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Marasmius plicatulus

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Marasmiaceae > Marasmius . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This beautiful West Coast mushroom is a decomposer of forest debris, found under conifers and hardwoods alike. Its cap and stem are purple-red when fresh (though less dramatic, browner specimens are not uncommon), and its well spaced gills are creamy. It is fairly large (for a Marasmius), and its finely velvety cap is often conical, making it seem more like a mycenoid mushroom. Under the microscope, however, it features funky "broom cells" on the cap surface and the edges of the gills, like many species of Marasmius.


Ecology: Saprobic on litter and debris under hardwoods or conifers; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; fall and winter; along the West Coast.

Cap: 1-5 cm; conical or bell-shaped when young, expanding to broadly conical or convex; dry; finely velvety, at least when fresh; sometimes developing radial wrinkles with age; purple-red to reddish brown.

Gills: Narrowly attached to the stem or free from it; distant; white to creamy or yellowish; sometimes developing pinkish to brownish edges.

Stem: 5-13 cm long; up to 3 mm thick; equal; dry; brittle; bald; creamy or pinkish above, purple-red to reddish black or dark brown below; basal mycelium white.

Flesh: Thin; whitish.

Odor and Taste: Taste mild; odor not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 11-16.5 x 5-6.5 µ; smooth; fusoid, subfusoid, or amygdaliform; inamyloid. Pleurocystidia absent. Cheilocystidia cylindric with diverticulate apices ("broom cells"); to about 25 x 6 µ. Pileipellis hymeniform, with dextrinoid broom cells. Trama dextrinoid.

REFERENCES: Peck, 1897. (Saccardo, 1899; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Arora, 1986; Desjardin, 1987; Lincoff, 1992; Murphy, 2005; Miller & Miller, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 01131101.

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Marasmius plicatulus

Marasmius plicatulus

Marasmius plicatulus

Marasmius plicatulus

Marasmius plicatulus

Marasmius plicatulus

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Kuo, M. (2012, June). Marasmius plicatulus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: