What You Should Know
Tubaria furfuracea is a small mushroom that is characterized by a tawny-brown hygrophanous cap, a striate cap margin, usually subdecurrent gills, and a pale rusty-brown spore print. It often fruits in vast numbers in its favored habitat wood chips, with Psathyrella gracilis and Hypholoma aurantiaca. Indeed, Psathyrella gracilis resembles it in size and also has a hygrophanous cap but it is gray-brown rather than orange-brown in color.
Habitat solitary to gregarious on woody debris, e.g., sticks, bark, wood chips, sawdust, etc.; fruiting from early fall to late winter.
Other names: Winter Twiglet, Scurfy Twiglet.
Tubaria furfuracea Mushroom Identification
Saprobic on the deadwood of hardwoods; occasionally growing directly from very well decayed logs and stumps, but more commonly attached to buried deadwood near stumps, appearing terrestrial; late spring through fall; widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains.
1.5-12 cm; bell-shaped or occasionally convex when young, becoming broadly convex to broadly bell-shaped or nearly flat in age; bald; smooth or, more often, moderately to prominently radially wrinkled and puckered (over the center when young and later nearly overall); sticky to greasy when fresh; dark brown to grayish brown or yellow-brown, but not infrequently fading to brownish or buff; the margin incurved when young, sometimes uplifted in maturity, not lined.
Broadly attached to the stem, or notched at the point of attachment, with a tiny tooth that runs down the stem; close or almost distant; white to creamy; thick; short-gills frequent.
4-16 cm long above ground; 0.5-2 cm thick; typically club-shaped when young and, later, tapering a little to apex; white and nearly bald near the apex (or, rarely, overall); brownish gray to brownish or brown and fibrillose to hairy below, with the brown areas often stretched into snakeskin or chevron patterns by maturity; with a long, tapered tap root extending up to 10 cm underground; the taproot sometimes bruising rusty brown.
Whitish; unchanging when sliced.
Gills of dried specimens become dingy yellowish to brownish or very pale orangish after several years in storage.
Tubaria dispersa has a smoother, paler cap and is always associated with Hawthorn trees and bushes.
Spore Print: White.
Tubaria furfuracea Taxonomy and Etymology
In 1801 Christiaan Hendrik Persoon described this little mushroom and gave it the scientific name Agaricus Furfuraceus.
It was French mycologist Claude-Casimir Gillet who, in 1876, transferred this species to its present genus, thereby establishing its currently-accepted scientific name as Tubaria furfuracea.
Synonyms of Tubaria furfuracea include Agaricus furfuraceus Pers., and Naucoria furfuracea (Pers.) P. Kumm.
Tubaria is a small genus of about 20 species worldwide. The genus name may refer to a pipeline or connection.
The specific epithet furfuracea is derived from Latin and means 'tending to be bran-like (scurfy or finely scaly).
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