds quite a few caespitose species that  fit at least some of what you
>describe, although most have fairly crowded gills and have a prominent but
>not "mushroomy" smell  when crushed.    The strong association with tree
>roots is puzzling.
>Where do you live, by the way?
>Elio Schaechter
>Author, "In the Company of Mushrooms"
>Harvard University Press
>ISBN 0-674-44554-6

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