What You Should Know
Pluteus romellii has a yellow stem and dull brown to the olive-brown cap. It grows on wood and produces a pink spore print.
In North America the species has gone under a variety of names, including Pluteus lutescens, Pluteus nanus var. lutescens, Pluteus fulvibadius, and Pluteus melleipes - but two recent studies (Minnis & Sundberg, 2010; Justo and collaborators, 2011) have, together, simplified things and allowed us to apply the European species name romellii to our North American collections.
Pluteus romellii is reported to be edible but caution is advisable, especially if you have any doubts about identification because some fungi in the genus Pluteus contain the toxin Psilocybin.
Other names: Goldleaf Shield.
Pluteus romellii Mushroom Identification
Saprobic on decaying hardwood logs and debris (especially in beech-maple forests); also found in woodchips in urban areas; growing alone or gregariously; summer and fall; widely distributed in North America.
1-4 cm; more or less convex at first, becoming broadly convex or flat, often with a central bump; bald; not slimy or sticky, but with a greasy or almost waxy texture; somewhat wrinkled, especially over the center; dull brown to olive-brown (often darker over the center); the margin becoming finely lined.
Free from the stem or nearly so; close or nearly distant; short-gills frequent; whitish at first, becoming pink as the spores mature.
1.5-6 cm long; 1-3 mm thick; equal; fragile; bald, or with tiny fibers; bright yellow to greenish-yellow (often brighter toward the base), at least when young; sometimes fading to whitish with a yellowish base; Odor and Taste: Not distinctive, or faintly radish-like.
Spores 5-7 x 5-6 µ; broadly ellipsoid to sublacrymoid or subglobose; smooth; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid. Hymenial cystidia 40-55 x 10-15 µ; lageniform to subutriform or nearly cylindric; occasionally with a long neck; thin-walled; hyaline in KOH. Pileipellis a cystoderm; brown in KOH; elements subglobose, 20-38 µ across.
Pluteus romellii Look-Alikes
Has a darker brown wrinkled cap and is generally a little smaller.
Has a smooth brown or fawn cap.
Pluteus romellii Taxonomy and Etymology
The basionym of this species was established when the Goldleaf Shield was described in 1891 by German mycologist Max Britzelmayr (1839 - 1909), who gave it the name Agaricus romellii. It was Italian mycologist Pier Andrea Saccardo who, in 1895, transferred this species to the genus Pluteus, whereupon its scientific name became Pluteus romellii.
Synonyms of Pluteus romellii include Agaricus romellii Britzelm., Agaricus nanus var. lutescens Fr., Pluteus nanus var. lutescens (Fr.) P. Karst., Pluteus lutescens (Fr.) Bres., and Pluteus splendidus A. Pearson.
Pluteus, the genus name, comes from Latin and means a protective fence or screen. The specific epithet romellii honors Swedish mycologist Lars Rommel (.1854 - 1927), one-time associate editor of Mycologia.
Photo 1 - Author: Landsnorkler (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Johann Harnisch (jrussula) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Johann Harnisch (jrussula) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 4 - Author: Kathleen Dobson (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International)
Photo 5 - Author: Landsnorkler (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)