Tricholoma saponaceum

Tricholoma saponaceum is one of the most confusing, variable mushrooms we have here in Alberta. Its convex cap, usually with a broad umbo, varies in colour from pale greenish yellow, light green to greyish green, greyish olive, lead grey, bluish grey, greenish grey, to greyish brown to brown The key characteristics used for identifying these fungi are their somewhat greasy appearance, pink to orange colour at the stem’s base and a soapy odour and taste.

To make things even more complicated, none of these features are consistently present in each mushroom! T saponaceum usually grows in small groups, so one must examine each specimen carefully to arrive at a tentative ID. They’re commonly found growing in coniferous and deciduous forests across Alberta. The specific epithet saponaceum is derived from the
Latin ‘of or pertaining to soap’.

This article, including the photos, are generously brought to you by Ken Dies, an AMS member. Ken is an outstanding photographer and recipient of the 2016 AMS President’s Award.

Genus: Tricholoma

Species: saponaceum

Edibility: Non-Edible

Spore Print: White

Growing Season: Fall

Growing Season: Winter

Cap: Convex

Cap: Umbonate

Veil: Absent

Gill Attachment: Adnexed

2022-06-04T11:56:03-06:00

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Gomphus clavatus

Gomphus clavatus is commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere and in North America it’s found in mountainous regions and along the west coast (during the winter). The mushroom ranges in color, with young fruiting bodies typically looking violet and progressing to tan-color as they age. It’s cap is lobed and irregular and depending on its stage of maturity, can range from broadly convex to very depressed.

Fruiting bodies can grow up to 10cm across and 5cm high. Gomphus clavatus have mycorrhizal associations with conifers and can be found growing near spruce or fir trees or on their own.

The mushroom is also known as the Pig’s Ear!

(Photo provided by Christine Costello)

Genus: Gomphus

Species: clavatus

Edibility: Edible

Growing Season: Fall

Growing Season: Winter

Cap: Convex

Cap: Depressed

Gill Attachment: Attached

Spore Print: Brown

2019-09-12T11:34:22-06:00

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Panaeolus cinctulus

This is a common fungus that is found throughout the world. It’s cap ranges from convex and campanulate to umbonate depending on its stage of maturity.

Fruiting bodies can range from 4-6cm in diameter and are typically found in grassy, well-fertilized areas.

The mushroom is known to contain some psychoactive effects

Genus: Panaeolus

Species: cinctulus

Growing Season: Spring

Growing Season: Fall

Growing Season: Summer

Cap: Convex

Gill Attachment: Free

Spore Print: Black

Hymenium Type: Gills

Veil: Absent

2019-06-14T11:04:17-06:00

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Cortinarius trivialis

Fruiting bodies are seen in late summer, fall and even winter in warmer climates in North America.

This mushroom may be toxic, however it also contains a slimy veil which makes it quite unappealing.

It forms a mycorrhizal relationship with some aspen species.

Genus: Cortinarus

Species: trivialis

Growing Season: Summer

Cap: Convex

Gill Attachment: Attached

Spore Print: Brown

Hymenium Type: Gills

2019-02-17T15:13:38-07:00

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Suillus lakei

This species is native to North America and is often characterized by its scruffy cap and partial veil, among other attributes. S. lakei forms ecotomycorrhizal relationships with douglas fir and it’s fruiting bodies can be seen in late summer and autumn.

Genus: Suillus

Species: lakei

Edibility: Edible

Cap: Convex

Gill Attachment: Decurrent

Spore Print: Brown

Hymenium Type: Pores

2019-02-23T09:15:39-07:00

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