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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. #1 may be most common and is also found in Europe, where the species was described, and may be the real thing. #2 is also found in Europe, so it could possibly be the real thing. #3 and #4 are probably not the type variety and it needs to be figured out which varieties they are or if they need new species names. Interestingly, the two collections of #4 did not look like each other (see below, one was thinner fleshed in the cap and therefore quite striate). We need more collections of all of them to figure out how to tell them apart and to name them.

Macrocystidia cucumis #1 © NAMA and the Field Museum of Natural History,    M. sp. PNW03 © Jacob Kalichman,     M. sp. PNW04 © Yi-Min Wang and Yi-Min Wang  

macrocystidia © A and O Ceska


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