What You Should Know
Pholiota squarrosoides is an edible mushroom, but not recommended because of the similarity in appearance to Shaggy Pholiota, which has been reported to cause severe gastric upset.
This is a medium-sized gill mushroom. It is fairly widespread and not uncommon in deciduous woodlands in North America. It is found from September through October usually in a bouquet-like cluster, rarely singly. It can obtain its nutrients from living trees (parasitic) or deadwood (saprobic). It causes a heartrot of living trees.
Other names: Scaly Pholiota, Sharp-Scaly Pholiota.
Pholiota squarrosoides Mushroom Identification
Saprobic and possibly parasitic; growing in clusters (rarely alone or scattered) on the wood of hardwoods; summer and fall; fairly widely distributed in North America.
3-11 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex or broadly bell-shaped; usually sticky; whitish underneath conspicuous tawny scales.
Attached to the stem or beginning to run down it; close or crowded; whitish, becoming rusty brown; at first, covered by a partial veil.
4-10 cm long; up to 1.5 cm thick; dry; with an ephemeral ring or ring zone; whitish, sometimes becoming reddish-brown near the base; covered with conspicuous tawny scales.
Spore Print: Dull rusty brown or cinnamon brown.
Pholiota squarrosoides Similar Species
Shaggy Pholiota (Pholiota squarrosa) cap is pale tan, buff, or pale yellowish-brown, not whitish. The surface is always dry, never slimy or sticky. The gills are whitish to yellowish and pass through a greenish phase before turning reddish-brown. The flesh sometimes develops a garlicky odor.
Note: The characteristics above overlap and are affected by weather conditions. Some authors believe the only way to distinguish between mature specimens of these two species is to examine the spores microscopically.
Photo 1 - Author: Dan Molter (shroomydan) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Scott Darbey from Canada (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 3 - Author: Scott Darbey from Canada (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 4 - Author: Dan Molter (shroomydan) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 5 - Author: Rex (Rex Bartlett) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)