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Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Macrocystidiaceae of the PNW (Tricholomatineae)
by Danny Miller


Macrocystidia - the sushi mushroom, with a strong odor of fish and cucumber, at least one of which is often found in urban gardens. It also has a distinctive dark warm brown cap and stem with a pallid to orange-brown cap margin and warm brown gills. The spores are pinkish, but not as dark a pinkish brown like what we consider the pink spored mushrooms. The cap is hygrophanous and fades to tan. Under the microscope it has unique, giant, fat-bottomed pointed topped cystidia, from which it gets its genus name.

abundant common uncommon rare - colour codes match my Pictorial Key and are my opinions and probably reflect my bias of living in W WA. Rare species may be locally common in certain places at certain times.

Click here to download the FASTA data of all my DNA sequences


Macrocystidia cucumis group - We have discovered four genetic species here so far, which may all be varieties of Macrocystidia cucumis. We need more collections of all of them to figure out how to tell them apart and to name them.

PNW01 may be most common and is also found in Europe, where the species was described, and may be the real thing. We only have one poor photograph.

PNW02 is also found in Europe, so it could possibly be the real thing. We don't have a photograph.

PNW03 keys out to var. leucospora microscopically. It could be, but there is only one matching sequence from the EU (the type area), and it was from a soil sample.

PNW04 is probably also not the type variety. Interestingly, the two collections did not look like each other (see below, one was thinner fleshed in the cap and therefore quite striate).

Macrocystidia cucumis PNW01 © NAMA and the Field Museum of Natural History,    M. 'cucumis var. leucospora PNW03' © Jacob Kalichman,     M. PNW04 © Yi-Min Wang (2 images)

macrocystidia © A and O Ceska


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