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Leratiomyces ceres ("Stropharia aurantiaca")

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Strophariaceae > Leratiomyces . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Leratiomyces ceres is found in wood chips or in gardens or lawns in coastal California, and possibly elsewhere in North America. It appears to be a landscaping "import" like Morchella rufobrunnea, but it's a little difficult to determine where the species came from. It is found with increasing regularity in Europe, but it is also known from Australia and New Zealand.

The habitat and bright orange colors of Leratiomyces ceres are distinctive, but it is sometimes confused with Leratiomyces squamosus var. thraustus, which decomposes woody debris in hardwood and conifer forests (at least in North America) and has a slimier cap, as well as a sturdy, gracefully arched ring and a shaggy stem. Leratiomyces squamosus var. thraustus also differs microscopically (it lacks chrysocystidia).

Leratiomyces ceres has been called "Stropharia aurantiaca" until recently; see the notes below for details.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing scattered or gregariously on wood chips or in sawdust, lawns, gardens, and so on; fall through spring; coastal California.

Cap: 2-6 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex, broadly bell-shaped, or nearly flat; sticky when fresh, but soon dry; scarlet to reddish orange or reddish brown; smooth; when young adorned with white partial veil remnants.

Gills: Attached to the stem, often by a notch; close; pale yellow at first, later purplish gray to purple-black; with whitish to pale yellow edges when mature.

Stem: 3-7 cm long; up to 1 cm thick; dry; with or without a ring zone; fairly smooth or finely hairy; whitish to yellowish, staining reddish orange with maturity; base often with whitish to yellowish mycelial threads.

Flesh: Whitish.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: Dark purple-brown to purple-gray.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface dark gray.

Microscopic Features: Spores 9-14 x 5.5-9 µ; smooth; elliptical; with a germ pore; brown in KOH. Chrysocystidia present on edges and faces of gills; scattered to abundant; to about 50 x 15 µ; clavate to mucronate; thin-walled; contents hyaline to yellow in KOH. Cheilocystidia to about 60 x 10 µ; cylindric to fusoid; sometimes capitate. Pileipellis a thin ixocutis of cylindric elements over a nearly cellular subpellis.

Stropharia aurantiaca (as it has been misapplied; see below), Naematoloma aurantiaca, Hypholoma aurantiaca, Psilocybe aurantiaca, Psilocybe ceres, and Naematoloma rubrococcineum are synonyms.

REFERENCES: (Cooke & Massee, 1888) Spooner & Bridge, 2008. (Stamets, 1978; Arora, 1986; Noordeloos, 1999; Spooner et al, 2008.) Herb. Kuo 01110605.

A recent paper (Bridge and collaborators, 2008) builds on the preliminary findings of Moncalvo and collaborators (2002), establishing two well supported groups within what used to be called "Stropharia": the Stropharia group (containing Stropharia aeruginosa, Stropharia hardii, Stropharia coronilla, and Stropharia rugosoannulata); and the Leratiomyces group (containing Leratiomyces ceres, Leratiomyces squamosus, Leratiomyces percevalii, Leratiomyces magnivelaris, and species of Weraroa). The rules of taxonomy require that the genus name Stropharia stay with the Stropharia aeruginosa group, since that is the type species of the genus; Spooner and collaborators arrived at Leratiomyces for the second group by following similar taxonomic rules.

Leratiomyces ceres, according to Spooner and collaborators, was traditionally misidentified as a match for Stropharia aurantiaca (originally named Agaricus squamosus f. aurantiacus by Cooke in 1887)--but the mushroom Cooke described is actually Stropharia thrausta (now known as Leratiomyces squamosus var. thraustus), which has a more slender stem, lacks chrysocystidia, and appears in woods.

Further Online Information:

Leratiomyces ceres at MykoWeb
Stropharia aurantiaca at Roger's Mushrooms


Leratiomyces ceres

Leratiomyces ceres

Leratiomyces ceres

Leratiomyces ceres

Leratiomyces ceres

Leratiomyces ceres

Leratiomyces ceres

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Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2009, February). Leratiomyces ceres. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: