Gymnopilus sapineus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Gymnopilus sapineus Mushroom
Gymnopilus sapineus is a small and widely distributed inedible mushroom, which grows in dense clusters on dead conifer wood, most particularly of pine trees, buried in the litter of the forest floor. It has a rusty orange spore print and a bitter taste. This species does not stain blue and lacks the hallucinogen psilocybin.
This mushroom is fairly common but easily confused with other members of its genus, nearly all of which have orange caps. The easiest of the rustgills to identify is Gymnopilus junonius, the Spectacular Rustgill, which often grows on the trunks of ailing trees; it is the only large orange Gymnopilus with a persistent stem ring.
Other names: Rustgill.
Gymnopilus sapineus Identification
Saprobic on the deadwood of conifers (especially pines); growing alone, gregariously, or in small clusters; summer and fall; widely distributed in North America.
2-8 cm; convex or nearly flat, sometimes slightly bell-shaped; dry; smooth, finely hairy, or decidedly but minutely scaly; yellowish to tawny or reddish-brown.
Attached to the stem; close; yellow, yellowish, or whitish at first, developing rusty brown spots and eventually becoming rusty brown overall.
3-7 cm long; under 1 cm thick; more or less equal; smooth or finely hairy; colored like the cap, but paler; usually darkening to brown from the base up with age; with whitish to yellowish basal mycelium.
Whitish or pale yellow.
Odor and Taste
Taste bitter or, more rarely, mild; odor not distinctive.
Rusty brown to orange-brown.
Gymnopilus sapineus Look-Alikes
This mushroom is often mistaken for Gymnopilus luteocarneus which grows on conifers and has a smoother and darker cap. Another lookalike is Gymnopilus penetrans which grows in the same habitat and has minor microscopic differences
Gymnopilus sapineus Taxonomy & Etymology
Described in 1821 by Elias Magnus Fries, who named it Agaricus sapineus, the Scaly Rustgill was transferred to the genus Gymnopilus in 1933 by French mycologist René Charles Joseph Ernest Maire (1878 - 1949), thus establishing its currently-accepted scientific name Gymnopilus sapineus.
Synonyms of Gymnopilus sapineus include Agaricus sapineus Fr., Flammula sapinea (Fr.) P. Kumm., and Fulvidula sapinea (Fr.) Romagn.
Gymnopilus was proposed as a new genus name in 1879 by the Finnish mycologist Petter Adolf Karsten (1834 - 1917). The origin of this generic name is the prefix Gymn- meaning naked, and the suffix -pilus which means cap - hence naked or bald caps would normally be an expected feature of the mushrooms in this genus.
The specific epithet sapineus means 'of fir or pine' (trees) - a reference to the habitat in which this species occurs.
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