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Gymnopilus palmicola

[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Strophariaceae > Gymnopilus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This rarely documented species is known from the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean, and can be found decomposing the wood of fallen palm trees. It is a relatively small mushroom that features a finely scaly, dirty orange cap; gills that are at first pale yellow and later rusty orange; a stem with a notable ring zone; and, under the microscope, fairly large, warty spores and capitate cheilocystidia.

Gymnopilus cyanopalmicola was described from Mexico (Guzmán-Dávalos, 2006), differing in its bluing stem. However, I have seen collections of Gymnopilus luteofolius from the same log bruise blue one year and not the next, and Pluteus americanus does not always bruise blue; Gymnopilus cyanopalmicola and Gymnopilus palmicola may be the same thing.


Ecology: Saprobic on the deadwood of palm trees (reported on Sabal palmetto, Serenoa repens, and Roystonea regia); growing scattered, gregariously or in clusters; summer, fall, and winter; apparently distributed from the Gulf Coast of the United States to the Caribbean. The illustrated and described collection is from Florida.

Cap: 1.5–2.5 cm (reported up to 5 cm by others); convex to planoconvex; dry; surface covered with small, cinnamon, radiating, innate scales, especially over the center; dull brownish orange; the margin adorned with tawny veil fragments.

Gills: Broadly attached to the stem; nearly distant; pale yellow at first, becoming rusty brownish orange; short-gills frequent; when very young covered by a thin partial veil.

Stem: 1–2 cm long; 2–3 mm thick; more or less equal; fibrillose; with a fairly persistent ring zone near the apex; whitish to brownish; fibrillose; basal mycelium white.

Flesh: Yellowish.

Odor and Taste: Taste not recorded; odor not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH reported as magenta on gills (Abraham & Loeblich, 1995).

Spore Print: Reported as rusty brown.

Microscopic Features: Spores 8–11 x 5–6 µm; ellipsoid to slightly amygdaliform; finely warty; brownish orange in KOH; dextrinoid. Pleurocystidia not found. Cheilocystidia 25–35 x 7.5–10 µm; fusoid-ventricose with a long neck that develops a subcapitate to capitate apex; thin-walled; smooth; hyaline to orangish-brownish in KOH. Pileipellis a cutis; elements 5–10 µm wide, slightly constricted at septa, clamped, often finely encrusted with brown material; terminal cells cylindric with rounded apices, sometimes aggregated into upright fascicles.

REFERENCES: Murrill, 1913. (Saccardo, 1925; Hesler, 1969; Abraham & Loeblich, 1995.) Herb. Kuo 10251403.

Thanks to Roxanne Palmrose for collecting, documenting, and preserving the illustrated and described specimens.

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


Gymnopilus palmicola

Gymnopilus palmicola

Gymnopilus palmicola

Gymnopilus palmicola

Gymnopilus palmicola

Gymnopilus palmicola

Gymnopilus palmicola

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Kuo, M. (2016, July). Gymnopilus palmicola. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: