Lepista ID

Basidium basidium at aol.com
Sat Oct 7 09:59:13 EST 2000

>Almost certainly Lepiota Leucothites. I found some very good ones
>on Saturday. With age the gills go a bit pinkish.

I have an interesting story to contribute on this...

About 1993 or so, I was lecturing and helping I.D. display specimens at the
Rochester (NY) Area Mycological Association (RAMA)'s annual "Mushroom Mania"
fair, an event for the public.  June Johnston, who for several years served as
RAMA's president, had a collection of what appeared to be Lepiota naucina (=
Leucoagaricus naucinoides), but she insisted that this fungus produced a pink
spore print.

Several of us—particularly myself, Steve Raines, and Bill
Hollenbaugh—inststed that her specimens would produce a white spore print,
not a pink one.  But June was adamant, so we chose an especially good-looking
cap and set it up for a spore print.

We were all quite amazed at the result: part of the spore deposit was white,
and part was pink!

The pink color development of the gills as this mushroom ages is very
characteristic of the species.  Alan Bessette has posed the hypothesis
(personal communication) that it is caused by a yeast of the genus Rhodotorula.
 I find it fascinating because it is such a consistent developmental character
for this species.  Someone ought to investigate!

David W. Fischer
Coauthor, "Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America" and
   "Mushrooms of Northeastern North America"
E-mail: basidium at aol.com
Website: http://members.aol.com/mycology

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