|Major Groups > Gilled Mushrooms > Dark-Spored > Tubaria > Tubaria furfuracea|
[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Tubariaceae > Tubaria . . . ]
by Michael Kuo, 19 April 2023
Think of Tubaria furfuracea as the "type species" for LBMs (Little Brown Mushrooms): it's little and brown, has a brown spore print, is frustratingly similar to a gazillion similar mushrooms, and probably requires microscopic study to identify with confidence.
Macroscopic features to watch for include the broadly attached gills, the presence of little veil fragments on the cap surface, and the lack of a ring on the stem (although there is sometimes an ephemeral ring zone). Also helpful for identification purposes is the fact that Tubaria furfuracea is fond of wood chips and other woody debris in urban areas, and tends to appear in winter and spring—although it is quite capable of appearing in summer or fall, and in the woods.
Under the microscope Tubaria furfuracea features more or less ellipsoid spores that lack a pore and are smooth and pale (rather than dark) brown in KOH. The cheilocystidia are the most distinctive microscopic feature, however; they are abundant, and have primarily capitate apices.
A thorough contemporary study of the many mushrooms across the globe that get called "Tubaria furfuracea" has not been published, to my knowledge, and it would not be at all surprising if such study were to reveal cryptic species and misidentifications; it might be a good idea to think of "Tubaria furfuracea" as a species group.
Depending on which mycologist one consults, Tubaria anthracophila, Tubaria hiemalis, and Tubaria romagnesiana are synonyms.
Thanks to Michelle Lierl for documenting, collecting, and preserving Tubaria furfuracea for study; her collections are deposited in The Herbarium of Michael Kuo.
Ecology: Saprobic; growing gregariously, usually on deadwood or woody debris; often found in urban settings in mulch, wood chips, or disturbed ground, but also found in woods on or around decaying logs and stumps; more likely to appear in winter or spring, but also appearing in summer and fall; originally described from Germany (Schaeffer 1772); widespread in Eurasia, North America, and Oceania; reported from Central America, South America, and southern Africa. The illustrated and described collections are from California, Illinois, Kentucky, and Ohio.
Cap: 1–4 cm across; convex at first, becoming broadly convex or nearly flat; moist or dry; brown to cinnamon brown, fading to dull brownish or nearly buff; more or less bald, but when fresh usually adorned with whitish partial veil fibrils and remnants, especially in the marginal half; the margin not lined, or only faintly so.
Gills: Broadly attached to the stem; close or nearly distant; short-gills frequent; pale brownish to brownish yellow at first, becoming darker brown; edges faintly whitish at maturity.
Stem: 2–5 cm long and 1–4 mm thick; more or less equal; usually at least slightly fibrillose to fibrillose-scaly; whitish to brownish or brown; occasionally with a poorly defined, ephemeral ring zone but without a true ring; basal mycelium white.
Flesh: Brownish to whitish; insubstantial; unchanging when sliced.
Odor: Not distinctive, or slightly fragrant.
Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface negative or grayish.
Spore Print: When fresh brownish yellow to cinnamon brown; dried prints are brown to cinnamon brown.
Microscopic Features: Spores 6.5–9.5 x 4–5.5 µm; ellipsoid, with a tiny apiculus but without a pore; smooth; pale brown to dull yellowish in KOH, with multiple droplets; inamyloid; occasionally collapsing in both KOH and Melzer's mounts. Basidia 25–35 x 4–6 µm; clavate; 4-sterigmate. Cheilocystidia 30–70 x 8–12.5 µm; cylindric, with apices usually capitate but sometimes clavate, subclavate, or merely rounded; smooth; thin-walled; hyaline in KOH. Pleurocystidia not found. Pileipellis a cutis; elements 5–15 µm wide, smooth or slightly brownish-encrusted, hyaline to brown in KOH. Clamp connections present.
REFERENCES: (C. H. Persoon, 1801) C. -C. Gillet, 1876. (Phillips, 1981; Moser, 1983; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Schalkwijk-Barendsen, 1991; Lincoff, 1992; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1995; Barron, 1999; Miller & Miller, 2006; Matheny et al., 2007; Trudell & Ammirati, 2009; Antonín et al., 2012; Buczacki et al., 2013; Desjardin, Wood & Stevens, 2015; Cripps, Evenson & Kuo, 2016; Siegel & Schwarz, 2016; Gminder & Böhning, 2017; Vesterholt, 2018; Læssøe & Petersen, 2019; McKnight et al., 2021.) Herb. Kuo 07160303, 09280604, 03171001, 03171101, 05241103, 01141808, 03252001, 01142301, 01192301.
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Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2023, April). Tubaria furfuracea. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/tubaria_furfuracea.html