What You Should Know
Pholiota lubrica is a rare fungus. It is one of the most attractive of the so-called 'scalycap' mushrooms; it usually has a striking red-brown cap with a contrasting yellowish margin.
It is found in parts of northern and central mainland Europe. Very similar scalycap mushrooms have been recorded in parts of North America, but it is unclear whether they are co-specific with P. lubrica as found in northern Europe.
Other names: Scalycap Mushroom.
Pholiota lubrica Mushroom Identification
3 to 8.5cm in diameter, conico-convex or hemispherical at first then convex, eventually expanding to almost flat, sometimes with a low broad umbo; reddish brown with a paler yellowish margin and with a glutinous surface. Small white scales from veil fragments cling to young caps, especially at the margin
An ixocutis of 2 - 5μm wide, cylindrical encrusted hyphae embedded in a hyaline gelatinous layer. Clamps (left) are present in the cap cuticle hyphal structure.
The moderately crowded adnate to subdecurrent gills are white or tinged pale yellow when young, turning orange-brown as the spores develop but remaining paler at the gill edges.
Pleurocystidia and cheilocystidia are abundant, clavate or lageniform to fusiform, 30-70 x 6-20μm.
Cylindrical, 0.5 to 1.2cm in diameter and 4 to 9cm tall; dry; initially whitish turning yellowish and becoming rust-brown towards the base; surface girdled with floccose brown scales (fragments of the partial veil) below a fugacious median-to-superior ring zone.
Ellipsoidal or slightly phaseoliform in side view; ovoid in front view, thin-walled, smooth, 6-7 x 3.5-4.5μm with a small indistinct germ pore.
Odor and Taste
Odor is faint, and pleasant but not distinctive; tastes bitter.
Habitat & Ecological Role
Singly or in tufts on buried rotten wood, rotting stumps, dead trunks, and woody debris on deciduous broadleaf and coniferous woodland; also on leaf litter or woodchip on roadside verges, in churchyards and parkland.
Late summer and autumn.
Pholiota lubrica Look-Alikes
Is usually paler with much larger cap scales.
Is paler; it has few scales and much larger spores; it grows on Alder trunks and stumps.
Has pale stems and much larger spores with very distinct germ pores.
Pholiota lubrica Taxonomy and Etymology
Described in 1801 by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon who named it Agaricus lubricus, this scalycap mushroom was moved to the genus Pholiota in 1951 by German-American mycologist Rolf Singer, thus establishing its currently-accepted scientific name as Pholiota lubrica.
The generic name Pholiota means scaly, and the specific epithet lubrica is a Latin adjective meaning 'slippery' or 'slimy' - a reference to the glutinous cap surface of this scalycap mushroom.
Pholiota lubrica Synonyms
Agaricus lubrica Pers.
Flammula lubrica (Pers.) P. Kumm.
Inocybe lubrica (Pers.) Roze
Dryophila lubrica (Pers) Quel.
Flammulinopsis lubrica (Pers.) Fayod
Gymnopilus lubricus (Pers.) S. Imai
Photo 1 - Author: James K. Lindsey (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)
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Photo 3 - Author: James Lindsey (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)
Photo 4 - Author: James K. Lindsey (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)
Photo 5 - Author: James Lindsey (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)