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Pluteus

Pluteus petasatus

Description:

They were found in a kid's playground after some light rain the day before. It seems that their source of energy would either have to be the wood chips or some other unseen substrate.

Habitat:

As shown here, they are found in an area where children love to run about, an urban playground, as they emerge due to the mycorrhizal relationship to the wood chips.

Notes:

Cap: 6 - 7 cm long, pearl white, convex, smooth and rubbery (like leather), dark brown sections near appex. Gills: white to creamy, free, fairly close, with a forking pattern, not brittle (i.e. not a Russula). Stalk: 5 - 6 cm tall, about 1 cm wide, white, vertical striations present, slightly swollen at base, lacking volva and ring, faintly tapering upward. Spore Print: not obtained, most likely white to cream (most likely, not absolutely sure!). The pair of mushrooms shown here grew "overnight" after some subtle monsoon rains. Being in a playground, their life expectancy was sure to be short; either that or they can willingly fly 10 feet from where they were originally found to some random location.

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6 Comments

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 8 years ago

Alright Clive, thanks for leading me in the right direction. I'm feeling confident that Pluteus petasatus is what we have here, and I'll try to return to the area during the first fall rains to find out more about this playground fungi. :)

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 8 years ago

Clive, a friend who knows the Arizona fungi quite well has mentioned that this is more likely a Pluteus species, he mentioned P. pellitus. I don't exactly agree with that species (this one is not growing on an actual hardwood and has no obvious umbo), Pluteus petasatus seems to match it amazingly. Whitish with brownish to grayish center with darker (brown/gray) scales or fibrils, margin white, flesh thick and firm, odor mild or like a radish (yes it was), gills free and crowded, white for a very long time then pink, growing on sawdust or wood chips, common, and occuring in groups, i.e. never solitary. These are characteristics of P. petasatus, and because they do not have a volva, they are a better match than a volvariella. The new issue is that the stipe is usually robust, bulging, i.e. not slender, but this one is not as exaggerated as true P. petasatus. What do you make of this?

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 8 years ago

Very true. A one-hour print would probably show little results from even dark-spored mushrooms. Well it fits the description for Volvariella speciosa almost perfectly minus my human errors, so I'm confident leaving it as that. I can't thank you enough Clive, you've been a great help to me tonight, and I wish you a goodnight as sleep is starting to creep in from all corners. Night. :)

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 8 years ago

And I agree that its not a Russula. And I obtained a spore print, but it came out to be white (on a white index card, the blue/red lines appeared to be blurred/dulled where the mushroom had been placed, although it might be white because they were young or maybe I didn't even obtain a print by not waiting long enough.) What do you think?

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 8 years ago

Thank you so much! I'm really grateful for the help, Clive; it drove me mad that it resembled a Russula, but was growing from such an uncommon substrate. It seems to be V. speciosa, except for the absence of a volva. I tried carefully to remove the fungi as close to the mycellium as possible, and, as you can tell by images 2 and 3, there is no sac present. Could it be that it washed off due to rain?

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 8 years ago

Through various keys, I get the result that it is in the Russula genus. I've yet to see a white Russula like this one, so I definitely would love any opinions on this!

Ivan Rodriguez
Spotted by
Ivan Rodriguez

Glendale, Arizona, USA

Spotted on Oct 2, 2011
Submitted on Oct 3, 2011

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