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Laccaria pumila

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Hydnangiaceae > Laccaria . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Laccaria pumila is a tiny species of Laccaria found under various high-elevation willows, birches, and conifers in western North America. It has a small, orangish brown cap that is often strongly lined, and a tiny stem with white basal mycelium. Several species look virtually identical to the naked eye, and a few of these (Laccaria montana and Laccaria pseudomontana) inhabit the same ecosystems--but Laccaria pumila is easily separated from look-alikes with microscopic analysis, since it is the only species in the group with 2-spored basidia.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with willows, birches, and conifers; appearing in arctic, boreal, and montane ecosystems; growing scattered or gregariously, often in moss; summer and fall; western and northern North America.

Cap: 3-30 mm; convex, becoming flat and sometimes depressed; the margin often inrolled; usually strongly lined; bald or finely hairy to finely scaly; orangish brown.

Gills: Attached to the stem; distant; pinkish flesh colored.

Stem: 4-60 mm long; up to about 5 mm thick; more or less equal; bald; often longitudinally lined; colored like the cap; with whitish basal mycelium.

Flesh: Insubstantial; orangish brown.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 11-17 x 10-15 µ; elliptical or subglobose; spines 0.5-1.5 µ long; inamyloid. Basidia 2-spored. Cheilocystidia absent. Pileipellis a cutis of elements 5-10 µ wide, with scattered bundles of upright elements; terminal cells subclavate.

REFERENCES: Fayod, 1893. (Saccardo, 1905; Mueller, 1997; Osmundson et al., 2005; Miller & Miller, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 09190901.

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Laccaria pumila

Laccaria pumila

Laccaria pumila

Laccaria pumila

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Kuo, M. (2010, December). Laccaria pumila. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: