Pholiota limonella

Pholiota limonella (Peck) Sacc., PLP847_2018_595

P. limonella is a gilled, saprobic mushroom found growing gregariously on logs. When I found it, these mushrooms were profusely slimy, even after donating some to its sample bag and to all the curious observers. This species was originally place in Agaricus by Peck in 1878, and has numerous synonyms in Pholiota including Pholiota subsquarrosa var. limonella (Rick 1938), Pholiota abietis (A.H. Sm. & Hesler 1968), Pholiota connata (A.H. Sm. & Hesler 1968), Pholiota subvelutipes (A.H. Sm. & Hesler 1968), Pholiota ceriferoides (P.D. Orton 1988).

This specimen was collected near Mazomanie, WI, in mixed oak-hickory-elm forest. It was growing along a hickory log with multiple fruiting bodies emerging along its length.  The caps are viscid, about 6 cm in diameter, yellow with deeper color in center, turns orange with KOH. After drying, there was a slight bluish tinge on cap. Stipe are curved, woody, and thin (about 5mm), with small scales below the annulus line. Spores are brown, kidney-shaped and measure 7.36 ± 0.41 x 4.52 ± 0.18 μm (average of 10 spores ± SD), which is consistent with P. limonella and differentiates from P. aurivella with larger spores (Farr et al. 1977). This study used mating tests to circumscribe Pholita species and concluded that spore size is the only morphological differentiation they could find.

Figure 1. A) Specimens on hickory log. B) Habitat in which the specimens were found, C) Positive KOH on cap, with orange color produced. D) Brown, kidney-shaped spores in KOH (1000x).

Pholiota limonella panel

Division: Basiomycota

Subdivision: Agaricomycotina

Class: Agaricomycetes

Order: Agaricales

Family: Strophariaceae

Site: 43.1221651, -89.6819301


Farr ER, Miller Jr OK, Farr DF. Biosystematic studies in the genus Pholiota, stirps Adiposa. Canadian Journal of Botany. 1977 May 1;55(9):1167-80.


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