Major Groups > Gilled Mushrooms > Dark-Spored > Wood-Rotting LBMs > Bolbitius reticulatus


Bolbitius reticulatus

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Bolbitiaceae > Bolbitius . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Bolbitius reticulatus grows on wood or woody debris across North America. Its cap is slimy, fragile, and deeply lined, and its spore print is rusty brown. Some forms of the species are grayish, with the slightest hint of lilac, and are reminiscent of the dry-capped, pink-spored Pluteus longistriatus. Other forms are quite purple--and intermediate forms are collected with some frequency. To add to the confusion, both grayish and purple forms sometimes develop a prominently veined-reticulate cap surface.

"Bolbitius aleuriatus" is a name that has been applied by many authors to the gray form of this mushroom, but Bolbitius reticulatus is the proper name for both forms; see the comments below for details.

Bolbitius aleuriatus is a synonym according to researchers who have broadened the concept of Bolbitius reticulatus to include the non-veined, grayish Bolbitius aleuriatus. Thus the species name reticulatus seems a little inappropriate for collections (like the ones illustrated) that lack the veined cap surface. The oldest name should take precedence; Persoon named Agaricus reticulatus in 1798, while Fries did not name Agaricus aleuriatus until 1815.


Ecology: Saprobic, decomposing the dead wood of hardwoods--logs, sticks, woodchips, and so on; growing alone or scattered; summer and fall (and winter in warm climates); widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 1.5-5 cm; broadly bell-shaped to broadly convex, becoming flat; fragile; purple, grayish, or lilac gray; the center usually darker than the edge; slimy; smooth; strongly lined, often nearly all the way to the center.

Gills: Free from the stem or very narrowly attached to it; close or nearly crowded; whitish, becoming faintly pinkish, then rusty cinnamon.

Stem: 3-7 cm long; up to about .5 cm thick; equal; hollow; finely scaly, powdery, or finely hairy; white.

Flesh: Insubstantial; whitish.

Odor: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: Rusty brown.

Microscopic Features: Spores 9-13 x 4-6 µ; more or less elliptical; smooth; with a pore at one end. Brachybasidioles present on gills. Pileipellis a hymeniform trichoderm.

REFERENCES: (Persoon, 1798) >Ricken, 1915. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Arora, 1986; Hansen & Knudsen, 1992; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006.)

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Bolbitius reticulatus

© MushroomExpert.Com

Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2007, February). Bolbitius reticulatus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: