What You Should Know
Entoloma vernum is also known as Nolanea Verna is a small agaric that has a gray-brown cap and stem, with brown gills. It can be seen mainly in spring, but also during summer and autumn, and occur as solitary or in small trooping groups in grasslands, often in the vicinity of conifers.
This mushroom is one of the earliest members of its genus to begin producing fruitbodies; however, it is not edible and so of great interest to forayers (because of its rarity) but very little to foragers.
Note also that some Entoloma species with which particularly pale forms of Entoloma vernum could be confused are known to be very seriously poisonous.
Other names: Pinkgill Mushroom, Early Spring Pinkgill.
Entoloma vernum Mushroom Identification
Saprobic; growing scattered to gregariously under red pine and other conifers; spring.
2-5.5 cm; conic to broadly conic, flattening out somewhat but retaining a sharp, central "nipple"; dry; silky to nearly bald; sometimes appearing to have sheen; dark brown to medium brown; the margin becoming slightly lined with age.
Narrowly attached to the stem, or nearly free from it; close or nearly distant; dull buff to grayish or brownish at first, becoming pinkish; short-gills frequent.
3-10 cm long; 4-8 mm thick; equal, or slightly tapered toward the apex; dry; finely fibrillose near the apex, but nearly bald elsewhere; brownish to tan or brown overall, but paler at the apex; sometimes twisted; basal mycelium white.
Thin; insubstantial; brownish.
Spores 8-11 x 5-8 µ; 5- to 6-sided; smooth; hyaline. Lamellar edge fertile. Hymenial cystidia absent. Pileipellis a cutis with areas of semi-erect elements; elements brown to brownish in 10% ammonia; pigment finely encrusted in places, but also intracellular. Clamp connections absent in pileipellis; present in hymenium.
Entoloma vernum Taxonomy and Etymology
This inconspicuous, hygrophanous grassland mushroom was first described scientifically in 1937 by Seth Lundell (1892 - 1966), a distinguished fungal taxonomist at Uppsala University in Sweden, who established its basionym when he gave it the species name Entoloma vernum. Despite later spending quite some time in the genus Nolonea, a grouping which has now been subsumed into the genus Entoloma, Lundell's original name remains the generally accepted binomial name of this pinkgill.
Synonyms of Entoloma vernum include Rhodophyllus cucullatus J. Favre, Nolanea cucullata (J. Favre) P. D. Orton, and Nolanea verna (S. Lundell) Kotl. & Pouzar.
The generic name Entoloma comes from ancient Greek words entos, meaning inner, and lóma, meaning a fringe or a hem. It is a reference to the inrolled margins of many of the mushrooms in this genus.
The specific epithet vernum means springtime, and that is when this mushroom first appears.
Photo 1 - Author: Dan Molter (shroomydan) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Scott Darbey from Canada (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 3 - Author: Аимаина хикари (Public Domain)
Photo 4 - Author: Аимаина хикари (Public Domain)
Photo 5 - Author: Аимаина хикари (Public Domain)