What You Should Know
Chroogomphus tomentosus (Gomphidus tomentosus) is a widespread mushroom. It has a dull orange cap with a peg or blunt nail shape and 3.5″(9cm) in size. The gills are more closely related to boletes than other gilled mushrooms and developed their gills in a separate process, so they appear distant, thick, and even primitive, decurrent. It is a habitat in coniferous forest, particularly associated with Douglas-fir and Hemlock. Edible but rather flavorless.
While Chroogomphus can be hard to identify, this species is distinct for its dry wooly cap. It can be mistaken for a Chanterelle until you pick it up and observe gills instead of blunt forking ridges underneath the cap. It turns a distinctive burgundy red when cooked and is a very mediocre edible.
Other names: Orange Woolycap, Woolly Pine Spike.
Chroogomphus tomentosus Mushroom Identification
2-9cm across, peg-like, becoming broadly conic to convex, umbonate or flat; "pale buffy-orange to pale or bright ochraceous or ochraceous-orange", may stain purple when old, fibrils sometimes tinged vinaceous; "dry to very slightly viscid, covered with flattened woolly or felty fibrils or fibrillose scales", (Arora), 2-6cm across, broadly convex becoming flat; pale to bright ochraceous, evenly colored, fibrils often with faint vinaceous tinge; dry, innately appressed tomentose overall, (Miller(1))
yellow-orange to dull orange or pale orange-buff, (Arora)
Decurrent or sometimes adnate, well-spaced, "yellow-orange to ochraceous or colored like cap", (Arora), decurrent, moderately distant, broad in the middle but tapering to each end, moderately thick; colored like cap but soon smoky umber from the spores, (Miller(1))
4-18cm x (0.3)0.7-1.5(2)cm, equal or more often narrowing in the lower part, solid; colored more or less like cap; dry and somewhat fibrillose, (Arora), 4-17cm x 0.9-1.4cm, base tapering rather abruptly to a root-like projection; colored like cap, showing ochraceous-orange color were handled or where fibrils removed; sparsely fibrillose, (Miller(1))
Dry, fibrillose, scanty, colored like the cap, disappearing or leaving slight hairy remnants on stem near top, (Arora), remnants of fibrillose veil sometimes seen on stem, (Miller(1))
Smoky-gray to blackish (Arora)
Spores 15-25 x 6-9 microns, narrowly elliptic to spindle-shaped, smooth, (Arora), spores 15-25 x 6-8(9) microns, elliptic in face view, subfusiform [somewhat spindle-shaped] in side view, light gray brown in KOH, light to medium ochraceous in Melzer''s reagent but becoming darker after several hours; basidia 4-spored, 31-48 x 6-11 microns, clavate, colorless in KOH, in Melzer''s reagent yellow containing scattered amyloid granules; cystidia on gills 118-255 x 10-21 microns, cylindric to fusiform, with fairly thick walls 2-4 microns at thickest part, occasionally thin-walled, sometimes containing yellow-brown granules in KOH, "the walls faintly amyloid but yellow as seen in crushed mounts", contents colorless or dingy brown, apex often encrusted; cap cuticle of hyphae (5)8-13(14) microns wide, innate, nonviscid, colorless in KOH, "amyloid throughout becoming light violet with somewhat darker walls in crushed mounts but nevertheless sharply differentiated from the dark purple hyphae of the trama", "occasionally narrowly fusiform pilocystidia present"; no clamp connections seen on hyphae of fruitbody, the hyphae of mycelium at base of stem with scattered clamp connections, (Miller(1))
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