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Volvariella species 01
by Michael Kuo
Contributor Richard Nadon collected the illustrated mushrooms in Quebec. I have no information on the specimens other than what can be discerned from the excellent photographs: they were clearly growing on wood, and they have hairy, grayish brown caps that reach a width of at least 6 cm when mature. The gray-brown color is present when the mushroom is still in the button stage, and the volva appears to have been at least partially white before being broken by the growing mushroom.
The mushrooms are very close to Volvariella bombycina, but that species has a nearly pure-white cap as it is officially described. The specimens were identified by a Canadian mycologist as "Volvariella cinerea," but that species, while insufficiently described in the literature, has a lined cap margin and a much smaller cap (1-2 cm across). It was very briefly described by Beardslee in 1915 on the basis of an Asheville, North Carolina collection that has since been lost; Volvariella expert R. L. Shaffer excludes it from his treatment of accepted North American species.
A tropical and subtropical species, Volvariella bakeri, can be viewed as a brown version of Volvariella bombycina, but its range is so far from Quebec--and so well established in Mexico and the Caribbean--that applying its name to Nadon's collection would be irresponsible without microscopic analysis (Volvariella bakeri also differs from Volvariella bombycina in the length of its cystidia). I have not studied the illustrated mushrooms, so I cannot report on microscopic characteristics.
Since Shaffer grants varietal status to Volvariella bombycina var. flaviceps, which differs from the "true" Volvariella bombycina only on the basis of its yellow colors, Nadon's collection should probably be viewed as a potentially distinct and undescribed taxon.
Northeastern North American collectors who have seen mushrooms like the ones illustrated are encouraged to collect and preserve them, and contact a mycologist.
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2004, November). Volvariella species 01. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/volvariella_sp_01.html