Shaggy stems, with some cottony material (some are reported as
potentially deadly poisonous)
This common, medium sized PNW mushroom, described from WA, is a
little larger than most. It usually has quite a dark, coloured "eye"
on the disc. The stem is shaggy, unlike most other similar species.
The group of shaggy stemmed Lepiotas have much larger spores than most
others. The mushrooms in this group have been reported to be deadly
probable Lepiota magnispora © Steve Trudell
Not a synonym, although some have declared it is. The type is from the UK,
and it is found in AZ and ID (inland desert areas, I suspect). Rare. The
scales on the rest of the cap may be a bit paler then the cap eye, and there
may be yellow on the ring, but practically, it is very difficult to
distinguish without sequences.
This similar European species is also found in North America, commonly in
the east and uncommonly here in the west. The eye is not usually as
distinct, and the ring on the stem is said to be less ragged.
Lepiota clypeolaria © Jan Agosti
Lepiota erminea group
A mostly all-white form of the shaggy stemmed Lepiotas turns out to be
an actual unique species and not an albino form, which doesn't always happen
(and it can have a somewhat brownish disc, so it is not always entirely
white). It is usually called Lepiota alba but that is a newer
DNA from a collection near the WA/ID border matches several
reliable European sequences of L. erminea within 2 or 3 bp, which is
the same amount that European sequences can vary by.
One white collection
from Idaho and another that may be from Wyoming do not match any other sequences well, so
there may be a second undescribed species in the interior. We need more collections.
Lepiota erminea © Andrew Parker
Lepiota sp. FJ235149 OR
DNA of an undescribed species in this group was found in southern Oregon
near oak. I have no collection data yet about its colour or other details.
We need more collections.
Lepiota aff subincarnata
This not uncommon, deadly species has pinkish scales on the cap and pinkish
shaggy scales on the stem. It stains slightly reddish. It is not
closely related to the L. magnispora group of deadly species, but instead,
closer to the
L. castanea group of deadly species that normally have sharper scales on their stems.
Sometimes mistakenly called Lepiota josserandii. Not unommon.
Our local DNA is 3bp and 3 indels different than the only European sequence
I can find. In this group, that would not necessarily be enough differences
to mean it's a different
species, except that within the PNW and in sequences from Korea and
Pakistan, the DNA is always consistent, and only the one EU sequence I have shows this
variation, so I'd like to see more European sequences, since it is a
Lepiota subincarnata © Michael Beug
Lepiota cf helveola
This is a species similar to Lepiota subincarnata with
pinkish-brown scales, perhaps with a stem that is a little scalier
and less shaggy. It has been reported from the PNW but needs confirmation. We have DNA from European and eastern North
America collections that resemble this European species, but we no confirmed
DNA from anywhere yet. We need collections from everywhere to prove it is
Scaly stems (some are reported as potentially deadly poisonous)
Lepiota aff castanea
This not uncommon European species has warm brown scale colours
and sharper scales on the stem than in the species with shaggy stem
scales (in this photo they only remain at the bottom of the stem). It has
been reported to be deadly poisonous. PNW BC sequences are about 10 bp different than European sequences,
eastern NA sequences and a BC sequence close to the Yukon border (which all
seem to be the real species).
Lepiota aff castanea © Daniel Winkler
Lepiota aff pilodes
I need a description to be able to tell this species apart from L. castanea.
It seems to be about as common. Sequences from BC and CA are about 10 bp
from European material so our species likely needs a new name.
Eastern North America seems to have a third species. We need photos and
collections to learn how it differs from L. castanea.
Lepiota sp. 5 (iNat35547281)
This newly detected species (from BC and WA) is more uncommon, but also
similar to L. castanea. We need a way to tell it apart.
Lepiota sp. 5 (iNat35547281) © Danny Miller
This east coast species was never described very well, and all details
except for a vague macroscopic description were not taken from the type
material and are to be taken with a grain of salt. It is described
macroscopically is similar to L. castanea, but not quite as delicate as those above. We have DNA for it
from the east coast of something that vaguely looked like it could be it, but
local collections and a type study to figure out what it is. It is rumoured from the PNW,
so take those rumours with a grain of salt.
