Cystodermella cinnabarina: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Cystodermella cinnabarina Mushroom
Cystodermella cinnabarina is a basidiomycete fungus of the genus Cystodermella. Its fruiting body is a small agaric bearing a distinctive reddish-colored grainy cap. It occurs in coniferous and deciduous forests throughout the world.
This mushroom has been variously described as inedible, though harmless, and even edible regionally, for example, in Hong Kong.
Cystodermella cinnabarina Identification
Saprobic; growing alone, gregariously, or in loose clusters under conifers and occasionally under hardwoods (sometimes fruiting from well-rotted wood); summer and fall; widely distributed in North America.
3-8 cm; dry; egg-shaped or convex at first, becoming broadly convex, broadly bell-shaped, or nearly flat; covered with mealy, granular scales; cinnabar red to orange or rusty cinnamon.
Attached to the stem but pulling away from it by maturity; close or crowded; white; at first covered by the partial veil.
3-6 cm long; up to 1.5 cm thick; more or less club-shaped; dry; smooth and whitish to pale cinnamon near the apex, but sheathed with cinnabar granular scales from the base upwards, the sheath terminating in a flimsy ring zone; the granules often wearing away as the mushroom matures, exposing a coarse, whitish surface below.
Odor and Taste
Taste mild, slightly oily, or mealy; odor similar.
KOH on cap surface dark purple to black.
Spores 4-5 x 2.5-3 µ; elliptical; smooth; inamyloid. Cheilocystidia elongated fusoid-ventricose; 30-46 x 5-9 µ; often apically encrusted. Pleurocystidia absent, or present and comparable to cheilocystidia. Pileipellis elements with rusty brown walls in KOH; chained together; variously sized and shaped. The presence of cystidia is the best character separating Cystoderma cinnabarinum from orangish forms of Cystoderma granulosum.
Cystoderma species can be similar but have amyloid spores and lack cheilocystidia.
Cystodermella cinnabarina Taxonomy
The species was first described as Agaricus granulosus var. cinnabarinus by German botanist Johannes Baptista von Albertini and the American Lewis David de Schweinitz in 1805. The species has also been known variously as Agaricus terreyi (Berkeley and Broome, 1870), Armillaria cinnabarina (Kauffman, 1922), Lepiota cinnabarina (Karsten, 1914), and Cystoderma terreyi (Harmaja, 1978).
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