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Melanoleuca evenosa

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

by Michael Kuo

I am using the name "Melanoleuca evenosa" for this large, West-Coast Melanoleuca because the name represents the best fit among a handful of unsatisfactory choices. Gillman & Miller (1977) and Arora (1986) describe Melanoleuca evenosa as a large species with white gills from western mountain ecosystems, growing under conifers in springtime, often near melting snowbanks. The illustrated collection was made near sea level in a coastal California ecosystem, and the mushrooms were far too large to match any other species but Melanoleuca cognata, from which they differed in the persistently white gills and the lack of a distinctive odor.

Melanoleuca subalpina and Melanoleuca strictipes, depending on the mycologist, are at least partial synonyms for the European Melanoleuca evenosa--which may not be the same as the mushroom (or mushrooms) described here.


Ecology: Probably saprobic; found in the vicinity of conifers at high elevations in springtime or, in the case of the illustrated mushrooms, at low elevation in winter; apparently western in distribution, from the Rocky Mountains to the coast.

Cap: 5-20 cm across; broadly convex or flat, sometimes with a shallow central depression; smooth; dry or greasy. The subalpine species is described by authors as brown when young, fading to tan or nearly white with a darker center; my coastal specimens were grayish brown at maturity, and showed no signs of fading substantially despite being exposed to open sunlight.

Gills: Attached to the stem, usually by a notch; close or crowded; white and remaining pale or developing slightly pinkish hues.

Stem: 5-10 cm long; up to 3 cm thick; firm; equal; dry; white; often with tiny brown fibrils; basal mycelium white.

Flesh: White.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap surface negative.

Microscopic Features: Spores 7.5-11 x 4.5-6 µ; more or less elliptical; ornamented with amyloid warts. Pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia abundant; lageniform to fusiform; often capped with apical incrustations; up to 65 x 13 µ.

REFERENCES: (Saccardo, 1887) Konrad, 1927. (Saccardo, 1887; Gillman & Miller, 1977; Moser, 1983; Arora, 1986; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1991; Hansen & Knudsen, 1992.) Herb. Kuo 01170507.

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Melanoleuca evenosa

Melanoleuca evenosa

Melanoleuca evenosa

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