|Major Groups > Gilled Mushrooms > Dark-Spored > Wood-Rotting LBMs / Pholiota > Flammulaster erinaceella|
by Michael Kuo
Flammulaster erinaceella can be separated from similar, granular-capped brown mushrooms by a combination of features:
Though this species is very distinct, especially when microscopic characters are considered, it is a difficult one to place in established genera; Pholiota and Phaeomarasmius have both housed Flammulaster erinaceella in the past. I know of no DNA studies that have included the mushroom, so molecular evidence cannot yet help to resolve the issue.
Ecology: Saprobic on the dead wood of hardwoods; usually found on fallen, well decayed, decorticated logs; spring through fall; probably widely distributed east of the Great Plains, but more common in northeastern North America. I have found it in southern Illinois and in Missouri (in an ecosystem that parallels the baldcypress swamps of the Gulf Coast).
Cap: 1-4 cm; convex becoming flat; dry; densely covered with granular scales that often become powdery; dark brown to dark rusty brown; the margin sometimes hung with remnants of the partial veil.
Gills: Attached to the stem; close; whitish at first, becoming brownish; often with frayed-looking edges.
Stem: 3-4 cm long; under 5 mm thick; equal; covered with granular scales like the cap, but often less densely, revealing the paler color of the stem surface underneath; usually featuring a ring zone.
Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive; taste mild, bitter, or metallic.
Spore Print: Pale cinnamon brown.
Chemical Reactions: KOH red, then black on cap surface, dark reddish brown on flesh; iron salts olive on flesh.
Microscopic Features: Spores 6-9 x 4-5 µ; smooth; more or less elliptical; yellowish to brownish in KOH; yellowish in Melzer's. Basidia narrowly clavate; 4-sterigmate. Pleurocystidia absent. Cheilocystidia abundant; cylindrical below, with a bulbous, capitate end; up to 100 x 16 µ (at least over 50 µ long); hyaline to rusty brown in KOH. Pileipellis with chained, subglobose to irregular elements measuring up to 36 µ across, rusty brown in KOH.
REFERENCES: (Peck, 1878) Watling, 1967. (Kauffman, 1918; Overholts, 1927; Smith & Hesler, 1968; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Lincoff, 1992; Roody, 2003.) Herb. Kuo 05300409, 09240505, 09160601, 09120801, 08080902, 05121202.
Pholiota erinaceella and Phaeomarasmius erinaceellus (misspelled by Singer and several subsequent authors as "Phaeomarasmius erinaceella") are synonyms.
Further Online Information:
Pholiota erinaceella in Smith & Thiers, 1968
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2007, March). Flammulaster erinaceella. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/flammulaster_erinaceella.html