|Major Groups > Cup Fungi > Chlorencoelia torta|
by Michael Kuo
This little cup fungus is boring and brownish on casual inspection, but winds up manifesting some interesting features when studied a bit more closely. Appearing on well-decayed hardwood logs in eastern North America, it features a dirty orange upper surface that soon develops olive stains and discolorations, and then turns brown. Underneath, it features a tiny stem-like structure that becomes increasingly wrinkled with age--and its flesh is cinnamon brown. This macroscopic description applies equally to the better known Chlorencoelia versiformis (AKA Chlorosplenium versiforme), which can only be separated from Chlorencoelia torta by means of a microscope; Chlorencoelia torta has shorter spores, darker brown medullary excipular elements, and excipular terminal cells that are clavate to subglobose, rather than cylindric. It is likely that many North American records of Chlorencoelia versiformis represent misidentifications made without a microscope, and actually represent Chlorencoelia torta; Ramamurthi and collaborators (1957) discovered this to be the case about half the time as they examined specimens from North American herbaria.
Chlorosplenium tortum is a synonym. Chlorociboria rugipes, first described from New York by Peck as Helotium rugipes (1874) is also a synonym, according to Dixon (1975)--but Dixon's contention that Peck's North American species is the same as the European species first called Peziza torta by Schweinitz (1832) is not supported by contemporary, DNA-based analysis; it may be the case that "Chlorencoelia rugipes" becomes the correct name for the North American fungus some day.
Ecology: Saprobic on well-decayed, barkless hardwood logs; growing gregariously or in loose clusters in late summer and fall; apparently widely distributed in eastern North America. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois.
Fruiting Body: Cup-shaped at first, becoming flattened or disc-shaped; with a rudimentary, central stem; cups 3-15 mm across, bald, moist, dirty orange at first, becoming olive stained and eventually dark brown; undersurface bald, radially wrinkled, colored like the upper surface; stem 2-5 mm high, 1-2 mm wide, tapered to base, bald, colored like the cap, smooth or becoming elaborately wrinkled; flesh cinnamon brown to brownish, unchanging when sliced.
Chemical Reactions: KOH negative to blackish on all surfaces.
Microscopic Features: Spores 8-12 x 2.5-3.5 µ; long-ellipsoid or nearly cylindric; smooth; hyaline and biguttulate in KOH; hyaline and 1-septate in Melzer's. Asci 125-150 µ long; 8-spored; cylindric; hyaline in KOH; in Melzer's reagent blue to bluish overall when immature, but when approaching maturity hyaline, with a tiny apical blue pore. Paraphyses filiform with subacute or merely rounded apices; 120-150 x 2-4 µ. Medullary excipulum elements dark brown in KOH; dark reddish brown in Melzer's. Terminal cells on excipular surface clavate to subglobose.
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Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2015, May). Chlorencoelia torta. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/chlorencoelia_torta.html