Lepiota fuscosquamea, Quebec ©
Another medium species like L. fuscosquamea, and also not well
understood. Described from the UK, it's not entirely clear
what this species' DNA is, but I have a guess. It's been reported from the PNW,
so we need collections to sequence. I also don't know if it is deadly.
Also medium sized species similar to L. fuscosquamea and L.
cortinarius, but with two important differences. There is an abrupt
bulb on the bottom of the stem and the veil is cobwebby like
Cortinarius. Described from the EU, it's not
entirely clear what this species' DNA is, but I have a guess (it may be
closely related to L. clypeolarioides). It's been rumoured from
the PNW, but those rumours are especially vague, so we need collections to
Lepiota aff felina
This uncommon species has very dark brown scales instead of warm
brown scales on the cap and stem, but it's reportedly not quite
inside one of the two deadly clades, and may not be deadly. Charles
McIlvaine, the famous American mycophagist from the late 1800s reported
eating it as part of his quest to try all the known mushrooms that weren't
known to be deadly at the time.
Fortunately for him, he found this little Lepiota instead of one of
the other deadly ones in this section. That may have been his closest brush
in his years long experiment. Our species is 6bp from European sequences, so we may need a new name. In
other parts of the world, they have their own potential species similarly
Lepiota aff felina © Steve Trudell
This species has purplish-brown scales. We have DNA from Europe but need to confirm its presence
in the PNW (there's only been one report I know of).
Bald stems, easily confused with Leucoagaricus.
This common species is recognized by usually orange-brown colours, a
growth in disturbed places more often than natural places (although I
have sequences of it from Bridle Trails State Park, which is pretty wild), and a
strong scent that may be
pleasantly sweet and fruity or unpleasant like rubber. Its ITS DNA differs
by about 1.5% around the world (it was described from Europe), with no
geographical pattern or other detectable differences between the specimens.
That is a higher than an average species might vary (~0.5%) , but it does seem to be all one good species.
However, almost identical species do occur in addition, described next.
Lepiota cristata © Daniel Antone
Lepiota aff cristata
This rarer sister species is more often found in natural habitats, but otherwise matches
L. cristata. It is found in California and BC so far. Since L.
cristata has been found in wild places too, there's no good way to
differentiate them beyond DNA yet.
Lepiota aff aff cristata (sp. 9)
Some BC sequences are 7-12 different from Lepiota aff cristata
(~2%). Given that Lepiota cristata has 1.5% variation within its
species, I don't know if this should represent a different species or not.
Lepiota aff aff cristata (sp. 9) © Jonathan Frank
Described from Oregon in 1933 and never reported since, it is said to much resemble Lepiota cristata.
This could be a good name for one of the two above unnamed species, but
we'll need a type sequence or more collections to find out.
Lepiota castaneidisca group
These species are very similar to L. cristata, but tend to have
more reddish brown colours and no umbo. They are found in natural habitats.
Practically, they can be difficult to distinguish from L. cristata,
including microscopically. There are 2 genetic species in California,
cryptic and not separable except for DNA. We do not have any PNW sequences
yet to tell which of the two occur here, but we have some reliable reports
that at least one of them probably do. One very dirty sequence from BC is
likely in this group. We need collections.
Lepiota castaneidisca © Dimitar Bojantchev
Other similar species exist in California and may exist in the PNW as
well, that can be differentiated microscopically from the above groups.
There is confusion about this name. It was described in 1922 from Oregon,
but the name was already in use for another mushroom, so the name will have
to be changed. As for what it is, it may just be an incorrect synonym for the pink 'Lepiota' decorata, actually a Leucoagaricus. But some
think it is a distinct, mostly white 'Lepiota' (true genus
Lepiota sp. 8 (MF955106)
DNA found twice in BC, once in CA. No photos or description.
Lepiota sp. 3 (MF955085)
A related species, DNA found twice in BC, once in Norway as cf
Echinoderma pseudoasperulum, but it appears much more likely this and
sp. 8 are Lepiotas instead, forming their own branch.
Lepiota subnivosa, subfelina, concentrica and amplifolia
These species were described from the PNW back in 1912, and we're still
not sure what they represent. Hopefully I'll have more information later.
Lepiota subnivosa belongs in Leucoagaricus. I don't know about
L. amplifolia. The other two probably do belong in Lepiota.