What You Should Know
Lepiota clypeolaria is one of the larger Lepiota species, many of which are poisonous. This woodland mushroom could easily be mistaken for one of the edible Agaricus species that occur in wooded areas. The white and unchanging gill color should be enough to ring warning bells, and its unpleasant odor is yet another of the features that should help foragers avoid an unpleasant mistake. The woolly vellum flakes on the stem are another macroscopic feature that helps identify this toxic toadstool.
This mushroom is initially egg-shaped but expands to become bell-shaped. The cap is covered with small straw-colored scales. The partial veil leaves remnants on the margin. The flesh is white. The gills are free, closely spaced and white. The spores are white.
Other names: Shield Dapperling, Shaggy-Stalked Parasol.
Lepiota clypeolaria Mushroom Identification
Saprobic; growing scattered or gregariously in forest litter; found under conifers; late summer and fall; North American distribution uncertain.
3-7 cm; nearly round in the button stage, expanding to broadly bell-shaped or nearly flat in age; soft; dry; fibrillose and appressed-fibrillose overall, with small, soft scales near the margin; occasionally with a bald center; dull orangish brown to brownish or beige; usually fairly evenly colored, but occasionally with a slightly darker center; the margin hung with whitish veil tatters.
Free from the stem; close; short-gills frequent; white.
4-7 cm long; 6-12 mm thick; more or less equal; bald above the ring; fibrillose like the cap below the ring; brownish; with a sheathing pale yellow to whitish ring or ring zone that often disappears; basal mycelium white, often copious.
White; unchanging when sliced.
KOH negative on cap surface.
Spores 12-18 x 4-6 µ; boletoid-fusiform; smooth; hyaline in KOH; dextrinoid. Cheilocystidia inconspicuous and basidiole-like; clavate; to about 40 x 12.5 µ. Pleurocystidia absent. Pileipellis a trichoderm over the disc; elsewhere a cutis; elements 7.5-20 µ wide, cylindric, smooth, orangish brown in KOH, sometimes featuring inconspicuous clamps; terminal cells subclavate to cylindric.
Lepiota clypeolaria Look-Alikes
Is very similar in appearance (although usually smaller than Lepiota clypeolaria) but it has a bright orange or red-brown ring low down on it much smoother stem, and it has much smaller spores.
Is similar in appearance and often confused with L. clypeolaria. The former species has brighter colors with a more intensely colored cap center, and longer spores.
Is probably the best known of the section Fusisporae within genus Lepiota, whose members are characterized by long spindle-shaped spores and a fluffy stem beneath the ring.
Lepiota clypeolaria Taxonomy and Etymology
The basionym of this species dates from 1789 when French mycologist Jean Baptiste Francois (Pierre) Bulliard described it and gave it the binomial name Agaricus clypeolarius. It was German mycologist Paul Kummer who, in 1871, transferrd this species to the genus Lepiota, at which point it acquired its currently-accepted scientific name Lepiota clypeolaria.
Synonyms of Lepiota clypeolaria include Agaricus clypeolarius Bull., Agaricus colubrinus Pers., Lepiota colubrina (Pers.) Gray, Lepiota clypeolaria var. minor J. E. Lange, Lepiota clypeolaria var. ochraceosulfurescens Locq., and Lepiota ochraceosulfurescens Locq. ex Bon.
Lepiota, the genus name, comes from the Latin word lepis, meaning scale - a reference to the scaly caps of this group of agarics. The specific epithet clypeolaria is a reference to the round shield-like shape of the caps of these mushrooms.
Photo 1 - Author: Holger Krisp (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Strobilomyces (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
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