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Tricholoma odorum

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Tricholomataceae > Tricholoma . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Eastern North America's Tricholoma odorum is aptly named; it reeks to high heaven. The distinctive odor, which becomes more prominent as the mushrooms mature (and even stronger when they're dried), is often described as reminiscent of coal tar or swamp gas. Several species of Tricholoma share this odor; among them, Tricholoma odorum is unique in having a preference for hardwood forests, coupled with pale yellowish to greenish colors that fade quickly to pale tan or buff. By maturity the yellows and greens have often disappeared almost completely, except on the stem.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods in oak-hickory or beech-maple forests; usually growing gregariously, sometimes in loose clusters; fairly widely distributed in northeastern North America; late summer and fall.

Cap: 2-9 cm; broadly convex or nearly flat, often with a shallow central bump; dry; smooth or very finely velvety; pale yellowish or pale greenish when young, but usually becoming pale tan or buff fairly quickly.

Gills: Attached to the stem, often by means of a notch; close; yellow to pale yellow when young, often fading to buff by maturity (but occasionally demonstrating a pinkish cast); not bruising or discoloring.

Stem: 3-11 cm long; up to 1.5 cm thick; more or less equal; light greenish or light yellowish when young, usually remaining at least slightly yellowish into maturity; sometimes discoloring brownish.

Flesh: Pale yellowish to whitish; not changing on exposure.

Odor and Taste: Taste mealy; odor strong and foul, reminiscent of coal tar or swamp gas.

Spore Print: White.

Chemical Reactions: Cap surface negative or pinkish with KOH.

Microscopic Features: Spores 9.5-11.5 x 5-7 µ; smooth; flask-shaped; inamyloid. Basidia 4- or 2-spored; basally clamped. Cystidia absent. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: Peck, 1898. (Saccardo, 1902; Kauffman, 1918; Ovrebo, 1980.) Herb. Kuo 09300501, 09150708.


Tricholoma odorum

Tricholoma odorum

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Kuo, M. (2006, October). Tricholoma odorum. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: