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Clitocybe species? Or not???

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Last October 20 I found these forming a large arc in a clearing of a deciduous woods (mostly oak, maple elm, walnut, hickory) in Wisconsin. Weather had warmed to the 50's after cool temps early in Oct, with several frosts. They were fleshy, light buff-colored caps that were mostly circular and convex. There was no staining when cut and caps showed little bruising. Gills were adnexed (narrowly attached), crowded and not forked, but with many short gills. Gills get wavy approaching a very narrow sterile margin. Stipes were fairly cylindrical, solid and meaty, but somewhat fibrous inside. Stipes are especially fibrous on the outside with reddish brown tinted fibers, becoming darker in the mid-shaft and then whiten near the ground.

I thought these were a species of Clitocybe; possibly C. robusta or C. gigantea or C. candida. There are some features that do not exactly match the descriptions of these at Mushroom Expert: https://www.mushroomexpert.com/clitocyboid.html 

Unfortunately, with my novice collecting practices at the time, I didn't get a spore print and I didn't take a cross-section shot. They had a mealy smell and taste, as I remember. I did dehydrate some, thinking I would eat them if I could get a positive ID.

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Top photo shows mushrooms that appear to be white, but in the subsequent photos the mushrooms appear to be grayish or beige. In the second photo one mushroom cap appears to be protruding from pieces of wood, but I think the specimen may have just been placed there for the photograph.

If the mushrooms are truly white, then maybe Clitocybe robusta. This species has an unusual odor, kinda unpleasant, slightly nauseating, but sometimes quite faint. Spore print color is pale yellow, best seen when a thick print is collected on a non-absorbent white surface.

If the mushrooms are beige, then maybe a species of Lepista, possibly L. irina. This species has a faintly fragrant odor, not unlike a Blewit. Spore print is very pale pinkish. 

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I found very similar species two days ago.

On a lawn, as a fairy ring, under an Ash tree and beside an old cedar hedge, in town --an abandoned school yard.

Pale pink/buff (skin coloured---my skin, north European) spore print

I could not find it in Audubon book or MushroomExpert.com

I don't think they are common

But I think it is Lepista irina (Clitocybe irina depending on age of the reference).

I fried them in butter and they smell pretty good.

I've got a spore print forming on a microscope slide and if the spores are eliptical with spines, I will try a bite tomorrow. Several bites the next day.

I'll keep you updated.

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JOHNY, do you have photos? If so, then use them to start a new discussion. 

Champignons du Quebec says of the spores of Lepista irina, "smooth to verrucose, in the same specimen" (via google translate). Sounds like the ornamentation on the spores is at best difficult to detect. You may need 1000x to see it. 

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Hi Dave W

Here they are. I'm new at uploading pics on this site so hopefully it works.

One part of an obvious fairy ring. Several pics of younger specimens. One older specimen. And a spore print.

My hospital hematology and micro lab has a 100X lens but not a 1000X. So maybe that is why I could not see the rough pointy surface detail that some websites talk about. They were eliptical but smooth looking at 100x. I am 99% convinced this is Clitocybe (Lepista) irina but not enough convinced to eat it. I did fry it and chewed a good bite but spit it out. Tasty. Made me sad to send it compost but I need absolute certainty before trying a new mushroom.

I prefer to eat mushrooms that I can find in Audubon or Mushroom Expert and neither source has a listing.

 

 

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JOHNY, you should start a new topic for discussing your mushrooms. This discussion is about Howard's mushrooms. Yours and his may (or may not) represent the same species. If you'd like to add a reference to your topic to someone else's topic, then copy/paste a link. 

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Interesting. I find these all the time and they smell very perfumey if they are the same ones. Was never sure of ID so never ate them.

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Thanks Dave & JOHNY, I was hoping the specimens in my original posting that were found last year would reappear this fall. Just like clockwork, these incredibly dependable mushrooms showed up at exactly the same place at the same date on the calendar - October 20 +/-. They are in the same partial fairy ring in the same part of the woods.

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They had a much more favorable flowery fragrance than I remembered from last year. I was intent on getting a spore print and planned to use the curly stiped one above, but I was startled by a coyote and dropped it while trying to coral and leash my dogs, so I lost it. The ones I did use didn't give me a very heavy print after 24 hours; maybe they weren't mature enough. Spores look pretty white on the black background and I don't see too much contrast with the white background. I'm trying for another print now.

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I did cook & eat a small batch and they were very tasty, with a unique taste that was not so much mushroomy. The flesh was chewy but not what I would call tough. I liked them enough to go out and collect enough for a meal!

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Thanks for the pics.  They look so much like blewits except no blue and not singular, still something for me to be hyper aware about.  Seems like a white or yellowish spore print.

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Looks like some liquid leached out of the mushroom onto the white paper meant for spore print collection. When this happens the paper gets stained and the color of the print is difficult to ascertain.

I'd say these mushrooms (most recent set of photos) are either Lepista/Clitocybe irina or Lepista/Clitocybe subconnexa. In my experience C. subconnexa doesn't taste very good. But Mushroom Expert says the taste varies from mild to bitterish. If they are really fragrant and taste very good, this favors the L/C. irina proposal. 

 

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