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

Introduction

The genera in this family are very, very similar. I don't think they should necessarily have been split, so feel free to think of these greyish brown funnel caps with strongly decurrent gills and indented caps in age collectively as Pseudoclitocybe s.l. or the Pseudoclitocybaceae. Even an ITS only tree shows these three genera cluster closely together in a family in the Tricholomatineae sub-order. They may or may not have clamp connections and inamyloid spores like Clitocybe, which they are easily confused with.

Pseudoclitocybe - has smooth, amyloid spores (unlike Clitocybe's inamyloid spores).

Harmajaea - a large, chalky-grey funnel cap that may be felty with a sometimes disagreeable odor and taste and possible greying flesh with smooth inamyloid spores like Clitocybe (and only recently separated on molecular evidence) but unlike most Clitocybe, lacking clamp connections. The lack of clamp connections may be the only reliable way to separate it from Clitopaxillus.

Clitopaxillus - a very similar large chalky-grey funnel cap that also may be felty that browns in age with a mild odor/taste. It has smooth inamyloid spores and clamp connections, and therefore the hardest to separate from Clitocybe.

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

Pseudoclitocybe - click to expand

large grey-brown funnel shaped clitocyboids with smooth, amyloid spores (unlike Clitocybe's inamyloid spores). When young, they may have quite an inrolled cap margin.

Species mentioned: Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis, expallens, oregonensis.

Harmajaea - click to expand

A large, chalky-grey funnel cap that may be felty with a sometimes disagreeable odor and taste and greying flesh. The margin may be inrolled and the cap may have water spots. It has smooth inamyloid spores like Clitocybe (and only recently separated on molecular evidence) but unlike most Clitocybe, lacking clamp connections. The lack of clamp connections and sometimes disagreeable odor may be the only reliable way to separate it from Clitopaxillus, next.

Species mentioned: Harmajaea harperi.

Clitopaxillus - click to expand

very similar large chalky-grey funnel cap that also may be felty that browns in age with a mild odor/taste. The margin may be inrolled and the cap may have water spots. It has smooth inamyloid spores and clamp connections, and therefore the hardest to separate from Clitocybe. The clamp connections and always mild odor may be the only reliable way to separate it from Harmajaea, above.

Species mentioned: Clitopaxillus alexandri. Clitocybe crassa, leopardina.

 

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