Hypholoma lateritium: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Hypholoma lateritium Mushroom
This widely distributed fall mushroom can be found growing in tight clusters on hardwood stumps and logs. It is fairly easily recognized by its habitat, its brick-red cap with a paler cap margin, its purple-gray gills, and the way the stem often bruises and stains yellow.
If you can catch Hypholoma lateritium when it's still very young, you can see its partial veil, which mycologists call "submembranous," looking like a cross between a cortina and a more substantial veil.
Hypholoma lateritium is edible but not recommended.
H. sublateritium and Naematoloma sublateritium is a synonym.
Other names: Brick Cap, Chestnut Mushroom, Cinnamon Cap, Brick Top, Red Woodlover, Kuritake.
Hypholoma lateritium Identification
Saprobic; growing in clusters on decaying hardwood logs and stumps; fall; widely distributed in North America but more common east of the Rocky Mountains.
3-10 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex, nearly flat, or irregular in age; with an incurved margin when young; bald; dry or moist; brick red overall, but paler (pinkish to buff) on the margin, especially when young; the margin sometimes hung with wispy veil fragments.
Attached to the stem; close or crowded; when young covered by a whitish, cortina-like veil; whitish when very young, but soon pale gray to gray, becoming purple-gray to dark purple-brown with maturity; short-gills frequent.
4-12 cm long; 1-2 cm thick; more or less equal, or twisted and tapering to base due to the clustered growth pattern; bald, or finely hairy near the apex; often featuring an ephemeral or persistent ring zone near the top; yellowish to whitish above, brown to reddish below; sometimes bruising and staining yellow.
Firm; whitish to yellowish.
Odor and Taste
Odor not distinctive; taste mild or slightly bitter.
KOH brownish on cap surface.
Hypholoma lateritium Look-Alikes
Is a similar species but grows on conifer wood and has a yellowish-brown to tan to the orangish-brown cap. See the following web sites for additional information on these species.
Inedible, and poisonous mushroom is also known as sulfur tuft.
Hypholoma lateritium Toxicity
There is some controversy over the edibility of this wood-rotting fungus. Field guides published in Britain generally refer to Brick Caps as inedible. In North America, however, some authorities state that these are good edible fungi if picked young while other report them as suspect or inedible.
Hypholoma lateritium Taxonomy & Etymology
When Jacob Christian Schaeffer described this species in 1762 he named it Agaricus lateritius. More than a century later, in his Der Führer in die Pilzkunde, published in 1871, Paul Kummer transferred this species to its current genus Hypholoma.
Synonyms of Hypholoma lateritium include Agaricus lateritius Schaeff., Agaricus sublateritius Schaeff., Agaricus pomposus Bolton, Pratella lateritia (Schaeff.) Gray, Deconica squamosa Cooke, Hypholoma sublateritium (Schaeff.) Quél., and Naematoloma sublateritium (Schaeff.) P. Karst.
In the USA most mycologists tend to favor the name Hypholoma sublateritium (Schaeff.) Quél.
Hypholoma, the genus name, means 'mushrooms with threads'. This may be a reference to the thread-like partial veil that connects the cap rim to the stem, covering the gills 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 lateritium and its synonymous epithet sublateritium deserve some explanation. Sub simply means almost, so that bit is easy; laterit- means brick-colored, but because bricks can be virtually any color this is hardly the most descriptive name in the kingdom of fungi; however, the caps probably do match quite closely most people's idea of 'brick red'. The currently accepted specific name lateritium more than fits the bill, therefore.
Hypholoma lateritium profile
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