Gomphidius glutinosus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Gomphidius glutinosus Mushroom
Gomphidius glutinosus is a gilled mushroom found in Europe & North America. Although it has gills, it is a member of the order Boletales, along with the boletes. The fruiting bodies sprout in pine, fir and spruce woodland in Europe in autumn. Initially, are completely covered with a slimy veil, breaking through to reveal a greyish or brownish-capped mushroom with decurrent greyish gills which sometimes resemble a child's top.
Opinions differ on the suitability of this mushroom for the table, some guides hold it in high regard, while others view it with caution.
Other names: Slimy Spike-Cap, Glutinous Gomphidius, Hideous Gomphidius, Slimy Gomphidius.
Gomphidius glutinosus Identification
Mycorrhizal with conifers—especially, but not exclusively, with spruces and firs; growing alone or scattered; summer and fall, or overwinter in warm climates; northern and montane North America; also distributed in Europe, Asia, and northern Africa.
3–8 cm wide; convex, becoming broadly convex; bald; often with a radially streaked appearance; slimy; grayish brown to brownish-gray or lilac brown; discoloring black with age; the margin sometimes with a blackish line.
Running down the stem; close or nearly distant; whitish at first, becoming dark gray; short-gills frequent.
4–8 cm long; 1–2 cm wide; tapering to base; with a slime veil above a fibrillose veil, sheathing all but the upper portion; upper edge of slime veil turning dark gray as spores mature and fall from the gills; whitish above; whitish to brownish below, but chrome yellow near the base or over the lower half; discoloring blackish.
White in cap and upper stem; bright chrome yellow in lower stem.
Odor and Taste
Odor not distinctive; taste slightly acidic.
KOH dark red on cap surface.
Dark gray to nearly black.
Spores 15–20 x 5–6.5 µm; subfusiform; smooth; brownish to brown in KOH. Basidia 4-sterigmate. Hymenial cystidia 80–130 x 15–22 µm; widely cylindric to subutriform; smooth; thin-walled; hyaline in KOH. Pileipellis an ixocutis. Clamp connections not found.
Gomphidius glutinosus Look-Alikes
Similar, but it tends to grow in clusters (G. glutinosus does not) and has substantially shorter spores.
Similar, but features a pink to the red cap.
Look under the cap and you will see there are gills rather than pores.
Found in similar habitat though with yellow gills which do not separate from the cap.
The North American species is similar but has a pale purple to the wine-colored cap.
Much more common find, occurring under pines; its cap is copper-colored.
Gomphidius glutinosus Taxonomy & Etymology
The Slimy Spike was first described scientifically in 1762 by Jacob Christian Schaeffer, who gave it the binomial name Agaricus glutinosus. The currently accepted scientific name of this species dates from 1838 when the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries transferred it to the genus Gomphidius.
There are many synonyms of Gomphidius glutinosus including Agaricus glutinosus Schaeff., Agaricus velatus With., Agaricus viscidus var. atropunctus Pers., Cortinarius viscidus ß atropunctus (Pers.) Gray, and Gomphus glutinosus (Schaeff.) P. Kumm.
Gomphidius 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 conical shape of the fruit bodies means that they look somewhat like those ancient bolts.
The specific epithet glutinosus hardly needs explaining, but for completeness, it comes from Latin and means glutinous.
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