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Gymnopus earleae

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Marasmiaceae > Gymnopus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This springtime species, along with the closely related Gymnopus subsulphureus, is often found in April and May by morel hunters. It is a member of the Gymnopus dryophilus species group, and can be distinguished from other members of the group through a combination of features: the small caps that are variable in color but are often dark brown to reddish brown; the yellow gills; the rusty orange rhizomorphs on the stem base; and microscopic features.

Collybia earleae is a synonym.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing scattered, gregariously, or in small clusters on wet soil or very decayed wood; spring; fairly widely distributed east of the Great Plains, and reported from California.

Cap: 1-3.5 cm; convex, becoming planoconvex or nearly flat; bald; dark brown to dark reddish brown and moist when young and fresh, but soon fading to brownish or orangish buff.

Gills: Attached to the stem broadly or narrowly; close; pale yellow.

Stem: 2-5 cm long; up to about 5 mm thick; more or less equal; greasy; hollow; bald except for tawny fuzz near the base; orangish buff to yellow or yellowish orange; usually covered with stiff, tawny hairs near the base; sometimes with a swollen and spongy basal portion immersed in the substrate; with thin rusty orange to reddish brown rhizomorphs attached to the base.

Flesh: Thin; whitish.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive, or slightly unpleasant.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores: 4.5-7 x 2-3.5 µ; smooth; narrowly elliptical or lacrymoid; inamyloid. Pleurocystidia absent. Cheilocystidia often absent or poorly differentiated, but when present cylindric to somewhat contorted; up to about 36 µ. Pileipellis a tangle of cylindric, branching (but not diverticulate or coralloid) hyphae 5-20 µ wide.

REFERENCES: (Murrill, 1916a) Murrill, 1916b. (Coker & Beardslee, 1921; Vilgalys & Miller, 1983; Vilgalys, 1991; Halling, 1983; Halling, 2004.) Herb. Kuo 05079501, 05089501.

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Gymnopus earleae

Gymnopus earleae

Gymnopus earleae

Gymnopus earleae

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Kuo, M. (2013, January). Gymnopus earleae. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: