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Chroogomphus ochraceus ("rutilus")

[ Basidiomycetes > Boletales > Gomphidiaceae > Chroogomphus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

My photo of Chroogomphus ochraceus is terrible because I was thinking: "Here's a handy Chroogomphus vinicolor collection; I'll just take a quick documentary photo." Studying the collection under the microscope over a year later I discovered the thin-walled cystidia that reliably separate Chroogomphus ochraceus from Chroogomphus vinicolor (cystidia with walls 5-7 µ thick). Lesson learned.

If you are a Chroogomphus buff and you're wondering why the (poorly) illustrated mushroom isn't Chroogomphus rutilus, you're not wrong--just a little out of date. The European Chroogomphus rutilus, it turns out, is genetically distinct from what we have called Chroogomphus rutilus in North America, and our "Chroogomphus rutilus" collections turn out to be genetically inseparable from Chroogomphus ochraceus, a species originally described from the Pacific Northwest on the basis of its yellowish colors (Kauffman, 1925) but apparently quite capable of demonstrating reddish, purplish, and brown colors instead (Miller, 2003>; Miller & Miller, 2006).

Chroogomphus rutilus in the sense of North American authors is a synonym.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with conifers, especially pines; growing alone, scattered, or loosely gregariously; summer and fall (over winter in coastal California); widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 2-12 cm wide; convex, occasionally with a central point; smooth; slimy when fresh and young, but often dry and shiny or silky when collected; color ranging from yellowish to orangish, reddish, purplish red, or reddish brown--usually darker with maturity.

Gills: Running down the stem; distant or nearly so; pale yellowish at first, becoming grayish cinnamon and finally blackish as the spores mature.

Stem: 3.5-18 cm long; up to 2.5 cm wide; tapering to base; yellowish to pale orangish; sometimes with scattered orangish to reddish fibers (but not densely felty-scaly); often with a wispy ring zone from the collapsed partial veil.

Flesh: Pinkish above, yellowish in the stem.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: Dark gray to black.

Microscopic Features: Spores 14-22 x 6-7.5 µ; smooth; narrowly elliptical to subfusoid. Cystidia long-cylindrical, subutriform, or narrowly clavate; up to about 180 x 20 µ; with thin walls (under about 1 µ thick).

REFERENCES: (Kauffman, 1925) Miller, 1964. (Kauffman, 1925; Miller, 1964; Smith, 1975; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Thiers, 1985; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; Miller, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 09020603.

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Chroogomphus ochraceus

Chroogomphus ochraceus

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Kuo, M. (2007, October). Chroogomphus ochraceus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: