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Hygrophorus pustulatus

[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Hygrophoraceae > Hygrophorus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Hygrophorus pustulatus features a grayish brown cap, white gills that begin to run down the stem, and a whitish stem that is "pustulate" (covered with little brown dots that are reminiscent of the glandular dots found on the stems of many Suillus species). It is associated with conifers--especially with firs--in western North America and in the northern regions of central and eastern North America. Western versions, like the specimens described and illustrated here, are more robust than eastern versions, and feature larger spores; they may constitute a separate species.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with conifers--particularly with firs, but also reported in association with Engelmann spruce and with redwood; late summer and fall; common from the Rocky Mountains westward, and occasional in north-central and northeastern North America. The illustrated and described collection is from Colorado.

Hygrophorus tephroleucus, sometimes considered a synonym of Hygrophorus pustulatus, is separated on the basis of its more slender stature and less conspicuous stem ornamentation.

Cap: 2-4 cm; convex when young, becoming broadly convex or slightly bell-shaped; sticky when fresh; with a slightly streaked appearance from stretched-out fibers beneath the slime; shiny when dried out; brown to gray-brown; lighter towards the margin.

Gills: Beginning to run down the stem; close or nearly distant; white; waxy.

Stem: 3-7 cm long; up to 1.5 cm thick; more or less equal; when very fresh and young sheathed with slime over the lower portion, but soon dry; whitish; covered with tiny fibrous points (especially over the upper half) that darken to grayish brown with maturity or when the mushroom is dried.

Flesh: White; unchanging when sliced.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 8-11.5 x 4-5.5 µ; smooth; ellipsoid; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid. Hymenial cystidia absent. Lamellar trama divergent. Pileipellis an ixocutis with clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (Persoon, 1801) Fries, 1838. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1887; Hesler & Smith, 1963; Bird & Grund, 1979; Largent, 1985; Phillips, 1991/2005; McNeil, 2006; Lodge et al., 2013.) DBG RMNP 2008-049.

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Hygrophorus pustulatus

Hygrophorus pustulatus

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Kuo, M. (2014, July). Hygrophorus pustulatus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: