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Clitocybe glaucocana

[Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Tricholomataceae > Clitocybe...]

by Michael Kuo

I'm not entirely convinced that Clitocybe glaucocana is actually a species—as opposed to merely representing very pale collections of the well-known species Clitocybe nuda, although one does not find Clitocybe glaucocana mixed with Clitocybe nuda (in my collecting experience, anyway), lending support to the idea that the pale colors of the former represent, at the least, population differences.

Aside from the pale colors, no features definitively separate Clitocybe glaucocana, to the naked eye or with a microscope, nor do the mushrooms appear in different ecosystems. Like Clitocybe nuda, Clitocybe glaucocana features narrowly attached gills and a pinkish spore print. But there is only the faintest hint of lilac in the cap, gills, stem, and flesh, even when the mushrooms are young.

Clitocybe personata, also known as Clitocybe saeva, is also similar but features a darker purple stem and a brownish (but never purple) cap. In 2007 Gregory wrote that "Clitocybe glaucocana, C. nuda, and C. saeva may be more closely related than individual species, but research needs to be done to ascertain this." To my knowledge such research has not been done since; it would require DNA- and morphology-based examination of many carefully documented collections.

Lepista glaucocana is a synonym.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing scattered or gregariously in organic debris—in woods, grasslands, or in urban settings; late summer and fall (and over winter in warm climates); originally described from Italy; widespread in Europe and North America. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois.

Cap: 3–9 cm across; convex with an inrolled margin when young, becoming broadly convex to nearly flat—or with an uplifted, wavy margin in age; bald; whitish to very pale tan, with the faintest hints of lilac.

Gills: Attached to the stem, sometimes by a notch; crowded; short-gills frequent; very pale lilac.

Stem: 3–8 cm long; 1.5–2 cm thick; usually featuring an enlarged base; dry; finely fibrillose; very pale lilac; staining and discoloring a little brownish; basal mycelium white to lilac.

Flesh: Thick; soft; whitish, or pale purplish under the cap cuticle; not changing when sliced.

Odor and Taste: Odor fragrant and sweet, or sometimes slightly foul; taste not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative to slightly grayish on cap surface and on flesh.

Spore Print: Pale salmon.

Microscopic Details: Spores 5–8 x 2.5–4 µm; ellipsoid; very finely verrucose, or smooth; inamyloid; hyaline in KOH; cyanophilic; adhering in twos, threes, and fours. Basidia 25–27 x 4–6 µm; clavate; 4-sterigmate. Cystidia not found. Pileipellis an ixocutis of elements 3–6 µm wide, smooth, hyaline in KOH; clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (G. Bresàdola, 1790) H. E. Bigelow & A. H. Smith, 1969. (Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Bigelow, 1982; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1991; Gregory, 2007; Baroni, 2017; Christensen & Gulden, 2018; Kibby, 2020.) Herb. Kuo 10090305, 10251402.

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Clitocybe glaucocana

Clitocybe glaucocana

Clitocybe glaucocana

Clitocybe glaucocana
Spore print

Clitocybe glaucocana

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Kuo, M. (2022, April). Clitocybe glaucocana. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: