Hypholoma capnoides: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Hypholoma capnoides Mushroom
Hypholoma capnoides is a small or medium-sized mushroom that has a yellowish-orange cap and has veil remnants visible at the pale margin. It is greasy when wet.
Edible, but considered mediocre by some. Do not confuse with the yellow or greenish-gilled Hypholoma fasciculare.
Another member of the genus, H. fasciculare, which is toxic and more common in our area, also fruits in clusters on wood, but is distinguished by sulphur-green gills and a bitter taste. Other wood rotters that could be confused with Hypholoma capnoides include some Galerina and Pholiota species, but these have brown spores. Xeromphalina campanella has a similar cap color but has decurrent gills and white spores. Finally some Gymnopilus species also grow cespitose on wood but all have orange-brown spores.
Other names: Conifer Tuft.
Hypholoma capnoides Identification
Saprobic; growing in clusters or gregariously on or near decaying conifer logs, especially on the wood of pines and Douglas-fir; often common in pine plantations after trimming operations; fall and winter, sometimes in spring; widely distributed in North America.
2-6 cm; bell-shaped to convex, becoming broadly bell-shaped, broadly convex, or nearly flat; sometimes with an incurved margin when young; often with wispy partial veil remnants on the margin; bald; dry; yellowish-brown to orangish brown or cinnamon brown, but somewhat variable in color; usually darker over the center and paler toward the margin; often splitting radially when mature.
Attached to the stem or beginning to pull away from it; close; whitish to yellowish at first, becoming gray and eventually smoky brown; short-gills frequent.
2-8 cm long; 4-10 mm thick; tough; more or less equal, or tapering somewhat to base when growing in tight clusters; bald or finely silky; colored like the cap, or paler.
Whitish to yellowish; sometimes slowly yellowing when sliced.
Spore Print: Purple brown.
Hypholoma capnoides Taxonomy & Etymology
When in 1821 the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries described this mushroom scientifically, he gave it the name Agaricus capnoides.
It was German mycologist Paul Kummer who, in 1871, established the currently accepted scientific name of this species when he transferred it to the genus Hypholoma.
Synonyms of Hypholoma capnoides include Agaricus capnoides Fr., and Naematoloma capnoides (Fr.) P. Karst.
Hypholoma, the genus name, means 'mushrooms with threads'. It may be a reference to the thread-like partial veil that connects the cap rim to the stem of young fruitbodies, although some authorities suggest that it is a reference to the thread-like rhizomorphs (root-like bundles of mycelial hyphae) that radiate from the stem base.
The specific epithet capnoides means 'looking like smoke'; it is a reference to the smoky grey colour of the gills which differentiate the Conifer Tuft from other similar members of the genus Hypholoma. (In particular this feature distinguishes Conifer Tuft fungi from Sulphur Tufts Hypholoma fasciculare, whose gills have a greenish tinge.)
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