Key to 20+ Volvariella and Volvopluteus Species in North America
|1.||Growing on other mushrooms (species of Clitocybe).|
|1.||Not growing on other mushrooms.|
|2.||Growing directly from wood (stumps, logs, trees).|
|2.||Growing terrestrially, or in compost or woodchips.|
|3.||Mature cap less than 4 cm wide.|
|3.||Mature cap 4 cm wide or wider.|
|4.||Cap velvety, brownish black over the center with radial brownish black fibers elsewhere; margin not lined; stem light gray; recorded from Florida (by a more trustable source than the state's elections board).|
|4.||Cap not velvety, gray to bluish gray with dark radial fibers; margin lined; stem white; recorded from North Carolina. (Imperfectly described species; type collection lost.)|
|5.||Cap surface bald (not granular, silky, or hairy) and slimy; margin lined; recorded from New York.|
|5.||Cap surface granular, silky, or hairy, dry; margin lined or not; variously distributed.|
|6.||Margin lined; cap surface "granular"; recorded from the Caribbean.|
|6.||Margin not lined; cap surface silky or hairy; variously distributed.|
|7.||Cap more highly colored.|
|8.||Cap sooty to dark coffee-colored; recorded from Mexico, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.|
|8.||Not as above. Various wood-loving Volvariellas with non-white caps may key out here. Whether or not these mushrooms represent undescribed species or mere color forms of Volvariella bombycina remains to be determined.|
|9.||Mature cap medium sized to large—usually 5 cm wide or wider.|
|9.||Mature cap small to medium-sized—usually under 5 cm.|
|10.||Cap white or nearly so.|
|10.||Cap more highly colored.|
|11.||Stem with grooves; cap dry; recorded from Florida.|
|12.||Cap drab to grayish, gray, or brownish—but not dark brown.|
|13.||Cap sticky when fresh (ixocutis present).|
|14.||Spores 10.5–13.5 µm long; known with certainty from a single collection, on sawdust in Michigan, but possibly often identified as Volvopluteus gloiocephalus.|
|15.||Stem often with a "ring" (resulting from the collapsing of the volva); cap drab with brownish scales; spores 9–12 µm long; reported from Washington D.C. and possibly Michigan. (Imperfectly described species; type collection lost.)|
|15.||Stem not as above; cap gray to brown, smooth to silky; spores 7–10.5 µm long; fairly common and "widely distributed" but typically reported from woodchips, greenhouses, botanical gardens, compost piles, and so on.|
|16.||Cap bald; odor not distinctive; spores 15–20 µm long; recorded from Alabama.|
|16.||Cap with dark radiating fibrils; odor at least sometimes strong and unpleasant; spores 6–8.5 µm long; recorded from Cuba and South America.|
|17.||Volva white and conspicuously hairy; cap grayish, 2.5–3.5 cm across, finely hairy; spores 6–7 µm long; found east of the Rocky Mountains.|
|17.||Volva not conspicuously hairy, white to gray or brown; cap varying; spores varying; variously distributed.|
|18.||At least the center area of cap white (the rest of the cap variously colored).|
|18.||Center of cap not white.|
|19.||Cap sticky when fresh, relatively bald; spores longer than 10 µm long; cheilocystidia primarily rostrate.|
|19.||Cap dry when fresh, appressed-fibrillose or finely hairy; spores 9 µm long or shorter; cheilocystidia not usually rostrate.|
|20.||Cap 0.5–1.5 cm across when mature; recorded from Michigan.|
|20.||Cap larger than above when mature; variously distributed.|
|21.||Stem bald; cap margin lined at maturity; primarily found east of the Rocky Mountains.|
|22.||Cap gray to brown, evenly colored (not markedly darker over the center portion); margin not lined; found east of the Rocky Mountains.|
|22.||Cap grayish to brownish or whitish, with a notably darker center; margin lined or not; variously distributed.|
|23.||Cap whitish overall with a pinkish center; margin not lined; recorded from the Pacific Northwest.|
|24.||Cap whitish overall with a black center; margin not lined; spores 7–8.5 µm long; recorded from Florida.|
|24.||Cap grayish overall with a dark brown to blackish center; margin or nearly the entire cap lined or deeply grooved; spores 5–7 µm long; possibly widely distributed east of the Great Plains.|
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Kuo, M. (2018, December). The genera Volvariella and Volvopluteus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/volvariella.html