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Hohenbuehelia atrocaerulea var. grisea

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Pleurotaceae > Hohenbuehelia ... ]

by Michael Kuo

Apparently widespread on our continent, Hohenbuehelia atrocaerulea var. grisea is a small, blackish pleurotoid mushroom that grows from the dead wood of hardwoods and, occasionally, conifers. Its gills are whitish, which helps to separate it from Resupinatus alboniger (which is also much smaller and differs microscopically)--and it lacks the prominent gelatinous spines that cover the cap of Hohenbuehelia mastrucata.

The cap color of Hohenbuehelia atrocaerulea var. grisea ranges from nearly black to dark brown or tan--but var. atrocaerulea has a cap that is consistently darker and sometimes demonstrates blue shades, as the species epithet suggests. Thorn and Barron (1986) suggest that var. grisea is by far the more common variety.

Hohenbuehelia "atrocoerulea" (with an o) is an alternate spelling.


Ecology: Saprobic on the dead wood of hardwoods and (less often) conifers; growing gregariously or in shelf-like clusters; summer and fall; widely distributed in eastern North America, and reported from California.

Cap: 2-5 cm across; convex, becoming planoconvex; fan-shaped to semicircular or kidney-shaped in outline; rubbery and moist; fairly smooth, or finely fuzzy in places, especially toward the point of attachment; nearly black at first, becoming blackish brown to dark brown and eventually drying out and fading to tan or beige.

Gills: Close or nearly distant; whitish, becoming dull yellowish.

Stem: Absent, but a tiny pseudo-stem is occasionally present.

Flesh: Whitish to brownish; rubbery.

Odor and Taste: Odor mealy or not distinctive; taste mealy.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6-9 x 3-4.5 µ; elliptical; smooth; inamyloid. Cheilocystidia lecythiform to subclavate with a long neck; to about 40 x 10 µ. Pleurocystidia ("metuloids") lanceolate to fusoid; to about 100 x 25 µ; with thick (2-6 µ) walls; often developing heavy apical encrustations. Pileipellis a thin cutis-like tangle above a thick zone of gelatinized hyphae. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (Fries, 1815) Singer, 1951; (Peck, 1891) Thorn & Barron, 1986. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1918; Thorn & Barron, 1986; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1991; McNeil, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 10280702.

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Hohenbuehelia atrocaerulea var. grisea

Hohenbuehelia atrocaerulea var. grisea

Hohenbuehelia atrocaerulea var. grisea

Hohenbuehelia atrocaerulea var. grisea

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Kuo, M. (2009, April). Hohenbuehelia atrocaerulea var. grisea. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: