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Agrocybe acericola

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Bolbitiaceae > Agrocybe . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Agrocybe acericola, as it is currently defined, is probably not a valid species if we want to be scientifically accurate about what a natural "species" is. Traditionally, it has been separated from other members of the Agrocybe praecox cluster on the basis of its yellow-brown cap (often wrinkled near the center), its fairly sturdy ring, and microscopic features (see below). However, research by Flynn and Miller (1990) indicates that subtle differences in physical features do not accurately predict natural species within the praecox cluster.

Agrocybe acericola has also been loosely defined, over the years, with reference to its ecology--as the species name acericola ("maple-loving") suggests. Authors have suggested that Agrocybe acericola is limited to hardwood forests, and that it decomposes both fragmented woody debris and intact logs. This means that the species may correspond to Flynn and Miller's biological "Species III," but Agrocybe acericola would need to be redefined with an emphasis on its ecology, rather than physical features, if this were the case.


Ecology: Saprobic on decaying logs and stumps of hardwoods, or on hardwood debris; growing alone to gregariously; summer and fall; widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 3-7 cm; convex becoming broadly convex or flat, often with a low central bump; yellow-brown, fading markedly as it dries out; dry; smooth, but often developing a wrinkled center; often with whitish partial veil remnants on the margin.

Gills: Attached to the stem or pulling away from it--or with teeth that begin to run down the stem; whitish to pale, becoming brown to grayish brown; close or crowded.

Stem: 5-10 cm long; .5-1 cm thick; more or less equal; fairly smooth; whitish, becoming brownish from the base up; with a whitish ring that is typically fairly persistent; with white rhizomorphs attached to the base.

Flesh: White; thin.

Taste: Mealy; odor mealy.

Spore Print: Dark brown.

Microscopic Features: Spores 8-10.5 x 5-6.5 µ; more or less elliptical; smooth; somewhat truncated; with a tiny pore. Cystidia 40-50 x 12-22 µ; clavate-mucronate to clavate-utriform; sometimes with 1-3 fingerlike projections.

REFERENCES: (Peck) Singer, 1950. (Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Flynn & Miller, 1990; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 05260307, 05290402.

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Agrocybe acericola

Agrocybe acericola

Agrocybe acericola

Agrocybe acericola

Agrocybe acericola

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Kuo, M. (2006, September). Agrocybe acericola. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: