truffler1635 at truffler1635 at
Mon Nov 27 17:24:16 EST 2000

In article <v04020a01b6477b3074e6@[]>,
  Moselio Schaechter <mschaech at> wrote:
> What color are the spores?  If white and amyloid,  it could be Amanita
> brunnescens or something like it.
You may have hit it on the head, Moselio. Thank you. I don't notice any
cloven-foot bases, but haven't dug up many. However, they are
_definately_ near A. gemmata which are also fruiting now. I always though
that A. brunnescens was a rather robust species with noticeable
striations on the edges of the cap. These striations are not present on
most of what I am finding. The only other questionable characteristic is
the abundance: there are literally hundreds of specimens: far more
abundant than Helvella lacunosa or Gomphidius sps, which are also fairly
common in the stand. There are also thatcher ant nests up to 3 feet high,
typically fruiting abundantly Macrolepiota rhacoides after the first
heavy fall rains.

Thanks for replying, Moselio. BTW, I have your book In The Company of
Mushrooms, (c, 1997 by Harvard University Press), and have enjoyed your
writing style a lot! Great photos as well. I wish I had your eye for

 The species comes in several varieties
> and, at least in the Northeast, they have quite a few shades of color.
Maybe that's what's throwing me off. I typically associate A. brunnescens
as rather rare, and mostly from the coast range forests. This is in the
foothills area of the Cascades, near the base of Mt. St. Helens.

Then again, I suppose it could always be a new species.
> Some varieties,  I read,  are found in the Northwest.  Noteworthy
> characteristics of the species are clefts in the bulb ("cloven hoof" would
> be a good common name for it), amyloid spores, often smell of raw potatoes,
> flesh turning slowly brownish when injured.
I haven't noted the brown-bruising reaction either. I'll have to test it
the next time I go looking.
  In the NE, they favor
> hardwoods and are often found close to A. gemmata.
Interesting. But both species at this site are found in near pure stands
of Douglas fir. In fact, the plantation was planted at 10 foot spacings,
and other tree species (including hardwoods or understory deciduous
shrubs) are quite rare.
  I can't explain the
> lack of volvar patches, so perhaps it's something else (a cortinarius?).
I thought the same thing at first, but there are no cobwebby veils, nor
noticeable annulus, nor the typical cortinarious veils even on very
young, barely emergent specimens with gills still not unfolded.

Obviously I need to spend more time making spore prints and drying
specimens for others to identify. Detailed notes and measurements
wouldn't hurt, either. It's just that when I usually find them, I'm
spending most of my time gathering truffles...and attempting to avoid
_all_ forms of Amanita. I guess I'm basically Amanita-phobic, even though
I like finding them and looking at them on the collection table. (Sigh)

Daniel B. Wheeler
> Elio Schaechter
> At 3:43 PM -0800 11/26/00, truffler1635 at wrote:
> >I've been having trouble keying out a rather common, probably inedible,
> >but annoying fungus I come across on a regular basis.
> >
> >Habitat is full canopy Douglas fir plantation of about 20 years old.
> >
> >Soil is mostly soft, with leave and twig litter.
> >
> >Mushrooms are abundant, yellow-brown, resembling Amanitas except none
> >have ever, to my knowledge, had any volval patches on top.And since they
> >are well-protected from direct rainfall, I'd kind of expect them to have
> >patches if they were Amanitas. OTOH, Amanita gemmata is a common, if not
> >frequent mushrooms in the stand.
> >
> >The oddest thing about the mushroom is its distinctive base. _Always_ it
> >has an abuptly widening at ground level: but only there. The stem above
> >ground is the same diameter as far as I can tell from just above the base
> >to the cap. Cap can be anything from 1.5 inches to 4 inches in diameter.
> >
> >The underground base looks like the bottom of a child's top, and is
> >seldom more than an inch deeper than the soil surface, becoming pointed
> >at the bottom.
> >
> >Any suggestions?
> >
> >Daniel B. Wheeler
> >
> >
> >
> >Sent via
> >Before you buy.

Sent via
Before you buy.

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