What You Should Know
Ampulloclitocybe clavipes is a species of gilled mushroom from Europe and North America. The cap is gray-brown with yellowish decurrent gills and a bulbous stem. It is widespread and abundant across Northern Europe and the British Isles. In North America, it is common under pine plantations in the east, and less common in the Pacific Northwest. Grows in conifer and deciduous forests, particularly under beech.
It has been described as edible, though too unpalatable as eating it has been likened to eating wet cotton. It contains toxins that make it dangerous when consumed with alcohol.
Experiments with A. clavipes extract found that it inhibited the enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase in mouse livers.
Other names: Club-footed Clitocybe, Club-foot, Clavate-stalked clitocybe, Clitocybe à pied en massue (French), Hoteishimeji (Japanese), Keulenfüssiger Trichterling (German), Knotsvoettrechterzwam (Dutch), Strmělka Kyjonohá (Czech Republic), Knotsvoettrechterzwam (Netherlands).
Ampulloclitocybe clavipes Mushroom Identification
2–10 cm across; at first flat with a slightly underturned margin, eventually becoming centrally depressed or vase-shaped, with an uplifted margin; smooth, or somewhat rugged over the center; bald; moist or dry; brown to grayish brown—usually darker over the center and lighter towards the margin by maturity.
Running down the stem; close or nearly distant; short-gills frequent; white to creamy, becoming brownish in old age.
2.5–5 cm long; 1–3 cm thick at the base; often bulbous at the bottom, but sometimes more or less equal, especially with age; bald or minutely hairy; often spongy at the base; buff or pale brownish; basal mycelium white.
White; unchanging when sliced.
Odor and Taste
Odor fragrant and fruity—or not distinctive; taste not distinctive.
KOH negative on cap surface.
Treated as saprobic by some authors, and as mycorrhizal by others; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; primarily appearing under conifers, but sometimes reported under hardwoods; originally described from Europe; widely distributed throughout Europe and Asia; in North America widely distributed but apparently absent or very rare in the lower Rocky Mountains and the southwestern United States; also found in Australia.
Spores 6–10 x 3–3.5 µm; ellipsoid to egg-shaped or elongated-ellipsoid, occasionally with a narrowed end; smooth; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 27–36 x 6–7 µm; subclavate; 4-sterigmate. Pseudocystidia scattered as "marginal cells" in some specimens; 22–26 x 10–15 µm; clavate to sphaeropedunculate; smooth; hyaline in KOH. Pileipellis a cutis of elements 5–12 µm wide, smooth, thin-walled, hyaline in KOH; clamp connections present.
Ampulloclitocybe clavipes Look-Alikes
It has firm flesh at the base of the stem and a light smell of bitter almonds.
Can be distinguished by its bulbous stem, deeply decurrent gills, and overall darker color.
Larger and has a darker cap and white gills.
Ampulloclitocybe clavipes Medicinal Properties
Clavilactone B had antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, B. cereus, Sarcina lutea (50 µg/disc); clavilactone A was only active against B. subtilis at 100 µg/disc (Arnone et al., 1994).
All clavilactones had antifungal activity, as determined using bioautography on Cladosporium cladosporioides and C. cucumerinum with amounts as low as 50 µg per plate (Arnone et al., 1994).
Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of A. clavipes and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 70% and 60%, respectively (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).
Ampulloclitocybe clavipes Taxonomy and Etymology
The species was initially described as Agaricus clavipes by South African mycologist Christiaan Hendrik Persoon in 1801, its specific epithet derived from the Latin terms clava "club", and pes "foot".
In 1871 it was transferred to Clitocybe by German naturalist Paul Kummer and was even designated, improperly, the type species by Howard E. Bigelow in 1965.
In 1886 French mycologist Lucien Quélet chose to place it in Omphalia (now Omphalina).
Scott Redhead and colleagues proposed the genus Ampulloclitocybe for it, as the species was only distantly related to other members of Clitocybe proper and more closely related instead to Rimbachia bryophila, Omphalina pyxidata and "Clitocybe" lateritia. Around the same time, Finnish mycologist Harri Harmaja proposed the genus Clavicybe. However, as the former name was published on November 5, 2002, and the latter one on December 31, 2002, Harmaja conceded that Ampulloclitocybe had priority.
English mycologist P. D. Orton described a Clitocybe squamulosoides in 1960, which he held to be a slender relative with large spores, though the differences are inconsistent and there are intermediate forms. hence it is considered indistinguishable from A. clavipes.
Ampulloclitocybe clavipes Synonyms
Agaricus clavipes Pers., 1801
Agaricus comitialis Pers., 1801
Clitocybe comitialis (Pers.) P. Kumm., 1871
Clitocybe clavipes (Pers.) P.Kumm. 1871
Clitocybe carnosior (Peck) Sacc., 1872
Omphalia clavipes (Pers.) Quél., 1886
Clitocybe squamulosoides P.D. Orton, 1960
Clavicybe clavipes (Pers.) Harmaja, 2002
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Photo 3 - Author: James K. Lindsey (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)
Photo 4 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
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