mushroom ID

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Fri Nov 13 10:00:17 EST 1998


In article <000101be0cd7$197ee0c0$03000004 at test>,
  "Earthly Edibles" <earthlyedbl at erols.com> wrote:
>  Found: central Virginia, late Oct, in soil amongst leaf duff in mixed woods
> (mostly oak), near the beaten path. Caps were from 2 to 7 cm across, half as
> much or less high; white, covered with a thin cottony-woolly material;
> becoming more depressed in age. Margin inrolled throughout age. Stalk white,
> covered like cap, short and rudimentary; tapered at base, a few rootlets
> attached. Spore print unobtainable, as there was no fertile surface. A
> x-section of cap showed a granular subsurface and an interior like that of
> the "veil", but denser. As "margin" expanded it broke the initial portion of
> the veillike covering, but only revealed more of it underneath. Couldn't
> tell if stalk was percurrent or not, although well-aged specimens did reveal
> more of the "stalk", and a white undersurface that, where the "cotton" had
> apparently collapsed, revealed a finely morchella-like undersurface, -but no
> spore print. I did catch a glimpse of a couple of spores, but were possibly
> foreign.
>  I don't usually fret over not IDing every mushroom I find, but this one
> really bugs me. If they were Podaxales, I imagine they would at least
> distantly resemble something recognizable. The only thing they did resemble
> were white-moldy piles of dog-dirt.
> I would welcome even a "wrong" guess.
>

I'm not familiar enough with Virginian fungi to even make a guess. But it is
possible that the fungi are like the Podaxales, and have spores on the
interior rather than the exterior. There are several small white
mushroom-like fungi with similar characteristics. But then again your
description sounds an awful lot like some button Lactarius I've run across.
In either case, slicing one specimen will aid dehydration and further the
examination of the interior, if there is one.

You might also send a dried sample to Dr. James Trappe, c/o Forestry Sciences
Lab, 3200 Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97339 for possible identification. If
it is one of the truffle-like fungi, I'm sure he'd be _very_ interested.

My sole experience with Podaxis came from a chance fruiting in a neighbor's
backyard last year. A tiny stalked puffball apparently had been brought into
the yard with fill sand collected near The Dalles, OR. Whether this fungus
was fruiting from organic material or had formed a symbiotic relationship
with some of the herbaceous flowers nearby is a mystery to me, but it was
fruiting in a shallow trench between the grass lawn and the flower bed. None
of these measured over 2cm high, and certainly nowhere even 1cm wide.

And I remember seeing Podaxis pistillaris brought into an OMS Show one year
which approached 20 cm tall, not counting the cap.

Daniel B. Wheeler
http://www.oregonwhitetruffles.com

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