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Tricholoma virgatum

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Tricholomataceae > Tricholoma . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Gray species of Tricholoma are numerous and numbing in their ho-hum-ishness, but Tricholoma virgatum manages (just barely) to stand out from the crowd with a combination of features:

  • Growth under conifers;
  • Bitter to acrid taste and an indistinct odor;
  • A dry, sharply conic cap that appears streaked with darker, appressed fibers;
  • A white stem that does not develop yellow tints and is not pinkish to orangish in the base when sliced.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with conifers; growing alone, scattered or gregariously; fall (fall and winter on the West Coast); fairly widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 2-10 cm; sharply conic when young, becoming broadly conic or nearly flat with a sharp central bump; dry; gray; with darker gray, innate to appressed, radiating fibers.

Gills: Attached to the stem by a notch; close; whitish to dull grayish; sometimes discoloring gray on the edges.

Stem: 6-10 cm long; 1-2 cm thick; equal or somewhat swollen below; with silky appressed fibers; dry; white.

Flesh: Firm; white to pale grayish; not changing on exposure.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive; taste usually bitter or acrid (sometimes slowly).

Spore Print: White.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface dull orangish; on stem base pale yellow.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6-8.5 x 5-6.5 µ; smooth; broadly elliptical; inamyloid. Pleurocystidia absent. Cheilocystidia ventricose, clavate, or basidiole-like; to about 40 x 15 µ. Pileipellis a cutis of cylindric elements 2-7.5 µ wide; not gelatinized. Clamp connections absent.

REFERENCES: (Fries, 1818) Kummer, 1871. (Fries, 1821; Quélet, 1886; Ovrebo, 1973; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Ovrebo, 1980; Arora, 1986; Ovrebo, 1989; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1991; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Shanks, 1994; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 08110702.

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


Tricholoma virgatum

Tricholoma virgatum

Tricholoma virgatum

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Kuo, M. (2008, December). Tricholoma virgatum. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: