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Lepiota erminea

[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Agaricaceae > Lepiota . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Also known as Lepiota alba, this medium-sized lepiotoid mushroom is apparently fairly widespread in North America, but is not common, and rarely if ever included in North American field guides. It can be recognized by its size, its whitish, non-scaly cap with a brownish center, its preference for grassy habitats, and microscopic features (including fairly large, fusiform-amygdaliform spores and a cutis). Lepiota erminea is very similar to Lepiota clypeolaria in stature and in its long, fusiform spores, which led one nineteenth-century mycologist to describe it as a white variety of that species.


Ecology: Saprobic; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously in grassy areas and disturbed soil; summer and fall; North American distribution uncertain, but possibly widespread. The illustrated and described collection is from Colorado.

Cap: 3-6 cm across; convex at first, becoming broadly convex, broadly bell-shaped, or nearly flat in age; dry; bald, or with fine appressed fibrils; whitish buff, with a brownish center.

Gills: Narrowly attached to the stem or free from it; close; short-gills frequent; creamy.

Stem: 4-7 cm long; 0.5-1 cm thick; more or less equal; dry; whitish and fairly bald near the apex; below whitish to faintly brownish and finely shaggy to fibrillose; with a poorly defined ring zone or with a flimsy ring.

Flesh: White; not changing when sliced.

Odor: Not distinctive.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative to yellowish on cap surface.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 10-15 x 4.5-6 µ; fusiform-amygdaliform; smooth; hyaline in KOH; dextrinoid. Cheilocystidia 20-30 x 5-10 µ; clavate; hyaline in KOH; thin-walled; hardly distinguishable from basidioles. Pleurocystidia absent. Pileipellis an interwoven layer of cylindric hyphae 5-10 µ wide; hyaline to faintly ochraceous in KOH. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (Fries, 1821) Kummer, 1871. (Saccardo, 1887; Kauffman, 1924; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1995; Vellinga, 2001h.) Herb. Kuo 08051005.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Lepiota erminea

Lepiota erminea

Lepiota erminea

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Kuo, M. (2015, September). Lepiota erminea. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: