Major Groups > Clubs & Corals > Microglossum rufum


Microglossum rufum

[ Ascomycota > Leotiales > Leotiaceae > Microglossum . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Although there are a number of small, vaguely club-shaped, yellow and orange mushrooms out there, close inspection should make Microglossum rufum fairly easy to identify without a microscope. First, the head and the stem are clearly distinct, which eliminates many contenders. Second, the stem is roughened with tiny, scaly flocculence, eliminating pretty much everything else. Microglossum rufum is small and easily overlooked, but is fairly commonly collected in eastern North America and the upper Midwest.

Thanks to Sherwood Forest Friends for facilitating collection of specimens.


Ecology: Traditionally reported as saprobic; growing alone to gregariously in various forests types, on the ground, in humus, among mosses, or from very well-rotted wood; summer and fall; widely distributed in North America east of the Rocky Mountains and in Mexico, but not in tropical areas; also reported from Australasia and Japan. The illustrated and described collection is from North Carolina.

Fruiting Body: 20–50 mm high and 2–5 mm wide; club-shaped to somewhat flattened and irregular; head and stem clearly separated.

Head: 4–19 mm high; 3–8 mm across; widely flattened-fusiform at first, developing a central longitudinal crease and becoming "Croatia-shaped"; bald; orange-yellow to yellow.

Stem: 7–35 mm high; 1–3 mm thick; more or less equal; scaly; orangish yellow to yellow.

Flesh: Yellowish; unchanging when sliced.

Odor: Not distinctive.

Microscopic Features: Spores 30–35 x 4–5 µm; cylindric to suballantoid; smooth; with one to several large oil droplets; hyaline in KOH; developing 5–10 septa. Asci 120–140 x 7.5–12.5 µm; cylindric; smooth; hyaline KOH; with amyloid tips. Paraphyses 140–160 x 2–3 µm; filiform-cylindric; curved about 60–90 degrees once clear of the asci; apices subclavate or merely rounded; smooth; hyaline in KOH.

REFERENCES: (Schweinitz, 1832) Underwood, 1896. (Seaver, 1951; Mains, 1955; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; Roody, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Beug et al., 2014; Baroni, 2017; Elliott & Stephenson, 2018.) Herb. Kuo 08091921.

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Microglossum rufum

Microglossum rufum

Microglossum rufum

Microglossum rufum

Microglossum rufum
Amyloid ascus tips

Microglossum rufum
Paraphyses and ascus

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Kuo, M. (2019, November). Microglossum rufum. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: