Major Groups > Gilled Mushrooms > Pale-Spored > Lepiotoid Mushrooms > Leucocoprinus cepaestipes


Leucocoprinus cepaestipes

[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Agaricaceae > Leucocoprinus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Leucocoprinus cepaestipes, as it is treated by Vellinga (2001e) and others, is a whitish lepiotoid mushroom that appears in urban settings on woodchips, as well as in woods. It features a softly scaly-powdery cap that features a grayish brown center--even in young stages. A microscope is required to assess its other distinguishing feature: the soft, powdery material on the cap surface features cystidium-like, elongated, subfusiform terminal elements. Leucocoprinus cretaceus is very, very similar but features a cap that is pure white when young and eventually develops a slightly brownish to tan center--along with powdery material that lacks cystidium-like elements and is, instead, composed of short, funky, often bone-like elements.

According to Vellinga (2009), Sowerby created the species name cepaestipes in 1797 because he thought the yellow Leucocoprinus birnbaumii and the white Leucocoprinus cretaceus were the same species, differing only in color. Later authors have used the name cepaestipes either for the white species, or for a species with a brownish gray center (even when young). North American field guides apparently belong to both traditions; photos of "Leucocoprinus cepaestipes" in Lincoff (1992), Metzler & Metzler (1992), and Kuo & Methven (2014) appear to depict the white Leucocoprinus cretaceus, while photos or descriptions in Smith, Smith & Weber (1979), Roody (2003) and McNeil(2006) appear to depict the brown-centered species (other guides in my library are less easily placed, based on the photos).


Ecology: Saprobic; growing in clusters in woodchips, cultivated soil, gardens, and so on (and occasionally in woods); summer; North American distribution uncertain due to confusion with Leucocoprinus cretaceus. The illustrated and described collection is from Illinois.

Cap: 3-9 cm; egg-shaped or nearly round when young, becoming broadly convex with a shallow central hump, or nearly flat; dry; powdery with soft, whitish scales and granules; whitish to pale brownish, with a darker, grayish brown center (even in button stages); the margin becoming distinctly lined.

Gills: Free from the stem; close; white, becoming brownish with old age.

Stem: 4-9 cm long; 4-10 mm thick; more or less equal, but swollen slightly near the bottom; bald, or dusted with whitish powder; discoloring pinkish to brownish; with a white ring on the upper stem that quickly collapses and often disappears; basal mycelium white; attached to whitish rhizomorphs.

Flesh: Whitish; very thin.

Odor: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative on cap surface.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 8-10 x 5-6 µ; ellipsoid; smooth; hyaline in KOH; dextrinoid; with a small pore; thick-walled. Cheilocystidia to about 60 x 25 µ; clavate to mucronate, with a long, flexuous, irregular neck; thin-walled; smooth; hyaline in KOH. Pleurocystidia absent. Powdery material from cap surface with narrowly cylindric to subfusiform, cystidium-like terminal cells measuring 50-100 x 5-7.5 µ.

REFERENCES: (Sowerby, 1797) Patouillard, 1889. (Saccardo, 1887; H. V. Smith, 1954; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; H. V. Smith, 1981; H. V. Smith, 1982; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1995; Vellinga, 2001e; Vellinga, 2009.) Herb. Kuo 07260701.

Lepiota cepaestipes is a synonym; "cepistipes" is an alternate spelling of the species name; "cepastipes" is a misspelling.

Further Online Information:

Leucocoprinus cepaestipes at MykoWeb
Leucocoprinus cepistipes at Roger's Mushrooms


Leucocoprinus cepaestipes

Leucocoprinus cepaestipes

Leucocoprinus cepaestipes

Leucocoprinus cepaestipes
Cap surface material: terminal cells

© MushroomExpert.Com

Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2015, August). Leucocoprinus cepaestipes. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: