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Bayoufrogg

Mushroom in Louisiana

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Found these guys in a low lying, moist area surrounded by water oaks, sweet gums, and a few pines.  Mushrooms were surrounding rotted stump and within stump as well.  First time ive seen these.  Thinking some type of lactarius, but not sure.  

Caps 4-5 inches across.  Strong, earthy smell.  

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These do look like a species of Lactarius. A trait see in many Lactarius species is brown staining on the gills that is caused by the latex. Did you detect any latex in these? In some cases, Lactarius mushrooms may produce scant amounts of latex. To observe the latex, sometimes it's necessary to gently press a finger or piece of paper against the cut flesh and then check for the presence of moisture.

All Lactarius mushrooms are the result of mycorrhizal fungi, so most often their growth habit is terrestrial. But there are a few species noted for their occurrence on rotting wood (because the mycelium has a tendency to crawl up/onto the wood). One such species is L. vietus. Looking a through L. vietus observations on Mushroom Observer, I don't see any from a southern NA area. Milk Mushrooms of North America says this species is widely distributed in NA. L. vietus has white latex that stains the gills brown. Two things about the mushrooms seen here that differ from descriptions of L. vietus are the large caps and the strong odor. Champignons du Quebec says L. vietus has been reported in association with oak (although this species appears to be mainly associated with birch). Flesh of L. vietus is reported as fragile/brittle. 

Lactarius mushrooms are often very difficult to ID to species. Microscopic analysis --mounting the amyloid spores in Meltzer's reagent and scoping at 400x in order to estimate the size/patterning of warts on the spores-- is a typical requirement. 

Could these represent a genus other than Lactarius? Although nothing else immediately comes to my mind as a solid proposal, I would not rule this out. If you can get a thick spore print on a non-absorbent white surface, observing any any deviation from white could be useful. Lactarius spores should be white, off white, or yellow. If, for example, you get a pinkish spore print, then Clitocybe, Clitocella, Rhodocybe, or even Lepista may be considered (although a few species of Lactarius have very pale pinkish spore prints). 

My guess here is Lactarius. 

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I should have added these photos to the original post here.  These white masses were found in the stump with the brown mushrooms. 20191224_093457.thumb.jpg.99a11d3957589dc7c6cbee42b987b10d.jpg The white masses were very soft and squishy.  When cut in half, some parts of the inside were yellowed.  They did not seem to have any appreciable stem.  

 

A post on mushroom observer suggested entoloma abortivum.  

 

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The white masses are very likely examples of so-called Aborted Entoloma, ie Entoloma abortivum. This is a misnomer. In the past it had been believed that the white masses were Entoloma mushrooms that that had not formed correctly. But, it is now known that the masses are actually Armillaria mushrooms that do not form correctly because the Armillaria fungus has been attacked/parasitized by Entolma abortivum. The mushrooms clustered around the stump are (mostly) fruit bodies of Entoloma abortivum. Something that had originally escaped my attention is that some of these mushrooms appear to have a pinkish tint on at at least part of the cap surface. This is likely the pink spore print from an Entoloma mushroom positioned above the mushroom with the pinkish spray across the cap. But, at least some of the normally formed mushrooms may be Armillaria fruit bodies that developed normally. 

Here's a complete run-down of what is seen in the photos: Normally formed mushroom is Entoloma abortivum if the spore print is pink; Normally formed mushroom is probably an Armillaria mushroom if the spore print is white (note that many types of Lactarius mushrooms also have white prints); Whitish blobs are aborted/abnormal Armillaria mushrooms. 

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