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Rhodocollybia maculata

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Marasmiaceae > Rhodocollybia . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Formerly known as Collybia maculata, this small to medium-sized mushroom is recognized by its whitish cap, which develops cinnamon spots and stains as it matures; its crowded, attached gills; its ecology (decomposing the wood or litter of conifers); its bitter taste; and microscopic features (see below). It has a pale pinkish spore print, but a very thick and very fresh print (as well as good lighting) is often required before the pinkish tinge is noticeable.


Ecology: Saprobic; decomposing the deadwood or litter of conifers; spring (in warmer climates), summer, and fall; fairly widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 4-12 cm across; convex, becoming broadly convex or nearly flat; dry or slightly moist; bald; whitish to pinkish buff, developing cinnamon to rusty spots with age.

Gills: Attached to the stem; crowded; whitish to creamy; often developing rusty spots with age.

Stem: Up to 15 cm long and 2 cm thick; equal, often with a rooting portion; smooth or very finely hairy; whitish; developing cinnamon to rusty spots with age.

Flesh: Whitish.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive, or fragrant; taste slightly to moderately bitter.

Spore Print: Pale pinkish (but see above).

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative on cap surface.

Microscopic Features: Spores smooth; 4-6 µ; subglobose; at least a few (often many) usually dextrinoid. Pleurocystidia absent. Cheilocystidia inconspicuous; subclavate to subcylindric; often lobed or with projections; up to 60 µ long. Pileipellis at maturity a densely interwoven cutis of cylindric elements 3-5 µ wide, not diverticulate, lacking branchlets.

REFERENCES: (Albertini & Schweinitz, 1805) Singer, 1939. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Coker & Beardslee, 1921; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Halling, 1983; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; Roody, 2003; Halling, 2004; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 09030207, 09110513.

Many varieties of Rhodocollybia maculata have been described. The best known and most widely distributed of these is Rhodocolybia maculata var. scorzonerea, which features yellow gills and a yellowish cap and stem. For a key to six varieties found in the Pacific Northwest, see Lennox (1979).

Further Online Information:

Rhodocollybia maculata at Roy Halling's Collybia site
Collybia maculata at Roger's Mushrooms


Rhodocollybia maculata

Rhodocollybia maculata

Rhodocollybia maculata

Rhodocollybia maculata

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Kuo, M. (2013, Febraury). Rhodocollybia maculata. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: