What You Should Know
Xeromphalina cauticinalis is a species of agaric fungus in the family Mycenaceae. The fruit bodies have convex yellowish caps measuring 0.5–2.5 cm (0.2–1.0 in) in diameter supported by a tough yellow-brown to dark brown stripe that is 3–8 cm (1.2–3.1 in) long by 1–2.5 mm thick. The pale yellow gills have a decurrent attachment to the stipe and are somewhat distantly spaced. The spore print is white, while individual spores are elliptical, smooth, amyloid, and measure 4–7 by 2.5–3.5 µm.
It is found in North America, where it fruits in the summer and autumn singly or in groups on the seeds, needles, and sticks of conifers, and sometimes on aspen leaves.
Originally described in 1838 by Elias Fries as Marasmius cauticinalis, it was transferred to the genus Xeromphalina by Robert Kühner and René Maire in 1934.
The species is regarded as nonpoisonous.
Xeromphalina cauticinalis Mushroom Identification
Saprobic on the debris (including needle duff and well-decayed wood) of conifers; growing gregariously in troops, or occasionally scattered or even alone, usually on the ground; summer and fall; widely distributed and common in western North America, and occasional in northeastern North America.
7–17 mm across; convex to broadly convex or flat, often with a shallow central depression; bald; tacky to dry; sometimes becoming widely lined on the margin; orange-brown to reddish-brown or yellow-brown, often with a darker center.
Broadly attached to the stem or just beginning to run down it; close or nearly distant; with many cross-veins; pale yellow; short-gills frequent.
1–3 cm long; 1–2 mm thick; more or less equal above a slightly swollen base; yellowish above, reddish-brown to dark brown below; finely hairy or nearly bald above; base covered with orangish to rusty hairs.
Odor and Taste
KOH bright red on cap surface.
Spores 5–8 x 3–4 µm; ellipsoid; smooth; faintly to moderately amyloid, especially when just produced or when still attached to sterigmata. Pleuro- and cheilocystidia fusiform to narrowly clavate. Caulocystidia irregular and contorted; thin- or thick-walled. Clamp connections are present.
Xeromphalina cauticinalis Look-Alikes
grows on conifer wood, is mild, turns yellowish-brown in KOH, and has simple, fusoid to clavate cystidia.
The rare mushroom grow in the same habitat but have adnate (not decurrent) gills and much narrower spores.
Xeromphalina cauticinalis Medicinal Properties
Antitumor effects. Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of X. cauticinalis and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 90% and 80%, respectively (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).
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