Major Groups > Gilled Mushrooms > Dark-Spored > Cortinarius > Cortinarius "marylandensis"


Cortinarius "marylandensis"
      Ammirati & A.H. Smith nom. prov.

[Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Cortinariaceae > Cortinarius ... ]

by Michael Kuo

This beautiful species is one of several small, red Cortinarii with blood red gills. It can be distinguished from the others on the basis of its association with hardwoods (primarily beech and oaks) in eastern and southeastern North America--and on the basis of its hygrophanous, silky to hairy, bell-shaped cap. Under the microscope it features minutely ornamented spores that almost look smooth.

Ammirati and Smith (1984) published Cortinarius marylandensis as a "provisional name," but did not subsequently validate the name in a sanctioned publication with a Latin diagnosis and a designated type collection; thus the name is officially invalid, despite being applied fairly frequently.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods--primarily with beech and oaks; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer and early fall; fairly widely distributed in eastern North America from Delaware to Texas, but apparently absent or rare in the upper Midwest.

Cap: 1-6 cm; convex or bell-shaped at first, becoming broadly bell-shaped, convex, or nearly flat; dry; silky to finely hairy; bright brick red to brownish red, often fading markedly to pale reddish brown.

Gills: Attached to the stem; close; colored like the cap, becoming cinnamon to rusty red; covered by a pinkish to red cortina when young.

Stem: 2-7 cm long; up to 1.5 cm thick at the apex; more or less equal; dry; silky; pale reddish above, colored like the cap below; often darkening to reddish brown near the base or when handled; sometimes with a rusty ring zone; basal mycelium pinkish when fresh.

Flesh: Whitish to pale pinkish in cap and upper stem; reddish to brownish in the stem base.

Odor: Mild or radishlike.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface red to purple or black.

Spore Print: Rusty brown.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6.5-9 x 4-5 µ; usually broadly ellipsoid; slightly roughened. Cheilo- and pleurocystidia absent. Pileipellis a cutis. Contextual and lamellar elements pinkish purple to purplish in KOH.

REFERENCES: Ammirati & Smith, 1984. (Ammirati & Smith, 1984; Weber & Smith, 1985; Metzler & Metzler, 1992.) Herb. Kuo 09240502.

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Cortinarius marylandensis

Cortinarius marylandensis

Cortinarius marylandensis

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Kuo, M. (2011, November). Cortinarius "marylandensis." Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: