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Marasmius pulcherripes

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Marasmiaceae > Marasmius . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This beautiful little mushroom has a pleated pink cap and a wiry, blackish stem. It is very close in appearance to Marasmius siccus, but the latter species is more orange. Marasmius pulcherripes often grows in conifer woods, though it is also found under hardwoods. This can make picking it a special challenge, since plantations of white pine and red pine are often gloriously blanketed with poison ivy, and crawling around on hands and knees to examine tiny mushrooms can be a very bad idea.


Ecology: Saprobic on needle duff of eastern white pine and other conifers, and sometimes found growing from hardwoods leaf litter; growing gregariously; summer and fall; apparently widely distributed in eastern North America.

Cap: 0.5-2 cm; at first bell-shaped or convex, often with a central nipple; later broadly bell-shaped, convex, or nearly flat; pleated; smooth or minutely roughened; dry; pink or pinkish brown (occasionally brownish orange), fading with age but retaining a darker center.

Gills: Attached to the stem or free from it; rarely attached by means of a "collar"; distant or nearly so; white or pinkish.

Stem: 2-6 cm long; less than 1 mm thick; equal; dry; wiry; often curved; pale pinkish at the extreme apex, darkening downwards by degrees to a reddish brown or black base; smooth; basal mycelium white.

Flesh: Thin; insubstantial.

Odor and Taste: Taste mild, slightly bitter, or radishlike; odor not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 11-15 x 3-4 µ; smooth; somewhat irregular but more or less spindle-shaped; often with one end pointier than the other. Pleurocystidia variously shaped (cylindric to fusoid-ventricose); hyaline; to about 60 x 10 µ. Cheilocystidia as broom cells to about 25 x 10 µ; dextrinoid. Pileipellis a hymeniform layer of broom cells.

REFERENCES: Peck, 1872. (Saccardo, 1887; Gilliam, 1976; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 07300401, 06280703, 06290703, 07070801.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Marasmius pulcherripes

Marasmius pulcherripes

Marasmius pulcherripes

Marasmius pulcherripes

Marasmius pulcherripes

Marasmius pulcherripes

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Kuo, M. (2013, January). Marasmius pulcherripes. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: