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Tricholoma subresplendens

[ Basidiomycota > Agaricales > Tricholomataceae > Tricholoma . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

I was sure that the blue stains on my otherwise white mushrooms were the result of placing them on cheap paper towels with little blue designs while I took notes in my journal. "No Tricholoma stains blue," I thought, and didn't even write down what I was seeing—this from a man who often lectures to mushroom audiences on the pitfalls of allowing one's preconceptions to determine what one observes. However, when I later found the mushroom again, displaying blue stains in the woods, I at least had the sense to refrain from expanding my paper towel theory to include obsessive-compulsive squirrels tidying up the woods with generic paper towels.

Tricholoma subresplendens is recognized by its hardwood habitat, its white colors, and, yes, the presence of blue stains on the cap and stem—though the blue stains do not always appear. The cap may be pure white or develop tan shades, especially over the center. The odor and taste are usually mealy. Microscopically, the species is distinguished from similar mushrooms by the presence of clamp connections at the bases of the basidia.

Tricholoma columbetta is a similar European species, and its name is often used in North American treatments for Tricholoma subresplendens. However, Ovrebo (1980) argues convincingly that our North American mushroom is distinct, since the European species lacks clamped basidia. Tricholoma resplendens is another similar European species, but it has been reduced to synonymy with Tricholoma columbetta (Christensen & Heilmann-Clausen, 2013).


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods in oak-hickory and beech-maple forests, or under birch, or in mixed woods with oaks present; growing scattered or gregariously; late summer and fall; precise distribution uncertain, but, based on Tricholoma subresplendens and Tricholoma columbetta records in major herbaria, perhaps limited to eastern and northeastern North America, with the exception of some records for Alaska. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois and Kentucky.

Cap: 3–10 cm; at first broadly conical-convex, with an incurved margin; becoming broadly convex or nearly flat, with or without a central knob; sticky when fresh and young, but soon greasy to dry; bald or with minute, appressed fibers (especially over the center); white, often with tan to dull orangish brown shades, especially over the center; sometimes bruising and/or discoloring bluish to greenish.

Gills: Attached to the stem by a notch; close or nearly crowded; short-gills frequent; white.

Stem: 3–10 cm long; 1–2.5 cm thick; equal or somewhat swollen below; bald or with silky appressed fibers; dry; white; sometimes bruising or discoloring bluish; basal mycelium white.

Flesh: White; not changing when sliced.

Odor and Taste: Mealy.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative on cap surface.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 5–7.5 x 3–4.5 µm; ellipsoid with a narrowed apicular end; smooth; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 25–40 x 4–8 µm; 4-sterigmate; clavate; smooth; hyaline in KOH; basally clamped. Cystidia not found. Lamellar trama parallel. Pileipellis a cutis of elements 2.5–5 µm wide, smooth, hyaline in KOH.

REFERENCES: (Murrill, 1914) Murrill, 1914. (T. columbetta/subresplendens: Kauffman, 1918; Ovrebo, 1980; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1991; Phillips, 1991; McNeil, 2006; Ovrebo, Hughes & Halling, 2009; Bessette et al., 2013; Christensen & Heilmann-Clausen, 2013; Kuo & Methven, 2014.) Herb. Kuo 09300305, 10150405, 09250801, 09221205, 11031801.

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Tricholoma subresplendens

Tricholoma subresplendens
Note blue stain on stem base

Tricholoma subresplendens

Tricholoma subresplendens
Note blue stains on lower-left cap

Tricholoma subresplendens
Spore print

Tricholoma subresplendens

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