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Tricholoma venenatum

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

by Michael Kuo

Although its precise range has yet to be determined, this hardwood-loving species should probably be expected in oak-hickory and beech-maple forests throughout eastern North America. It can be recognized by its whitish to pale brownish cap, overlaid with brown fibers and scales, its mealy odor, and microscopic features—including fairly large spores (for a Tricholoma), and occasional clamp connections.

In western North America, Tricholoma smithii is nearly identical, but is associated with spruces and firs at high elevations. The name Tricholoma venenatum was also applied by Shanks (1994) to a robust, conifer-associated species in California; this mushroom may be Tricholoma smithii, or it may represent an unnamed species.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with hardwoods in oak-hickory and beech-maple forests; growing scattered or gregariously; summer and fall; probably widespread in North America east of the Great Plains. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois.

Cap: 5–6.5 cm across; convex, becoming broadly convex to nearly flat; dry; white to whitish underneath small, light brown to brown, radially arranged scales and fibrils; the margin sometimes becoming faintly, widely lined.

Gills: Attached to the stem by a notch; close or nearly crowded; short-gills frequent; whitish, aging brownish.

Stem: 4–5 cm long; 1–1.5 cm thick; equal; with very fine fibrils, or more or less bald; dry; white; basal mycelium white.

Flesh: White; unchanging when sliced.

Odor and Taste: Mealy.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6–8 x 4.5–5.5 µm; ellipsoid; smooth; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid. Lamellar trama parallel. Basidia 4-sterigmate. Cystidia not found. Pileipellis a cutis; elements 5–7.5 µm wide, smooth, hyaline to brown in KOH; occasionally clamped.

REFERENCES: Atkinson, 1908. (Kauffman, 1918; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1979; Ovrebo, 1980; Bessette et al., 2013; Kuo & Methven, 2014; Ovrebo & Hughes, 2018.) Herb. Kuo 06100306, 10081806.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Tricholoma venenatum

Tricholoma venenatum

Tricholoma venenatum

Tricholoma venenatum
Spore print

Tricholoma venenatum

Tricholoma venenatum
Clamp connection

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