What You Should Know
Pholiota gummosa is a common species of mushroom in the family Strophariaceae. The fungus makes fruit bodies with straw-yellow to beige caps measuring 2–6 cm (0.8–2.4 in) in diameter. The crowded gills on the cap underside have an adnate attachment to the stipe. Initially pale yellow, they turn brownish in age as the spores mature. The mushroom makes a brown spore print.
It is found in Europe and North America, where it grows as a saprotroph on the rotting wood of deciduous trees, including trunks and roots. It can also grow on wood buried near the surface, making it seem as if it is fruiting in the grass.
Other names: Sticky Scalycap.
Pholiota gummosa Mushroom Identification
2 to 5cm across; pale cream or beige to light ochre with olive tints; convex, becoming flattered and sometimes retaining a small umbo; covered in large dark ochre adpressed scales spaced well apart; the scales tend to fall off or get washed off old caps.
Adnate; cream becoming rusty brown.
3 to 8 cm tall and 0.5 to 1 cm diameter; cream or pale beige, flushed brown towards base; covered in fibrous scales below the ring zone.
Ellipsoidal, smooth, 5.5-8 x 3.5-4.5μm with a germ pore.
Odor and Taste
Habitat & Ecological Role
On moss-covered rotting stumps and dead roots.
Pholiota squarrosa has much larger scales on its cap, and it grows most often on damaged areas of the lower trunks of living trees.
Pholiota gummosa Taxonomy and Etymology
This distinctive (for a Pholiota species, that is!) mushroom was described in 1828 by German mycologist Wilhelm Gottfried Lasch (1787 - 1863) who gave it the binomial scientific name Agaricus gummosus.
It was German-born mycologist Rolf Singer who, in 1949, transferred this species to the genus Pholiota, establishing its currently accepted scientific name as Pholiota gummosa.
Synonyms of Pholiota gummosa include Agaricus gummosus Lasch, Agaricus ochrochlorus Fr., Flammula gummosa (Lasch) P. Kumm., Agaricus cookei Fr., Flammula ochrochlora (Fr.) P. Karst., Dryophila gummosa (Lasch) Quél., Pholiota cookei (Fr.) Sacc., and Pholiota ochrochlora (Fr.) P.D. Orton.
The generic name Pholiota means scaly, and the specific epithet gummosa is, as it sounds, a reference to the gummy (sticky but not particularly gooey) nature of the cap surface.
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Photo 3 - Author: Richard Daniel (RichardDaniel) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 4 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)