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Mushrooms, Laccaria

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   Laccaria is a genus around 75 species of fungus found in both temperate and tropical regions of the world. They are mycorrhizal. The type species is (Laccaria laccata), commonly known as the Deceiver. Other notable species include Laccaria bicolor, and the amethyst deceiver (Laccaria amethystina). Laccaria typically have thick, widely spaced, purple to flesh-colored gills that are adnate to slightly decurrent in attachment. The spores are white and ornamented in most species.

Deceiver, Waxy Laccaria (Laccaria laccata)

   Laccaria laccata is found in scattered troops in wooded areas, and on heathland often in poor soil. It is very common in all of the northern temperate zones, but tends to favor cool weather. Laccaria laccata is mycorrhizal with several types of trees, including members of the Pinaceae (Pines), Fagaceae (Beech), and Betulaceae (Birch). It is found across Europe and North America, south into Mexico and Costa Rica. Laccaria species are mycorrhizal, and thought by some to be pioneer species.
Description:
   Cap: Usually 1-4.5 cm across, but sometimes larger or smaller; convex, becoming flat and sometimes uplifted; often with a central depression; the margin smooth and even or lined to grooved; bald to finely hairy; orangish brown, fading to buff; color often changing markedly as it dries out.
   Gills: Attached to the stem, or beginning to run down it; distant or close; pinkish (Caucasian) flesh color, sometimes developing a faint purplish cast.
   Stem: 2-10 cm long; up to 1 cm thick; equal or tapering to base; smooth to finely hairy; occasionally longitudinally grooved; colored like the cap; with white basal mycelium; becoming hollow.
   Flesh: Thin, colored like the cap.
   Microscopic Features: Spores 7-10 ; subglobose to globose; ornamented with spines 1-2 long and about 1 wide at their bases; inamyloid. Basidia 4-spored. Cheilocystidia usually present; filamentous to subclavate; up to about 55 x 7.5 . Pileipellis a cutis of elements mostly 3-7.5 wide, with scattered bundles of upright elements; terminal cells subclavate to subcapitate.

Laccaria Bicolor (Laccaria bicolor)

 

   Laccaria bicolor is a small tan-colored mushroom with lilac gills. It is edible, but not palatable, and grows in mixed birch and pine woods. It is found in the temperate zones of the globe, in late summer and autumn. It is an ectomycorrhizal fungus used as a soil inoculant in agriculture and horticulture.
Description:
   Cap: 1-7 cm; convex, becoming flat and sometimes depressed; the margin not lined; finely hairy to finely scaly or more prominently roughened; orangish brown to pinkish brown or pinkish flesh color.
   Gills: Attached to the stem; distant or nearly so; light purple when fresh, fading to pinkish flesh color.
   Stem: 3-10 cm long; up to about 1 cm thick; more or less equal, above a slightly swollen base; finely hairy and often longitudinally lined; colored like the cap; with purplish basal mycelium that often fades to whitish.
   Flesh: Pale purplish or whitish.
   Microscopic Features: Spores 7-9 x 6-8 ; subglobose to broadly elliptical; spines 1-2 long, with bases about 1 wide; inamyloid. Basidia 4-spored. Cheilocystidia filamentous to subclavate; to about 55 x 8 . Pileipellis a cutis of elements 5-10 wide, with frequent bundles of upright elements; terminal cells subclavate to subcapitate.

Amethyst Deceiver (Laccaria amethystina)

   Laccaria amethystine is a small brightly colored, edible mushroom, that grows in deciduous as well as coniferous forests. It is found mainly in Northern temperate zones, though it is reported to occur in tropical Central and South America as well.
Description:
   Cap: 0.5-3.5 cm; broadly convex to flat; often with a central depression; the margin even or inrolled, not lined, or slightly lined at maturity; finely hairy-scaly, or nearly bald; bright grayish purple, fading to buff; changing color markedly as it dries out (often resulting in "two-toned" specimens).
   Gills: Attached to the stem, or rarely running down it; distant or nearly so; thick; waxy; dark purple or colored like the cap.
   Stem: 1-7 cm long; 1-7 mm thick; equal or slightly swollen at the base; finely to coarsely hairy or scaly; colored like the cap; with lilac to whitish basal mycelium.
   Flesh: Insubstantial; colored like the cap or paler.
   Microscopic Features: Spores 7-10 ; globose; ornamented with spines 1.5-3 long and over 1 wide at their bases; inamyloid. Basidia 4-spored, rarely 2-spored. Cheilocystidia narrowly cylindric, subclavate, or somewhat irregular; 25-65+ x 4-12 . Pileipellis a cutis of elements 6-20 wide, with upright individual elements or bundles of upright elements; terminal cells subclavate to capitate.
   
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