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Cortinarius species 01
by Michael Kuo
This apparently unnamed species of Cortinarius is probably fairly common in eastern North America's oak-hickory forests. It belongs to the Cortinarius armeniacus species group, but differs not only in its mycorrhizal partners (Cortinarius armeniacus associates with spruces, while other group members associate with other conifers or with northern hardwoods like birch), but also in the brownish color of its young gills and in its consistently swollen stem base. Cortinarius privignoides is similar, but features a darker cap and gills with whitish edges; it associates with conifers.
Ecology: Mycorrhizal with oaks and/or hickories; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; common in September and October in Illinois (see comments below for additional possibilities regarding range).
Cap: 1-6 cm; convex to bell-shaped, becoming wavy and broadly convex, broadly bell-shaped, or nearly flat; dry; silky; dull orangish brown, fading slightly (subhygrophanous) to orangish tan; the margin with a whitish zone when young.
Gills: Attached to the stem by a notch; close or nearly distant; dull clay color before the veil breaks, becoming rusty brown; covered by a white cortina when young.
Stem: 4-6 cm long; up to 2 cm thick at the apex; tapering above a swollen basal bulb that is occasionally slightly rimmed; dry; silky; whitish; with a fairly copious, rusty ring zone; basal mycelium whitish.
Flesh: Whitish; unchanging when sliced.
Chemical Reactions: KOH gray on cap surface and on flesh.
Spore Print: Rusty brown.
Microscopic Features: Spores 8-10.5 x 5-6 µ; ellipsoid; weakly verrucose. Cheilo- and pleurocystidia absent. Pileipellis a cutis.
REFERENCES: Herb. Kuo 09300507, 09250802.
I have seen, but not collected, a similar if not identical species in northern Michigan--and Kauffman's 1918 (page 431) description of an unnamed, hardwood-associated species in Michigan may be the same entity. Additionally, Yves Lamoureaux informally reports "Cortinarius quercophilus nom. prov." from Québec; this may or may not represent the mushroom I have described and illustrated here.
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2011, December). Cortinarius species 01. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/cortinarius_sp_01.html