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Volvariella pusilla

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Pluteaceae > Volvariella . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This is one of several tiny, whitish Volvariella species that are quite similar--but it can be distinguished by its smooth stem and its lined cap margin. The closest look-alike, Volvariella hypopithys, has a densely but finely hairy stem, and a non-lined margin, while other known look-alikes have caps that are not completely white. Volvariella pusilla is listed in most sources as growing in gardens, lawns, and other cultivated habitats, and I suspect that it is partial to the disturbed ground of these settings (like some morels, including Morchella rufobrunnea).


Ecology: Apparently saprobic; growing alone or gregariously; usually reported from gardens, lawns, wood chips, and so on--but found in woods as well, at least in areas of disturbed ground; summer and fall; range uncertain due to possible confusion with look-alikes, but documented in many areas east of the Great Plains; apparently rare.

Cap: Up to 3.5 cm; oval becoming convex to broadly convex to nearly flat; whitish, sometimes very slightly darker over the center; the margin lined; slightly sticky when fresh but soon dry.

Gills: Free from the stem; whitish becoming pink to salmon; close or almost distant.

Stem: 1-5 cm long; 1-3 mm thick; more or less equal; dry; white; smooth; without a ring; the base encased in a thick, white to grayish, sack-like volva which may be buried.

Flesh: Thin, white.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface negative.

Spore Print: Salmon pink.

Microscopic Features: Spores 5.5-8 x 4-6 µ; more or less elliptical; smooth. Pleuro- and cheilocystidia mostly fusoid-ventricose; to about 76 x 24 µ. Pileipellis sometimes gelatinized. Clamp connections absent.

REFERENCES: (Persoon, 1799) Singer, 1951. (Fries, 1821; Kauffman, 1918; Shaffer, 1957; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Arora, 1986; Monoson, Methven & Sundberg, 1993; Miller & Miller, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 09049505, 08010201, 08240503.


Volvariella pusilla

Volvariella pusilla

Volvariella pusilla

Volvariella pusilla

Volvariella pusilla

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Kuo, M. (2004, November). Volvariella pusilla. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: