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Calostoma ravenelii

[ Basidiomycota > Boletales > Calostomataceae > Calostoma . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This interesting species of Calostoma, like its brethren, features a round spore case perched atop what looks like a pedestal of half-digested spaghetti noodles braided together. Unlike Calostoma cinnabarinum, however, its spore case is not red and it is not initially covered with thick gelatinous goo. It is more similar to Calostoma lutescens, which also features a yellowish spore case, but differs in having a pale coating over the spore case that breaks up into granules, in its lack of a "collar" (the remnants of the more tissue-like spore-case covering of Calostoma lutescens), and in its ellipsoid, rather than round, spores.

Calostoma microsporum, described by Atkinson (1903) from Tennessee, differed from Calostoma ravenelii in its somewhat smaller spores and larger fruiting bodies—but later mycologists (Castro-Mendoza and Miller, 1983) reduced Atkinson's species to a variety of Calostoma ravenelii (Calostoma ravenelii var. microsporum). The collection described and illustrated here probably corresponds to var. microsporum.

Thanks to Joanna Boone-Siary for documenting, collecting, and preserving Calostoma ravenelii for study; her collection is deposited in The Herbarium of Michael Kuo.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods; growing alone or gregariously; fall, or over winter in warm climates; eastern and southeastern United States, southward to Central America. The illustrated and described collection is from North Carolina.

Fruiting Body: Spore case round or nearly so, 15–25 mm across, covered with a felty whitish coating that breaks up into granules as the spore case expands, surface underneath granules bald and dull yellowish, with a raised and ridged, dark red mouth; interior whitish and powdery at maturity; stem 6–8 cm long, 1–2.5 cm thick, composed of longitudinal, interwoven, pale brownish strands; odorless.

Microscopic Features: Spores 9–12 x 5–7 µm; ellipsoid; occasionally smooth but mostly with sparse, irregular ornamentation/pitting; walls about 0.5 µm thick; hyaline to ochraceous in KOH. Capillitial threads 1–2 µm wide; smooth; hyaline or ochraceous; often with globular, refractive contents.

REFERENCES: (Berkeley, 1857) Massee, 1888. (Burnapp. 1897; Atkinson, 1903; Coker & Couch, 1928; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Castro-Mendoza et al., 1983; Weber & Smith, 1985; Hughey et al., 2000; Calonge et al., 2005; Woehrel & Light, 2017; Sturgeon, 2018.) Herb. Kuo 12221802.

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Calostoma ravenelii

Calostoma ravenelii

Calostoma ravenelii

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Kuo, M. (2019, October). Calostoma ravenelii. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: