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Lentinellus micheneri

[ Basidiomycetes > Russulales > Auriscalpiaceae > Lentinellus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Like other species of Lentinellus, Lentinellus micheneri has distinctively saw-toothed, jagged gill edges (enlarge the top illustration) and amyloid spores that are finely ornamented with tiny spines. The spore print is whitish, and the taste is often acrid or peppery. Depending on your source of information, Lentinellus micheneri is either rare or frequently encountered. In my area (central Illinois), it appears with some regularity in the fall on hardwood logs, as well as in late spring.

Lentinellus micheneri is easily recognized by its cap, which is smooth, more or less round in outline, and changes color markedly as it dries out--and by its stem, which is not fused into the stems of other mushrooms (as is typically the case with Lentinellus cochleatus), and is often grooved.

Lentinellus subaustralis is a very similar species, possibly limited to southeastern North America. Its diagnostic characters, according to Petersen & Hughes (2004, p. 124), are as follows: "1) basidiospores somewhat larger than those of L. micheneri (4.0-5.2 x 3.0-3.6 µm); 2) taste not acrid, but consistently anesthetic to the tip of the tongue; 3) stipe somewhat stout, expanded downward; 4) basidiomata consistently drying more or less champagne colored or blond (those of L. micheneri dry dark avellaneous or violaceous brown)." However, the authors caution that, in the field, specimens of Lentinellus subaustralis "are nearly impossible to distinguish from those of L. micheneri, and were it not for supporting genetic and phylogenetic characters, L. subaustralis would not have been discovered."

Lentinellus omphalodes and Lentinellus bisus are synonyms.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing scattered or gregariously, usually in small clusters; on fallen wood of hardwoods or conifers, or terrestrial in woody debris; fall and early winter; widely distributed.

Cap: 1-5 cm; convex or cushion-shaped when young, with a central depression; later broadly convex or nearly flat, with or without a deep central depression; moist; smooth; pinkish brown or paler; changing color markedly as it dries out, often resulting in two-toned caps; the margin not lined.

Gills: Attached to the stem; nearly distant; the edges distinctively saw-toothed; whitish to pinkish brown; not bruising.

Stem: .5-5 cm long; 1-3 mm thick; more or less equal; frequently grooved longitudinally; brown or reddish brown; sometimes off-center.

Flesh: Pale brownish; insubstantial.

Taste: Acrid or peppery (sometimes developing slowly); odor not distinctive.

Spore Print: Creamy whitish.

Microscopic Features: Spores 4-5 x 3-3.5 µ; elliptical; amyloid; very finely ornamented with warts and spines. Pleurocystidia 22-31 x 3-8 µ; more or less fusiform. Gloeocystidia sometimes present.

REFERENCES: (Berkeley & Curtis, 1853) Pegler, 1983. (Miller & Stewart, 1971; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Petersen & Hughes, 2004.) Herb. Kuo 10090308, 05270406.

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Lentinellus omphalodes

Lentinellus omphalodes

Lentinellus omphalodes

Lentinellus omphalodes

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Kuo, M. (2005, February). Lentinellus micheneri. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: