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Tricholoma vaccinum

[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Tricholomataceae > Tricholoma . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Tricholoma vaccinum is characterized by growth under spruces and a raggedy, shaggy-looking, orangish-brown cap that typically becomes quite cracked and scaly. When young, the cap margin is inrolled and finely fuzzy, sometimes creating the appearance of a cortina when the inrolled edge is appressed to the stem. The stem often begins to become hollow, and the odor of the sliced flesh is often mealy.

Collections of Tricholoma vaccinum vary considerably in their stem surfaces (ranging from fairly bald to prominently fibrillose-scaly like the cap), odors (usually mealy but sometimes sweet and fruity, or not distinctive), and reactions to KOH (all over the map).

Like many Tricholoma species Tricholoma vaccinum was originally described, long ago, from Europe (Schaeffer 1774). North American versions may represent several unnamed species.

Tricholoma imbricatum is a similar species that grows under pines and features a browner, somewhat less scaly cap surface, along with a stem that does not typically become hollow.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal, primarily with spruces but occasionally with other conifers; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; late summer and fall (also over winter in warm climates); widely distributed in northern and montane North America. The illustrated and described collections are from France and Colorado.

Cap: 3–10 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex or broadly bell-shaped, and eventually nearly flat; dry; covered with radial fibrils that become separated and aggregated into scales with maturity; orangish brown to reddish brown, often with a darker center; fading to orangish tan with age; the margin at first inrolled and fuzzy (appearing like a cortina when appressed to the stem), later becoming lacerated and hairy.

Gills: Broadly attached to the stem or attached by a notch; close; short-gills frequent; whitish to yery pale yellowish; often discoloring and spotting brownish to orangish brown.

Stem: 4–10 cm long; 1–2 cm thick; often tapered to the base; whitish or pale orangish and fairly smooth at the top, but fibrillose to scaly below; usually becoming hollow; basal mycelium white.

Flesh: Whitish to pale pinkish; not changing on exposure.

Odor and Taste: Odor usually mealy but sometimes fruity and sweet, or not distinctive; taste mealy, bitter, or not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative, gray, purplish, or reddish to brown on cap surface.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 5–8 x 4–5.5 µm; broadly ellipsoid; smooth; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 4-sterigmate. Pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia not found. Lamellar trama parallel. Pileipellis a cutis of cylindric elements 5–10 µm wide; hyaline to orangish brown in KOH. Clamp connections not found.

REFERENCES: (Schaeffer, 1774) Kummer, 1871. (Fries, 1821; Quélet, 1886; Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Ovrebo, 1973; Smith, 1975; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Ovrebo, 1980; Arora, 1986; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1991; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Shanks, 1994; Barron, 1999; Roody, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Trudell & Ammirati, 2009; Bessette et al., 2013; Christensen & Heilmann-Clausen, 2013; Evenson, 2015; Siegel & Schwarz, 2016; Sturgeon, 2018.) Herb. Kuo 08081003, 08291103, 08201203, 08221201, 08141504, 09241804. Herb. DBG RMNP 2008-170, 2008-171, 2008-172, 2008-173.

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


Tricholoma vaccinum

Tricholoma vaccinum

Tricholoma vaccinum

Tricholoma vaccinum

Tricholoma vaccinum

Tricholoma vaccinum

Tricholoma vaccinum

Tricholoma vaccinum

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Kuo, M. (2019, May). Tricholoma vaccinum. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: