What You Should Know
Chroogomphus subfulmineus is a basidiomycete fungus in the family Gomphidiaceae, described as new to science in 2018. This species is closely related to Chroogomphus fulmineus, but produces larger fruit bodies with generally duller colors, a deep yolk-yellow trama and an olivaceous stipe base. It is so far known from the island of Cyprus, Finland, and the United Kingdom.
It is reported to be edible, but it lacks flavor and is not highly regarded.
Other names: Spike Mushroom.
Chroogomphus fulmineus Mushroom Identification
4 to 8cm in diameter the orange-red to coppery-red caps of Chroogomphus fulmineus are smooth with fine radial fibrils; the surface is viscous in wet weather. Often the convex caps flatten but retain a downturned or slightly inrolled margin, only occasionally retaining a sharp central umbo or pip.
Unequal, separated with lamellulae of varying lengths; decurrent; initially the same color as the cap, then turning brown and eventually blackishas the spores mature. Although from its spore characteristics this species is seen to be more closely related to the boletes than to the agaric fungi, it produces its spores via gills rather than pores.
Cylindrical, tapering slightly towards the base, curved 4-8cm tall and 1-1.5cm in diameter; longitudinally fibrillose with a brighter orange ring zone (veil fragments) near the apex.
The large bolete-like spores are subfusiform, 15-22 x 5.5-7µm.
Dark smoky-olive to black.
Odor and Taste
No significant odor; taste sweet but not distinctive.
Ectomycorrhizal, in pine woodland, particularly where there are also oaks.
Autumn and winter in central and southern Europe.
Chroogomphus fulmineus Look-Alikes
Appears throughout Europe; it has a duller coppery brown appearance and a cap that often has a central pip.
Is a much rarer find, occurrs under spruce trees; its cap is gray-violet and its stem is white near the cap and lemon grey towards the base. A glutinous zone at the apex of the stem gradually blackens with age.
Chroogomphus fulmineus Taxonomy and Etymology
First described scientifically in 1934 by French mycologist Roger Jean Heim (1900 - 1979), who gave it the binomial scientific name Gomphidius viscidus var. fulmineus, this woodland mushroom's currently-accepted name Chroogomphus fulmineus dates from a 1988 publication by the French mycologist Regis Courtecuisse.
Growing under pines, the specimens pictured above were seen in the Algarve region of southern Portugal. The fine specimen shown below was also under a pine tree, but in deep shade in mixed woodland near Monchique.
Chroogomphus comes from the Greek 'gomphos', a large conical (wedge-like) nail or bolt with a large head, made of either metal or wood and used mainly in ship-building. The prefix "chroo-" means color(ed). The conical shape of the fruitbodies means that they look very much like those ancient bolts.
The specific epithet fulmineus comes from Latin and means sparkling, splendid or brilliant - particularly appropriate if you come across one of these striking mushrooms in bright sunlight following rain.
Chroogomphus fulmineus Synonyms
Gomphidius viscidus var. fulmineus
Chroogomphus ochraceus (R. Heim) Singer
Chroogomphus rutilus var. testaceus
Photo 1 - Author: felipecastilla (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International)
Photo 2 - Author: javi_merino (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International)
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