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Melanoleuca brevipes

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Tricholomataceae > Melanoleuca . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

In a genus filled with hard-to-identify mushrooms, this Melanoleuca stands (or, better said, "squats") out from the crowd with its gray cap and seemingly truncated stem, which is much shorter in proportion to the width of the cap than the stems of most Melanoleucas. Microscopic features (see below) include funky, harpoon-tipped, frequently septate cystidia.


Ecology: Probably saprobic; found in grassy areas and disturbed soil, often in urban areas; summer and fall; widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 2-8 cm across; broadly convex or flat, sometimes with a shallow central bump; smooth; dry; dark gray to nearly black when young, becoming gray and eventually fading to dull brownish or paler.

Gills: Attached to the stem, usually by a notch; fairly crowded; white.

Stem: 1-3 cm long; up to 1 cm thick; firm; club-shaped when in the button stage, becoming equal with a slightly swollen base; sometimes twisted; dry; whitish.

Flesh: White in cap; white or brownish in the stem.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6.5-9.5 x 5-6.5 µ; more or less elliptical; ornamented with amyloid warts. Pleurocystidia absent or rare (when present similar to cheilocystidia). Cheilocystidia abundant; variously shaped; often capped with apical incrustations and/or septate 1-2 times; up to 60 x 9 µ.

REFERENCES: (Bulliard, 1791) Patoulliard, 1900. (Saccardo, 1887; Gillman & Miller, 1977; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Moser, 1983; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1991; Hansen & Knudsen, 1992; McNeil, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 10070302.

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Melanoleuca brevipes

Melanoleuca brevipes

Melanoleuca brevipes

Melanoleuca brevipes

Melanoleuca brevipes

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Kuo, M. (2007, May). Melanoleuca brevipes. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: