|Major Groups > Gilled Mushrooms > Pale-Spored > Lepiota & Satellite Genera > Lepiota clypeolaria|
by Michael Kuo
The name Lepiota clypeolaria has been widely used to describe a small to medium-sized Lepiota with a brownish cap, a fairly shaggy stem that features a collapsed, sheathing ring or ring zone, and long, spindle-shaped spores. However, recent DNA research by Vellinga (2000, 2001) reveals at least two species matching this description: the "true" Lepiota clypeolaria and Lepiota magnispora (which is further divided into at least three genetic groupings). Apparently, Lepiota magnispora is the more common North American species--and is often the species featured in field guides as "Lepiota clypeolaria."
Fortunately there are physical differences between these mushrooms to help us recognize them without sequencing their DNA. According to Vellinga, Lepiota magnispora has brighter colors and is more likely to feature a contrasting "eye" in the center of the cap; under the microscope its spores are generally longer and, more distinctively, lack the two convex sides and flask-shaped ends that characterize the spores of the "true" Lepiota clypeolaria.
Ecology: Saprobic; growing scattered or gregariously in forest litter; found under conifers (perhaps also under hardwoods, but reports may represent Lepiota magnispora); summer and fall; distribution uncertain--possibly widely distributed in North America. The illustrated collection was made under Engelmann Spruce at 11,300 feet in Colorado.
Cap: 2-8 cm; bell-shaped, becoming broadly bell-shaped or nearly flat in age; dry; hairy to scaly; brown to brownish or yellow-brown; evenly colored (the center not usually contrasting with the rest of the surface).
Gills: Free from the stem; white; close.
Stem: 4-10 cm long; usually under 1 cm thick; more or less equal; hairy to shaggy below; whitish, sometimes discoloring yellowish brown with age or on handling; with a sheathing white ring or ring zone that sometimes disappears.
Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.
Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface negative.
Spore Print: White.
Microscopic Features: Spores 11-18.5 x 4-6.5 µ; smooth; strongly to weakly dextrinoid; fat-fusiform to nearly amygdaliform, with a convex curve on each side. Cheilocystidia inconspicuous and basidiole-like; clavate; to about 30 x 8 µ. Pleurocystidia absent. Clamp connections present.
REFERENCES: (Bulliard, 1789) Kummer, 1871. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Kauffman, 1924; H. V. Smith, 1954; Smith, 1975; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Arora, 1986; States, 1990; Phillips, 1991/2005; Hansen & Knudsen, 1992; Lincoff, 1992; Evenson, 1997; Barron, 1999; Akers & Sundberg, 2000; Vellinga, 2000; Vellinga, 2001; Roody, 2003; Vellinga, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006. According to Vellinga , photos in Lincoff and Arora appear to match Lepiota magnispora. I believe photos in Smith  and in Barron also appear to match L. magnispora. Photos in Evenson and in McNeil appear to match L. clypeolaria. Photos in the remaining field guides cited here are inconclusive.) Herb. Kuo 08190701.
Further Online Information:
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2007, October). Lepiota clypeolaria. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/lepiota_clypeolaria.html