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Crepidotus vulgaris

by Michael Kuo, 7 August 2023

Although its Latin species name means "common Crepidotus," this mushroom is not commonly featured in field guides. Crepidotus vulgaris is one of many whitish, tiny Crepidotus species found on hardwood stumps and logs, and it is apparently widely distributed on our continent, although most collection records come from east of the Great Plains.

Distinguishing macroscopic features for Crepidotus vulgaris include the small size (caps rarely up to 4 cm across) and the hairy, white cap surface. Microscopic examination is probably needed for confident identification, however; look for ellipsoid, finely punctate spores that are 5–8 µm long, and the presence of clamp connections.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing gregariously or in overlapping clusters on the well-decayed, barkless deadwood of hardwoods; spring through fall; originally described from Michigan (Hesler & Smith 1965); widely distributed in North America east of the Great Plains, and occasionally reported from western states. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois.

Cap: 1.5–3 cm across; semicircular to fan-shaped; dry; densely but finely hairy; white to whitish.

Gills: Radiating from the point of attachment; close or nearly distant; short-gills frequent; whitish, becoming dull brown with maturity.

Stem: Absent.

Flesh: Soft; insubstantial; whitish; unchanging when sliced.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface negative to yellowish.

Spore Print: Brown.

Microscopic Features: Spores 5.5–8 x 4–5 µm; ellipsoid to subamygdaliform; finely roughened-punctate; brownish yellow in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 18–23 x 5–6 µm; clavate; 4-sterigmate. Pleurocystidia not found. Cheilocystidia 25–50 x 6–10 µm; widely cylindric, lageniform, subutriform, or subcapitate; smooth; thin-walled; hyaline in KOH. Pileipellis a cutis; elements 3–8 µm wide, smooth or somewhat encrusted, hyaline to orangish brown in KOH; exserted terminal cells straight and cylindric, with rounded apices. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: L. R. Hesler & A. H. Smith, 1965. (Hesler & Smith, 1965; McNeil, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 05280701, 09071201.

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Crepidotus vulgaris

Crepidotus vulgaris

Crepidotus vulgaris
Spore print

Crepidotus vulgaris

Crepidotus vulgaris

Crepidotus vulgaris
Clamp connection

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