Pholiota squarrosa (Vahl) P. Kumm.

Phylum: Basidomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Agaricales
Family: Strophariacaea
Genus: Pholiota
Epithet: squarrosa
Authority: (Vahl) P. Kumm.
Collection #: PLP847_2018_172
Locale: Schoolcraft County, Michigan

Pholiota squarrosa, known as the shaggy scalycap or shaggy Pholiota, is the type species for the genus Pholiota. The genus name is derived from the Greek word Pholis, meaning ‘a scale,’ and the specific epithet, squarrosa, which translates to ‘with upright scales.’


Figure 1. Pholiota squarrosa cluster growing at the base of a living maple tree.










Ecology: Saprobic in clusters at the base of standing living or dead broad-leaf trees, particularly beech, and occasionally at the base of conifer stumps. This collection was found at the base of a living maple in a mixed forest (Fig. 1). It is thought that P. squarrosa is an opportunistic parasite and can attack trees that have been weakened by previous injury.

Morphology: Cap and stem are yellowish under the conspicuous reddish-brown scales for which this species is named (Fig. 2). Other members of this genus, including the very similar P. squarrosoides, have sticky caps, but P. squarrosa has a dry cap. Stem is 4-12 cm long and up to 1.5 cm thick. A partial veil covers the gills when young and is shaggy or cortina-like in appearance (Fig. 3). Mature specimens have an annulus and involute margin. Flesh is white to yellowish. Odor is garlic-like, mild, but somewhat unpleasant.

[image – closeup of fresh material]


Figure 2. Close up view of the stipe of Pholiota squarrosa showing the prominent scales.












Figure 3. Close up view of the cobweb-like partial veil of Pholiota squarrosa.











Spores: 5.5-9.0 x 3.5-5.0 μm; smooth; elliptical; with an apical pore; reddish-brown in KOH (Fig. 4). Spore print reddish brown (Fig. 5)


Figure 4. Spores of Pholiota squarrosa. 










Figure 5. Spore print of Pholiota squarrosa.










Edibility: Not edible, considered poisonous, especially when consumed with alcohol.



Kuo, M. (2007). Pholiota squarrosa.

By: Doug Minier


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