What You Should Know
Laccaria tortilis is a diminutive member of the Deceiver clan. The cap is reddish-brown and 0.5 - 1.5 cm in diameter, thin, first convex, later funnel-shaped or concave-spread, with a thin, scarred, cracked edge. Grows in deciduous forests, forest clearings, forest plantations, soil, in large groups.
It is edible but is not generally considered safe to eat (and in any case these mushrooms are much smaller than others in the genus).
Other names: Twisted Deceiver.
Laccaria tortilis Mushroom Identification
The pinkish-brown caps are sometimes no more than 0.5cm across and rarely larger than 2cm, convex at first becoming irregularly flattened, often with a slight central depression; the margins are irregularly wavy with striations reaching almost to the center. Like other deceivers, the caps are hygrophanous and become a much paler pink when they dry out.
Pinkish, but generally a little paler than the cap; adnate and distant.
1 to 2mm in diameter and sometimes caespitose (at least with no stem visible above soil level), rarely more than 1 to 2cm tall, the pinkish-brown fibrous stems are usually bent. When young and fresh the stems are covered in the white down (fine white hairs) towards the base.
Globose, 9.5-14μm diameter excluding spines (11.5-15μm diameter including spines); ornamented with broad spines up to 2μm tall.
Each basidium produces just two large spores rather than four spores as in other Laccaria species. This differentiates this little deceiver from other fungi in the same genus.
Odor and Taste
Habitat & Ecological Role
Ectomycorrhizal, usually in small groups, most often on bare damp soil beneath with willows or alders, but in North America also found with trees in the families Pinaceae and Fagaceae.
Laccaria tortilis Look-Alikes
Is much larger and has a slightly striate margin. Its basidia are four spored.
I a larger violet-colored member of the same genus. Its basidia are four spored.
Is larger and, especially when young, is easily distinguished by its stem, which has a lilac base and a tawny upper section. Its basidia are four spored.
Is larger and more slender; it has a scurfy cap and ellipsoidal spores. Its basidia are four spored.
Laccaria tortilis Taxonomy and Etymology
Described in 1788 by British mycologist James Bolton, the Twisted Deceiver was given the scientific name Agaricus tortilis. Almost a century elapsed before, in 1884, Mordecai Cubitt Cooke transferred this species to its present genus, thereby renaming it Laccaria tortilis.
The generic name Laccaria translates to 'lacquer' (shiny paint), and the specific epithet tortilis means contorted (twisting).
Laccaria tortilis Synonyms
Omphalia tortilis (Bolton) Gray, 1821
Clitocybe tortilis (Bolton) Gillet, 1874
Laccaria tortilis f. tortilis (Bolton) Cooke, 1884
Omphalia laccata var. tortilis (Bolton) Quélet, 1886
Collybia tortilis (Bolton) Quél., 1888
Agaricus tortilis (Bolton)
Agaricus echinosporus (Spegazzini)
Laccaria echinospora (Spegazzini) Singer
Photo 1 - Author: Andreas Kunze (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
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